How to use deep links to get a link to open inside the Facebook appAnita Kirkbride
You know those days when you’re surfing the net on your phone or tablet and you click on a link and it takes you to the browser version of Facebook…but you’re not logged in…so you just back out and go off to do something else? This happens to me ALL THE TIME. I hate being logged into the browser version of Facebook and Twitter on my phone because the notifications just don’t stop.
Recently I started to wonder how to get around this problem. Is there a way to make links open inside the Facebook app when someone has it installed, instead of the browser? I’m no technical coding ninja but I knew there had to be a way to do this. And the good news is… YES! There is a way to get a link to open in the Facebook app and improve the traffic flow to your Facebook Pages and groups!
When you need a link to open inside the Facebook app
The weeks before Social Media Day Halifax @ Home I needed to create a chat bot to send out reminders in Facebook Messenger, to people who wanted to be reminded to join us live on Facebook. It’s easy enough to grab the link of a Facebook Page or a scheduled live post, but people clicking on the links were being taken to the browser version of Facebook. This may seem like a minor thing, but the Facebook app view of a live is so much better than the mobile browser view. I wanted people to get to the livestream inside the app so they could participate easily, and I knew, from my own experience, that many people would not be logged into Facebook in the mobile browser, so we would be losing traffic for those who could not remember their passwords.
I knew there were times when I had clicked on links and they opened inside the Facebook app, so I knew there was a way to do this, but I didn’t know where to start, what to Google, or who to ask. I didn’t even know what I was asking for. Luckily, inside the user group for the chat bot I was using, someone understood what I needed, and pointed me to my new favourite social media tool: urlgenius!
So, as an example, if you’re on your phone or tablet reading this (it won’t matter on a laptop), click on these two links to see the difference:
- Regular link to Social Media For Twirps Facebook Group
- Deep link to Social Media for Twirps Facebook Group
What is a deep link?
Deep linking simply means a link will take you to a specific page within an app. It’s like providing the url to this blog article, not the Twirp home page…but for an app. There are a variety of tools out there to help you create these deep links, but urlgenius was the first one I tried, and it worked, so this is the one I’m recommending to you today.
When to use deep links?
Here are a few situations when you might want to sub out a regular link for a deep link in your social media:
- Inside a Facebook Messenger chat bot. People are already inside the Facebook app ecosystem. They’re most likely reading the message on a mobile device. It will be easier and more efficient for them to use a link that opens inside the app they’re already logged into.
- On your website or blog when pointing your readers to a specific Facebook Page, Group or Post. Don’t forget, if they’re on a laptop, they’ll be able to use the same link…this makes it easier for your mobile readers.
- In your text messaging campaigns.
- In Facebook ads leading to your own Facebook Page.
- In email campaigns directing readers to a specific Facebook Page, Group or Post.
- When directing people to a specific Twitter account or post, LinkedIn profile, or Instagram post.
- Basically, anytime and anywhere you want to use a link that opens up in an app!
How excited are you to learn about this solution? Where will you be using deep links in your social media marketing? Let me know in the comments.