Behavior Changes in Studio
When using a simple template, such as an image block, the campaign will be processed as an "image" post. Similarly, if you use a standalone video block the campaign will be processed as a "video" post. However, if you combine blocks (such as image plus link, or video plus text) then the campaign will be processed as an "article".
Shared campaigns sometimes have a different appearance than the original campaigns in the Firstup platform. This can mean a different image appears or the text is not the same.
Sometimes the same shared campaign has a different appearance in each social network.
Example - the same video shared across three networks shows different source URLs (bit.ly vs advocate.socialchorus.com) and different preview images and text:
You may also find that a single campaign shared to just one social network appears differently when you look at the shared campaign in the network's mobile app versus the network's website.
Example - this campaign appears differently in Twitter's mobile app and on the twitter.com website:
The prepopulated share message and appended hashtag may only appear when sharing to Twitter.
Example - same campaign shared to Twitter and Facebook, only Twitter shows the prepopulated share message "Testing shareable message" above the post.
The target social networks are processing the same metadata differently, and sometimes presenting the same campaign differently. After a user clicks on share in Firstup and chooses a network, we are not involved in authentication or how the shared content is processed. We direct the user to the target network and pass metadata about the campaign along - such as "image" post, "video" post, or "article post", associated text, and more. The target social network then processes everything based on their unique, proprietary algorithms.
The advantage of having the target network handle authentication and metadata processing is that the share experience is generally more seamless - the user does not need to authenticate through Firstup. If we used APIs to control the sharing experience more carefully, we would have to authenticate the users. When we did this in the past, we saw a 60% drop off at the time of sharing. We felt it was more important to make sharing easy for users than to control exactly how their shared content appeared.
Even when we tried to control how shared content appears, the social networks processed the same information differently. For example, with a simple link block, in particular, most social networks looked at the original link, not the Firstup content itself. This means that the social networks would ignore any image that was uploaded in Studio. However, this was not consistent across all networks, and changed over time (the networks can change this behavior without notice).
In addition, social networks have made their own design choices around how to display content depending on the user's device (mobile app vs web) or platform (such as Android vs iOS).
Finally, regarding prepopulated messages in particular, Facebook policy prohibits the use of prepopulated share messages and LinkedIn appears to be implementing a similar policy (the exact behavior with LinkedIn depends on the user's device and LinkedIn mobile app version). We have further details on these policies in this article. Please note that even when the prepopulated text appears, the sharer can edit the prepopulated text.
Focus on Click-Through
So what can you, the content owner, control? Choose the Firstup content blocks based on your desired click-through behavior.
Here is a quick highlight on the content blocks - for more detail please refer to the Classic Studio article on optimizing for advocacy.
- See the original campaign from your community - use a standalone video block, or combine multiple blocks ("article" experience).
- Go directly to an external site - use a standalone link block.
- Only see an image, nothing else - use a standalone image block.
Minimize Sources of Truth
If you need to minimize the variance in shared campaign appearance, you may want to consider the following strategies. Please keep in mind that even with these recommendations, social networks may still do surprising things with the shared campaigns. We are not able to control exactly how the social networks process or present a campaign, we can only control what campaign we pass to them.
Here is a quick highlight on how to minimize variety in how shared campaigns look - for more detail please refer to this article on optimizing for advocacy.
- Do NOT use link or image blocks in isolation.
- DO use video blocks or combine multiple blocks.
- If you really want to use a standalone link block AND you have access to the source website metadata... then make sure your Open Graph tags are configured.