When anyone shares your blog post on Facebook, your site gets ‘tagged’ – a story preview is automatically generated with your site name at the bottom.
In other words, anytime your content is shared, your SITE goes with it.
As great as that is, it’s half the battle.
What about your name? As the author of that content?
That’s exactly what Facebook Author Tag does.
What Is Facebook Author Tag?
WHAT IS FACEBOOK AUTHOR TAG?
Facebook Author Tag is a simple line of code on your site that tells Facebook to ‘tag’ you as the author whenever your content is shared on Facebook.
As a result, a clickable author’s byline that links to either your Facebook Page or profile is added to a story preview.
Now, anytime your content is shared, your NAME goes with it.
By the way, this post is a part of Ana's exclusive Traffic Hacks email series. Want to become a Traffic Hacker and double YOUR website traffic in 30 days? 👇👇I WANT IT >>
How Facebook Author Tag Works
Facebook Author Tag ensures Zac’s name appears in the story preview byline.
On Facebook, I am friends with Sue-Ann, but not with Zac.
When Sue-Ann shares Zac’s post, I see it in the News Feed. I get curious about Zac.
As I hover over Zac’s Facebook Author Tag in the byline, I learn a bit more about him AND have a chance to follow him on Facebook (more on that below.)
What if I want to read Zac’s content before deciding if he’s worth a Follow?
Then I click the link and read Zac’s post.
Once that’s done and I return to Facebook (and return I shall, since that tab is still open in my browser!), I see things exactly how I left them with Sue-Ann’s share of Zac’s post in front of me.
Only now, I see one subtle, but obvious change:
I still see the option to follow Zac, as well as an additional incentive (‘See more from Zac Johnson‘) to connect with him on Facebook.
IS FACEBOOK AUTHOR TAG FOR PERSONAL PROFILES ONLY?
The Author Tag could also be enabled for Facebook Pages, not just personal profiles.
We’ll talk about the strategy between connecting to a profile vs a Page later; for now, let me show you what the Author Tag (more accurately, the Publisher Tag) looks like for Pages.
In the News Feed, the Publisher Tag looks very much like the Author Tag. The byline includes the publishing Page name linked to the Page URL.
Once you hover over the Page byline… well, that’s where the magic begins.
Pop, goes the Page card!
In it, you see some basic Page info, plus four action buttons that give you a choice of liking the Page, following it, sending a message via Messenger, or signing up (for?… we’ll talk about that in a moment.)
What’s the difference between ‘liking‘ a Facebook Page and ‘following‘ it?
If you want to show public support for a Page in addition to seeing updates from it in your News Feed, you should like it.
If you just want to just see updates from a Page, without being publicly associated with it, you should follow it.
What do I mean ‘publicly’? Pages you like are listed in the About section of your profile below Likes. A post that you liked on a Page may appear in the News Feed. You may be displayed on the Page you liked or in ads about that Page.
(For instance, in the screenshot above, you see that Dennis R Oosterman, my Facebook friend, likes Conversion Giant Page.)
When you like a page, you automatically follow it.
Back to the prominent pretty-in-blue Sign Up button.
That’s actually the same button you see under the Cover photo of a Page.
This is what it looks like on my Facebook Page.
Of course, ‘Sign Up’ is far not the only option offered by Facebook, but in my opinion, it’s the best one for entrepreneurs building email lists (if you aren’t, you absolutely SHOULD!)
For instance, the Sign Up button on my FB Page leads to the landing page for my exclusive Traffic Hacks email series.
Needless to say, so does the Sign Up button on a Page card you see when hovering over my byline…
And THAT is the main reason I love the Publisher Tag!
UPDATE 2021: Does Facebook Author Tag Still Exist?
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen any evidence of Facebook Author Tags.
Soooooo… does Facebook Author Tag still exist?
The good news is YES.
The bad news is it’s currently limited to journalists and news organizations.
People use Facebook every day to discover what’s going on in the world. The Author Tag helps connect those people to the stories and journalists that best inform and entertain them.
I have a feeling this change/restriction has a lot to do with the rise of fake news.
Think you might qualify as a ‘journalist’? Apply here. Keep in mind you’ll have to verify your credentials.
