I’ve been working with a sponsor on an advertising campaign and have posted some sponsored content on my Facebook business page. Now they want the URL to check what I did and I can’t figure out how to get it! What’s the trick?
While the big social media sites like Facebook would undoubtedly like to have you never leave or do any sharing on other sites, the reality is that we’re all swimming in the entire Internet ocean, not just their little lagoon. Most of the time, grabbing a shareable URL (for example, something you can paste into an email message or text message) from a social network post is easy. But sponsored content changes the game by replacing key information with new material that helps readers identify that it is sponsored or done in cooperation with a commercial enterprise. That’s good for everyone else – disclosure is good! – but not so good for those of us trying to share those links.
I recently hit the same challenge on a campaign I’ve been working on with Husqvarna for their glorious Automower. Imagine a robot that mows your lawn so that you don’t have to cajole the kids or do it yourself. But I digress… 🙂
Let’s start by looking at a regular Facebook post on my GoFatherhood business page:
See the date and time stamp I’ve highlighted with the red box? That’s actually the URL link for this particular post. Right click (or Control-click if you’re on a Mac) and you can copy its address:
Yikes. Don’t panic, however; most of that information is related to your current session with Facebook. Hunt for the “?” in that big URL. Found it? Now delete everything after the question mark (and the question mark itself) and you’ve got a short, shareable URL:
Not too bad, and a nice, short URL. But how do you identify that for a sponsored post?
Here’s the problem in a picture:
If you look closely, you’ll see that the date and time information has been replaced by “Paid Partnership”. Again, good for Facebook users to identify paid vs. non-paid content, but frustrating for those of us who just want the darn URL.
The solution is buried under the “•••” button on the top right of this post (as highlighted). Click on it and a menu appears:
What you want isn’t shown, so you have to choose “See more options“, which then reveals the full menu with hundreds of additional options. Okay, I exaggerate. Three more options:
Choose “Embed” from this list of choices and it will offer up a big, complex box of HTML code you can use to embed the post on your blog or other HTML content:
With some enthusiasm you can dig through that HTML and extract the URL you seek, but don’t bother. Instead simply click on the “Advanced Settings” link.
This takes you to a Facebook Developer page, weirdly, but it does have the information you want:
That’s a lot of options and choices, but look more closely at the box right in the middle of the page:
That’s it! That’s the shareable URL. Quite a journey to get there, isn’t it?
You can test it by clicking: https://www.facebook.com/gofatherhood/posts/3004899746267676
Now ya know. Once you do this a couple of times, it’s pretty quick and easy to drill right down to the URL itself.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Facebook for years. Please check out my extensive Facebook help archive for lots more useful tips and tutorials. Thanks!