Learn how to edit Facebook link previews and change the thumbnail image with this easy to follow step-by-step tutorial.
If you have previously shared a link on your Facebook page, you know that Facebook creates a preview of the link for better user experience.
A standard preview shows users a thumbnail image for a visual representation of the web page you are sharing. It also displays a short description of the page underneath the image.
If you are sharing links on your Facebook page regularly, you might have noticed that you can’t edit the thumbnail image or the link headline and description anymore.
This was previously possible. It only stopped working in July this year when Facebook disabled this function to prevent misuse and stop publishers from misleading their readers. This is a very understandable move.
However, it left some of us who regularly share our own content and need to update the link preview very frustrated!
It is very common, especially in the case of e-commerce sites, that the link preview doesn’t really come up with the right information. It only makes sense to edit it for a better user experience.
Let’s have a look at this example:
I was looking to buy some sandals and came across this website today. Imagine you work for this company and your job is to promote a current sale on this particular pair of shoes on your company’s Facebook page. Let’s see what happens when I paste the link in a new Facebook post:
You can see that there is no information about the actual product and no image is included.
This certainly wouldn’t be a very appealing link to click on.
You might be asking, what can you do to change this?
Luckily, earlier this month Facebook introduced a way to solve this problem. If you are the owner of the content you are sharing, you can verify your domain and become able to edit the link previews again—but only for the content coming from your verified domain.
Facebook has introduced a process called ‘Domain Verification’. It basically means that you need to first verify that you are the owner of a particular domain or website before you can edit the link previews for URLs from that domain.
Let’s go through the process of how this is done.
You need to login to your Business Manager and go to Business Settings.
You will then see a menu on the left-hand side. Under the tab ‘People and assets’ you will see an option for ‘Domains’. Click on it.
Press ‘Add New Domains’.
Put in your domain name. Press ‘Add Domain’.
Facebook will offer you two ways of verifying that you are the owner of the domain you just put in.
You can either do it through a DNS Verification or with an HTML file upload.
DNS records, for me personally, are a bit confusing, so I have chosen to verify the ownership by uploading an HTML file.
If you have a developer or someone who takes care of the technical aspects of your website, either of these methods shouldn’t be a problem for them.
Let’s have a look what happens after we verify our domain.
Once our domain has been successfully verified, you will see a green symbol with the status message ‘verified’ under your domain name.
The last step is to assign Pages we want to associate with this Domain.
This is done in the same ‘Domains’ section in the Business Settings. You just need to click on ‘Pages’ and select the appropriate Facebook page from the list.
If you don’t see your Facebook Page as one of the options, you might need to add your page first in the Pages section. Click on ‘Add New Pages’ and select the appropriate option.
Once you assign a Facebook Page to your Domain, you should be able to edit the preview links again.
Important Note #1:
You need to be posting as the page you selected in your Domain Verification section. It will not work if you are posting as a private person. You can change who you are you posting as in the top right-hand corner of your post.
Important Note #2:
If you just assigned your Facebook Page to the Business Manager for the first time, you need to be aware that there will be some changes to how you access your Page. You will lose the ability to post on your Facebook Page from your mobile devices. You will now be able to access your Page only via Business Manager. And, unfortunately, Business Manager is not available on mobile devices as far as I am aware.
I know, this can be very frustrating for many people. If posting on your mobile is important to you, you can just remove your Facebook Page from Business Manager and things will go back to where they were before. However, you will not be able to edit the preview links anymore.
Hopefully this tutorial helps you solve your link preview troubles. Please let me know how it goes in the comments. I’d love to hear about your experience!
CEO & Digital Marketing Strategist
Paula Bulakova is the driving force behind the Melbourne-based digital marketing agency Successful Woman. She is a passionate Facebook Marketer and Digital Marketing Strategist with more than 5 years of experience in running Facebook campaigns for businesses big and small.
She is mad about horse-riding and salsa dancing and loves to challenge her thinking with a good motivational book.