Will Facebook Author Tag, once again, become available to ALL publishers? We can only hope.
Double YOUR website traffic in 30 days with my proven high-value 'minimum effort, maximum results' Traffic Hacks!Yes, Ana, I want in >>
Why You Should Definitely Enable Facebook Author Tag
In case you aren’t convinced yet, Facebook Author Tag allows you to boost your visibility and traffic in a few different ways.
1. FACEBOOK AUTHOR TAG HUMANIZES YOUR BRAND & CONTENT
There was a time when personal branding was nothing more than a business card with a name on it.
Now, your business success hinges on your personal reputation.
No one wants to do business with a faceless brand. NO ONE.
Facebook Author Tag makes a difference between faceless content and content written by a real human being… YOU.
It gives you more credibility, expertise, and trust, which ultimately leads to more of everything: website traffic, leads, and customers.
2. FACEBOOK AUTHOR TAG GROWS YOUR NUMBER OF FANS & FOLLOWERS
‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ button is just a mouse hover away.
By cutting out the extra click needed to go to a profile or Page to follow/like someone, Facebook Author Tag makes growing your Facebook numbers effortless.
(If you are wondering what the difference between ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ is, we’ll talk about it below.)
3. FACEBOOK AUTHOR TAG DOESN’T NEGATIVELY AFFECT YOUR WEBSITE TRAFFIC
Yes, Facebook would very much like to keep its users right where they are – on Facebook.
Yet Facebook Author Tag was designed in such a way that it calls for a user’s action in addition to visiting the original story source (your website), not instead of it.
And, speaking of your website traffic, Facebook Author Tag only helps you gain more of it in the long run – by helping you to establish and grow your personal brand as well as your Facebook fan base.Facebook Author Tag helps real people build real connections with real audiences.Click To Tweet
4. FACEBOOK AUTHOR TAG IS TOO EASY TO IMPLEMENT TO IGNORE
Facebook Author Tag is one line of code added to your website. That’s it.
It’s a ‘once and done’ sort of Traffic Hack… my favorite kind! 😎
And when something is that easy to do AND has that many upsides for your business… there’s no reason not to get it done.
That’s why implementing Facebook Author Tag made it onto the very exclusive list of Traffic Hacks I share with my email subscribers once or twice per week.
Should You Connect to a Facebook Profile or Page?
Facebook Author Tag can connect your byline to either your Facebook Page or profile – your choice.
Which one should you go for? We’ll talk about the pros and cons below, but first let’s get one thing straight.
DO FACEBOOK PERSONAL PROFILES HAVE BETTER REACH THAN PAGES?
Seems like plenty of folks think that…
Facebook News Feed Ranking Algorithm applies to BOTH personal profiles and Facebook Pages.
Still in doubt?
Take a look at your ‘Friends’ list.
When was the last time you heard from some of them?… saw their updates in your News Feed?
That’s Facebook News Feed Ranking Algorithm at work, deciding what you should see and what you will live without.
With that said, there’s a logical explanation (a correlation, if you will) as to why personal profile updates MIGHT rank better than Page updates.
People are more likely to engage with people vs brands.
Thus, when you post on Facebook as yourself, you stand a better chance of getting comments and reactions.
Since engagement is one of Facebook ranking factors, those updates have a much better shot of appearing in your friends’ News feeds.
That’s the Power of Personal.
So…. on the one hand, you run a business and, naturally, want to market the ish out of it on Facebook.
(I don’t blame you. So do I. As well as every person reading this.)
On the other hand, it seems like YOUR NAME carries a lot more weight and power on Facebook (and beyond, actually) than your business name.
What to do, what to do?…
Let’s put that on the back burner for now.
For now, the question at hand is: should you tag your personal profile or business Page?
Connecting the Author Tag with a Personal Facebook Profile
Since Facebook Author Tag is really meant to brand YOU as an author, associating it with your personal Facebook profile makes sense.
HOWEVER… there’s that pesky little word there – ‘personal.’
If you are the kind of person who likes to keep it that way… ‘personal‘ that is… don’t stick a fork into it just yet.
