Getting our WordPress blog content onto Facebook required work, extra time, and outside tools, but it had to be done. We could paste in code and use other plugins to add “Like” and “Share” buttons back on our blog, but it was far from a seamless experience.
Now we have a WordPress plugin from Facebook that makes putting Facebook on our blog fairly easy, and in return, sends our content to Facebook. It takes our content and fan interaction and helps it go in both directions, and we can publish to both our Profile and our Fan Page.
Install The Plugin And Set Up Your App
Setup on the WordPress side of things is fairly simple. Just install the app into your WordPress blog like any other plugin, and activate it. You’ll need to configure some settings on the plugin before continuing. The plugin guides you in the setup steps within WordPress, and prompts you if you’re missing something. If you haven’t verified your Facebook account with a mobile phone number or credit card, you’ll be asked to do that at some point. This verification can be done in your Facebook Account settings.
After the plugin has been installed, you’ll be asked to set up an app for your WordPress blog.
You’ll need both a logo and icon for your app, so have those ready to upload. Be sure to follow the directions provided within the plugin completely, since there are specific things that must be in place in order to publish to your Timeline. Facebook provides instructions here, though there are some hiccups in setting up the app, which we’ll discuss later.
Once your App is setup and in place, you can set it to make your blog posts public on your Facebook Profile. Go to your Facebook Account Settings > Apps > (Your App) Edit. Select “Everyone” for who can see the posts the app makes on your Timeline.
Customize The Plugin
Once you’ve followed the setup directions, you’ll be able to customize how you want to use the Plugin.
You’ll have easy click setup for many of Facebook’s Social Plugins.
If you select “Subscribe”, be sure to adjust your Facebook Profile settings to allow for subscriptions to your public posts, otherwise a small error message will be visible on your blog posts and pages when readers interact with the buttons. You can also adjust the settings to allow for where you want these items to appear — location, color, size — in your post. Each option comes with explanations and links to explain and guide you through the setup.
The Social Publisher is where you’ll be able to automatically publish new posts to your Facebook Timeline and Page.
It’s important to note that if you choose to use Facebook comments, it will turn your WordPress blog comments off.
New Facebook Widgets And Publishing Options
With the plugin comes some useful Facebook widgets that does away with some of the previous methods that required copying and pasting code.
When writing a new page or post, the plugin will give you several options on how you want it to appear on Facebook.
Tagging While In WordPress
The plugin allows you to mention Facebook friends and pages within your post. This means your blog post will show up on the timeline or page of those mentioned. These mentions are also featured at the top of the post itself on your blog, with links to the page/profile. Think of it as tagging, right from WordPress, with the ability to customize the message you want to accompany your blog post or page.
Adding these mentions is simple; the WordPress publishing area will have been populated with a number of plugin-added options, including a place to add friends and pages mentioned.
You may want to wait until you’re ready to publish before adding these in the sidebar of the post publishing area, since they don’t seem to be reliably saved each time you click “Save Draft.” The plugin stumbles a bit in locating Pages in this publishing interface; it found “big” brand name pages, but wasn’t able to find the smaller business pages (as of yet). The plugin had no difficulty finding friends as they were typed in.
The Plugin Has Downsides
Facebook has stumbled a bit with this plugin. While tagging a friend and publishing to their wall worked right away once the plugin was installed, activated, and connected to my Facebook account, the automatic publishing feature for my own Timeline and Page had a few roadblocks.
Right now, getting this plugin to work is going to require the creation of the Facebook App, which isn’t intuitive and doesn’t make it user-friendly for bloggers who aren’t comfortable with the developer side of things. There is some hit-and-miss-trial-and-error that happens while trying to set the plugin’s Social Publisher to work as needed, and it isn’t exactly spelled out in Facebook’s instructions found here.
Also, the Facebook App has a wait time for approval. I’ve been waiting over a day now, and haven’t seen successful blog publishing to the Timeline yet, though it oddly seems to work for a Facebook page. Some users are having no difficulty, others are struggling.
In this plugin, what works — Facebook integration on your blog — works well and happens easily. That’s impressive. What doesn’t work smoothly — creating an app and setting up automatic publishing back to Facebook — is frustrating. Hopefully, Facebook will address this issue.
Your Blog Is Evermore Important
We’ve always said blogs are important, but with this kind of integration possible, it’s apparent more than ever. Your fans can interact and share content to a greater level than before, right on your blog. Simple clicks, and your content is shared.
If it wasn’t clear before, it should be now: everything about your blog is social.