It’s 2014 and social media has officially become our new proverbial watering hole. Almost every customer you have, could have, or should have is hanging out there and discussing everything from politics to religion, health, products, gossip, and more.

To have a thriving business, it’s absolutely imperative that you follow your customers… go where they are. Don’t skimp out on something that could potentially make you a lot of money, right? Or put like you probably already here a lot… “you are leaving money on the table when ignoring the social channels.”

The Oft Forgotten Feature of Yoast’s SEO Plugin, the Unique Facebook Description

Watch in the video below where I test the customization of the unique Facebook description:

That’s why today, we’re talking about a feature of the WordPress Yoast SEO plugin that often gets forgotten:

Unique Facebook Description

I have to admit, until recently, I’ve been leaving this little area blank – but I eventually realized I’m really missing out on an opportunity here to customize my message for my social media.

Everything online is getting quicker, more to the point. People’s attention spans are getting shorter. When you’re trying to get content out to people, you have maybe a few seconds if you’re lucky to grab their attention, stop the incessant scrolling, and read your content.

With the default options of the Yoast SEO plugin, when someone scrolled past your post on Facebook (or an automatically generated excerpt of your post) they were just seeing the meta description (if it existed) or the first lines of your article.

Why is it bad for people to see the meta description or auto-generated excerpt?

The problem here isn’t that this option is necessarily bad; rather, the problem is that you’re missing an opportunity to step outside of the norm and really grab some attention. So instead of just seeing the first paragraph or what have you, you can completely customize what your viewers see when they come across one of your posts on Facebook; which means you can even provide a call to action.

What Should my Unique Facebook Description Say?

One thing you want to read up on to make sure you have a good grasp of how to catch people’s attention is headlines. Learning and practicing using awesome headlines is a great skill for a marketer to have; some might even say you cannot survive without it.

But beyond that you need a great attention grabbing description. Consider it your second chance to grab attention after the headline.

Your attention getting snippet should talk specifically to your reader, should speak to them in a way that makes them want to stop and read further, but it also should accurately represent your content. Try teaser text and/or a call to action. Remember you are talking to Facebook folks when writing it.

How do I enable these unique descriptions?

You should have noticed by now if you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin that it adds a little content section in the bottom of your “edit post” page where you set values like your headline and targeted keyword. What you may not have noticed is the tabs on that plugin.

The very last tab on that plugin, is “social” and this is where you’re going to create a custom Facebook description so that any time you or any of your readers share your posts to FB – other potential readers won’t see anything random. Instead, they’ll see a description that you control and you manage. This is great because it ultimately gives you all of the power you need to market your business effectively.