Posts any image for the thumbnail

First off, what a plugin! Brilliant idea and design, I particularly liked the tutorial...if only all plugins took you step by step. I would like a lesson from the creator in how to make plugins like this.

I do have some concerns and some suggestions however.

1. I tested it with FB everything worked great except when I checked my FB it had posted an image as the thumbnail I did not want. Is there (can there be) a way to hard code in an image of my choice? I think the Ultimate FB plugin here does that?

2. Some people dont have social media profiles....i know i know but honestly its true. Could there be an option to switch on a small textual button (situated below the social media links) that says "I dont have a social media account can I skip this". Obviously I know this defeats the purpose a bit but it could be very small text and it would be below the social links and the admin could turn it on and off.

3. I would imagine that a lot of peeps using this simply want to share one link (there main domain) or similar links. Could there be a default link loaded into the text field already or perhaps a button which would facilitate that? (I know it remembers the text you put it sometimes but Im just being picky)

4. I notice the "Discussion" and "Comments" nodes are displayed on the add/edit social marketing page at the bottom. Should these be here?

Id really like to see number one above implemented asap, if it is this plugin would be nearing perfection!

Proper job.

    Vladislav

    Hello,

    As for the issue you experienced (random image appears when sharing on Facebook), you can control the image (and a lot more) by adding some OpenGraph tags which is a pretty simple, yet very powerful way to control exactly how your page will show on Facebook. You can use a plugin for this for more flexibility, or just add the tags yourself to your template header - for image, this is the specific tag you want to add:

    <meta property="og:image" content="YOUR-IMAGE-URL" />

    Here are some links that may be helpful: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/ (official docs), http://ogp.me/ (the basic example on this page is pretty much all you really need).

    Also, there is a very useful tool for dealing with OpenGraph on your pages: http://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug This tool will grab your page and show you exactly how the Facebook sees it. There is also another use for this tool, when Facebook first "sees" your page (e.g. someone liked it), it caches your page for a period of time. Any likes or shares during that time will post cached version of your page, regardless of any changes you made to it. However, if you debug your page using this tool, it will also reset Facebook cache so it uses the latest version of your page instead.

    As for point 3, if the share URL is left blank, it will default to use the current page URL (i.e. your post link) as share URL. I also agree with point 4, that is something that will definitely be fixed in the next plugin release.

    ThePath

    Thanks for the awesome help guys!

    I will give the og tag thing a go, very handy indeed. Good to know about that default url too.

    So I was thinking about number 2 above and I have thought of some possible solutions to reduce or avoid defeating the purpose:

    1. Have the "Skip" link timed so it appears a few seconds after the share window first pops up.

    2. Instead of the skip link have a contact form under the share links allowing users without social profiles to email the site admin and request the download via email..

    I think the latter is the most fool proof.

    Thanks again dudes

    univiz

    I've also got the same problem whereby the Social Marketing works OK but picks up any random image - but never the one it should, even when set as the featured image.

    I use Yoasts SEO and have manually added Facebook OG meta tags in the header, but only the OG tags that are generic to the whole site can be added here. (Unless someone knows how to add post/page specific og metas?)

    The image however will be different for each Social Marketing Advert - well it is in my case. Could we not have a separate field to add the image URL, like there is for the page URL?

    Also, I'd like another field to optionally override the blurb that is being liked / shared. Currently it is picking up the title of the post in which the advert resides.

    My sceanario is a WP blog attached to a non-wp ecommerce site. The idea is to have one or two generic adverts per category - add these to all the posts in the respective categories and then once a month, or whenever, update the adverts via the admin (so far so good, or excellent in fact!). There will only be one post in each category per month that will have the full story for the advert and although I can set this URL, I'd also like to have the title from that same post, and not the title from the current post, which although relevant (sort of cross-sell) is meaningless and confusing when viewed in isolation on Facebook et al. - Hope this makes sense.

    Otherwise, I think this is an excellent plugin!

    Edit - Picking up on VeBailovity suggestion to put a generic site image in the og:image tag in the header. Whilst is most cases this would probably be OK and is certainly better than totally random and irrelevant images being called. I'm using the SM adverts for specific individual products and therefore need to show the image of that actual product e.g. if the discount is for a purple camo buffwear, I don't want a picture of a pair of ski goggles on Facebook - this will totally kill any further viral sharing.

    univiz

    No response to the image issue?

    As a temporary workaround, I added a generic image in an og:image tag in the header - I actually wanted the product image / featured image from the post for the advert to make sense.

    But now, when adding website links directly in the Facebook page it pulls in this generic image and does not give the option, as it previously did, to select the thumbnail.

    This was such a promising plugin but in reality it is turning out to be unusable.
    I really do hope you add in an extra optional field to choose the image required.

    Vladislav

    Hi,

    What you're looking for actually sounds much more like a full-blown Facebook OpenGraph management plugin for your pages. To get the image choosing facility when sharing posts on Facebook manually, you can stack multiple og:image headers one after another. If manually added generic image doesn't suit you, there are plugins that will use featured image of your posts to generate the og:image header(s) for you, for an example our Ultimate Facebook plugin. Also, this plugin is able to use your post excerpts when your post is shared on Facebook.

    Social Marketing would pretty much have to take control over your entire page in order to make this happen - not to mention that it wouldn't work as nicely if you had more then one advert on the page.