Here’s why: when someone hovers over your author name in the byline, they are given the option to Follow you.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ‘FOLLOW’ A PERSON ON FACEBOOK
When you Follow someone on Facebook, you may see public updates from that person in your News Feed even though you might not be ‘Friends’.
That’s good news if you want to continue sharing personal updates with your Friends, but don’t mind sharing some updates (like your blog posts) publicly so that your Followers can see them as well.
KEEP IN MIND BEFORE IMPLEMENTING THE AUTHOR TAG
1. Limit the number of business posts you share to your personal FB profile.
Your friends see your public updates as well. That’s the nature of ‘public’.
Make sure grandma Pearl or Aunt Wendy or little Johnny you grew up with (who’s no longer that little!) aren’t inundated with your business posts.
Plus, it’s against Facebook TOS to ‘use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain.’
2. Share some personal posts publicly.
Your Followers aren’t following you JUST because they are dying to get links to your content.
They want to get to know you as a person as well.
So don’t be shy, show them a bit of your human side!
3. Make sure the Follow setting is enabled.
…or else, no one will be able to Follow you. 🤪
- Public Posts
- Choose Public under Who Can Follow Me
Connecting the Publisher Tag with a Facebook Page
Why choose a Facebook Page over a personal profile for Facebook Authorship?
1. When you absolutely don’t want to mix business with pleasure.
If you insist your personal profile remains strictly personal, then connecting your site with the Facebook Page makes sense.
2. When you have an active Facebook Page fan base.
Have you done a good job building up your Facebook Page and nurturing relationships with your fans?
Then take advantage of it and connect the byline with your Page. Might as well, right?
3. When building an email list is a priority.
If it isn’t, it should be.
Granted, few people might subscribe to your email list when they barely know you, buuuuuut…
- you never know 😉,
- doesn’t hurt to remind them the option is there when they’re ready.
4. When your FB Page is set up as a Public Figure.
NOW we are getting into the good stuff!… I’m really excited about it, can’t you tell? 😅
This is my preferred way to go, hands down.
Let’s talk about it for a moment.
What does it mean to set up a Page as a Public Figure?
When creating a Facebook Page, you are given an option to set up your page as:
Setting up a Facebook Page as a Public Figure makes YOU your business.
Nothing… I repeat NOTHING is as critical to your business success as building You Inc.
If people trust YOU, they’ll trust just about whatever you sell.
Remember what we talked about above?… (plus or minus a few hundred words?…)
Bringing together ‘business‘ and ‘personal‘ in a very natural harmonious way?
This is IT! Facebook Page (business) as a Public Figure (puts YOU front and center – personal.)
To learn more about setting up your FB Page as a Public Figure, read:
- How to Create a Facebook Public Figure Page and Why You Should – Dennis Yu at SocialMediaExaminer.com
What if you already have a Facebook business Page, but now wish it was set up as a Public Figure?…
That’s exactly what I thought when writing this post… then I realized you can EDIT just about everything about your current Page, including the name, the @username, and the page type!
The screenshot above is my ‘new’ Facebook Page – it was transformed from ‘Traffic Generation Café with Ana Hoffman‘ (website) into ‘Ana Hoffman‘ (Public Figure).
How to Switch Your Current Facebook Page type to a Public Figure Page
The process is simple and quick.
Facebook will have to ‘approve’ your switch, but that took about 3 minutes when I did it.
Once you change your @username, which is what makes up your Page URL, your old Page URL will be broken.
On the upside, you retain all your fans and prior updates. 😉
TO SWITCH YOUR CURRENT FACEBOOK PAGE TYPE TO ‘PUBLIC FIGURE’:
1. Click on ‘…’ to go to Page Info.
2. You’ll see a window pop up. Scroll down and click ‘See All Information‘.
3. Edit to your heart’s content.
Why a Public Figure Page Works Best for Facebook Authorship
Judge for yourself.
OPTION 1: connect Facebook Author Tag with your Facebook profile.
This option allows you to brand your name (very important!) and be Followed without having to deal with accepting friendships.
It looks like this:
OPTION 2: connect Facebook Publisher Tag to your Business Page.
With this option, you get to brand your business and give potential fans an option to sign up for your email list (or whatever Call to Action you choose) or Like your Page, Follow it, or Message you.
