To display thumbnail images when you share links to your WordPress posts on social media, you’ll need to set up Open Graph and Twitter Card meta tags. These tags provide social media platforms with information about the content you’re sharing, including the featured image.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Set a Featured Image: First, make sure you have a featured image set for each of your WordPress posts. This image will be used as the thumbnail when you share your post on social media.
- Edit your post in the WordPress editor.
- On the right-hand side, you’ll find a “Featured Image” option. Click it and select or upload the image you want to use as the thumbnail.
- Use an SEO Plugin: Many SEO plugins for WordPress offer the option to add Open Graph and Twitter Card meta tags automatically. Two popular options are Yoast SEO and All in One SEO. Install and activate one of these plugins.
- Configure the SEO Plugin: After activating the SEO plugin, go to the plugin’s settings, and configure it for your specific needs. You may need to provide social media information like your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
- Enable Open Graph and Twitter Cards: In the SEO plugin settings, enable the Open Graph and Twitter Card features. These settings will allow the plugin to generate the necessary meta tags for your posts.
- Verify the Meta Tags: Once you’ve enabled these features, go back to your post editor. You should now see fields for entering social media information, such as a title, description, and an image. These will be used when your post is shared on social media. Make sure the image field contains the URL of your featured image.
- Preview the Post: Before publishing, preview your post and check how it looks when shared on social media. You can use the Facebook Debugger and Twitter Card Validator to ensure that the correct information and thumbnail image are being used. If there are issues, these tools will often provide hints on what to fix.
- Publish and Share: Once everything looks good in the preview, go ahead and publish your post. When you share the link on social media, the platform should automatically pick up the Open Graph and Twitter Card meta tags, including the thumbnail image you’ve set.
Remember that it may take a little bit of time for social media platforms to cache the new information, so if you don’t see the thumbnail image immediately, be patient. Also, check your website’s caching settings, as caching can sometimes interfere with how quickly changes are reflected on social media.