Social Network Preview Images – Even the Big Guys Are Doing it Wrong!

Apr 3, 2012 by Yuriy Sklyar

The more major websites I explore, the more this issue arises – having a distinct, and most importantly, relevant preview for when somebody “likes” (or “+1”s)  your website is extremely important!

Without even knowing it, this could hurt your business just like it's already hurting many other businesses.

Take a look at these 2 (of what you’d think unlikely) examples:

Google’s Mistake

Google has recently introduced its new service called “Google Play” – interesting service, so I “+1”d it to stay updated.

Later on that day, when I looked at my “+1” feed, I noticed that the preview image had nothing to do with what I’ve actually “+1”d.

Arrange the content on your website in such a way, that in case somebody shares it, they get the correct preview image that best represents whatever it is they are sharing.

In this case I feel that a “Google Play” logo would be best fitting.

EA’s Mistake (SimCity.com)

Same thing – when I “liked” the page, it automatically selected a photo of Kip Katsarelis – SimCity’s Lead Producer.

A lot of my friends would have checked out this “like/share” if it had a graphic that represented SimCity, alas that’s not the case – a wasted “like”.

Let be this your lesson – go on, optimize your preview images.

P.S. Why both of these get users to only “like” their website as a link, instead of “liking” their Facebook page, is also beyond me – they would have a much better chance of reaching more users this way.

Yuriy Sklyar - Principal, Threefifty

I'm responsible for UX and UI (among other things) of all projects that come through the doors of Threefifty.

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