On the other hand, this option completely eliminates the human side of your business – YOU.
You can’t even tell that page belongs to Sue-Ann Bubacz… and without a single personal element present, I am a LOT less likely to check it out.
OPTION 3: connect Facebook Publisher Tag to your Public Figure Page.
BOOM! You get the best of both worlds: your name attached to your content (personal branding, branding, BRANDING!), plus all the perks of a Page card: an opt-in button, plus three options to connect with potential fans.
Don’t Forget to Use Facebook Author Tag for Your Guest Posts
Wouldn’t it be great to get at least some social media credit for the guest posts you write for other blogs?
With the Author Tag, you can. Your name goes with your guest post – no matter who shares it.
To get the byline credit, you need to:
- make sure the blog owner has the Author tag enabled sitewide;
- add your Facebook profile or page URL under Contact Info section of Your Profile on that site.
If the blog owner doesn’t have Facebook Author Tag enabled, send them a link to this post.
If you aren’t sure what I mean by ‘Contact Info section of Your Profile‘, read on.
How to Implement Facebook Author Tag on a WordPress Site
The Author Tag is one line of code in the header of your website.
Here’s what it looks like:
- for personal profile
includes “article: author” tag plus a link to your FB profile
<meta property="article:author" content="https://www.facebook.com/YourFBProfile" />
- for fan page
includes “article: publisher” tag plus a link to your FB page
<meta property="article:publisher" content="https://www.facebook.com/YourFBPage" />
I’ll give you three easy ways to add it to your website.
1. WITHOUT A PLUGIN
You can simply add the string of code above (either the Publisher or the Author tag) to your website theme header.
If you add both the Publisher and the Author tags, Facebook will connect your byline to your personal profile.
Traffic Generation Café runs on Genesis. Whatever theme you have, you should be able to find your site header in a similar fashion.
In your WordPress dashboard, take a look at the menu to the left.
Hover over Genesis (or your theme), then click:
- Theme Settings
- Header and Footer Scripts
- paste code above into your Header Scripts
Don’t forget to save!
You are done.
2. ADD THE AUTHOR TAG WITH YOAST SEO PLUGIN
Here’s how to add the Author Tag using Yoast SEO plugin.
First, you need to fill out the Facebook Profile URL field in the Contact Info section of your WordPress profile page.
From WordPress dashboard menu:
- Hover over Users, click on Your Profile
- Add Facebook Profile (or Page) URL
Even though it says ‘Facebook profile URL‘, you can add either your profile or Page URL here. Facebook will attribute your byline correctly either way.
Next, enable Open Graph meta data in Yoast SEO plugin.
From WordPress dashboard menu:
- Hover over SEO, click on Social
- Toggle to enable Open Graph meta data
3. ADD AUTHOR TAG WITH SOCIAL WARFARE PLUGIN
Social Warfare is my favorite social sharing plugin – that’s what powers the social media sharing buttons across Traffic Generation Café.
To add Facebook Author Tag, go to:
- Users => Your Profile => scroll down to Social Warfare Fields
- fill out Facebook Author URL field
To add Facebook Publisher Tag, go to:
- Social Warfare => Social Identity
- fill out Facebook Page URL field
WHAT IF YOUR SITE IS NOT ON WORDPRESS?
If your site is running on anything other than WordPress, Mike Allton has instructions on adding the Author Tag for Drupal, Blogger, Tumblr, Weebly, WiX, Solo Build It!, Joomla, Shopify, and SquareSpace.
How to Test Your Author Tag Setup
Facebook isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes down to fetching new information from sites.
It might take it a day or two to catch up to your Author Tag installation on its own.
Who wants to wait that long, right?
So here’s what you want to do: copy the link to your latest blog post, go to the Debug Tool, paste the link and click on Debug.
Scroll down to see a preview of what your post will look like when shared to Facebook. If it doesn’t look right (wrong image, description, or no byline), click on Debug again or even several times, if needed, until the preview looks as it should.
Enabling Facebook Author Tag is a smart move.
I challenge you to take the next 5 minutes, if that, to get it DONE.
From Ana with