Social Media Tools

Open Graph

When you share a page on Facebook you'll notice that it creates a box with the page title, a short description, an image, and possibly some other content from the page. Facebook does its best to guess what content from your page it should goes in those places, and it is often good at guessing, but sometimes not. That's fine when you've created the page and know exactly what you want to have displayed from it in Facebook, but other people will (hopefully) share you content as well, so you want to remove as much guesswork as possible.

The Open Graph protocol and Facebook Open Graph Stories help you solve this problem by letting you supply tags in the background that contain metadata about your content. You'll see various plugins and settings pages described here to add these Meta Tags to your content.

Once you've added the tags, you can use the Facebook debugger to ensure that they're configured in a way that makes sense for Facebook.


Drupal is the platform that runs the main Middlebury and MIIS institutional web presences, along with several other sites for affiliated programs. The features described below are available on any of these sites.

Meta Tags

You can add Open Graph and other meta tags to your pages using the Meta tags tab on any page settings or node settings form.

Facebook Elements

There is a Drupal content type, like News or Profile, that you can create in Drupal to put a Facebook Like Button, Like Box, or Comments element on your pages.

See the full Facebook Element documentation.


Storify is a service that allows you to build a story using clips from many social networks. Search for a term like "Middlebury Reunion" and find the Facebook posts, Tweets, YouTube videos, Instagrams, etc. about that event and then drag-and-drop them into a list that can be displayed on your site.

To use this add the following shortcode to your content:



WordPress is our blogging platform and site creation tool. Anyone with a Middlebury account can create a WordPress site on either sites.middlebury.edu and sites.miis.edu, which both have all of the features described below.


WordPress makes sharing content from social platforms easy. For a wide variety of services, you can include content by simply pasting a link to a post, image, or video from that service directly into your WordPress post.

When you use this method of embedding content, make sure that the URL protocol is "http", rather than "https" or your content may not be displayed.

Here is a partial list of the supported services:

  1. Flickr
  2. Imgur
  3. Instagram
  4. Issuu
  5. SoundCloud
  6. Twitter
  7. Vimeo
  8. Vine
  9. YouTube

A full list of services is also available.


WordPress plugins can be activated to add features to your site.


The Jetpack plugin is developed by Automattic, the company that hosts WordPress.com, giving us confidence that it will continue to be maintained and improved, which is why we recommend using this whenever it offers a feature your need, rather than a separate plugin.

Some, but not all, of the features of Jetpack require you to connect your site to WordPress.com. You can create your own WordPress.com account and activate it using that, but you won't be able to easily transfer that to someone else. We can activate your site using an account tied to webmaster@middlebury.edu, just send us a ticket that includes a link to your site and a note that you'd like Jetpack activated. Activating with this central account gets around the problem of an organization, office, or department site being tied to someone who later leaves Middlebury.

Jetpack has several features that integrate with Social Media platforms:

  • Sharing: Add buttons to your posts, pages, or site that allow people to share your content on various social media services.
  • Publicize: Automatically reposts new content on your site to various social media services. Requires you to authenticate with an account on each service.
  • Likes: Allows WordPress.com users to "like" your posts.
  • Comments: Replaces your default comment form with one that allows people to post using their WordPress.com, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account.

Disqus Comment System

Disqus is a commenting service that integrates with various social media platforms, allowing their users to sign in via (for example) Facebook to comment on your site. New comments on your site will be managed by Disqus after enabling this plugin. As with the Jetpack plugin, we maintain a central account for activating and registering Disqus and you may contact the Helpdesk to request it activated on your site, or set up the service yourself.

See also: the Disqus WordPress plugin site.


This is Facebook's official WordPress plugin and provides a wide array of integrations with their platform. The most useful for your sites will be the integration with the Facebook Insights analytics platform and shortcodes for adding Facebook buttons or embedded posts:

  • [facebook_like_button]
  • [facebook_send_button]
  • [facebook_follow_button href="{$facebook_profile_url}"]
  • [facebook_embedded_post href="{$facebook_post_url}"]

See also: the Facebook WordPress plugin site.

Flickr Widget

Flickr is Yahoo!'s platform for storing and sharing photos. The Flickr Widget plugin adds a widget that you can put in your site's sidebars to display your latest photos from Flickr.

See also: the Flickr Widget WordPress plugin site.


ShareThis is a service that provides social media sharing buttons for dozens of services. If you need a Yammer or MySpace share button, we don't have a specific plugin to support that, but ShareThis will have it available. The service also provides analytics on the number of shares. As with Jetpack, we maintain a central account in ShareThis that we can use to activate your site, or you can set up your own.

See also: the ShareThis WordPress plugin site.

Simple Instagram

Instagram is a photo sharing platform that provides filters you can use to alter images taken on your mobile device. The Simple Instagram plugin provides shortcodes and widgets to display content from your Instagram account in your WordPress site. To use the plugin, follow the activation guide beginning with the Registering and Activating the Instagram App step, as we've already installed the plugin for you.

See also: the Simple Instagram WordPress plugin site.

Social Graph Protocol

As mentioned above in the Open Graph section, you can add behind-the-scenes tags to your posts and pages to make sharing them on social media platforms simpler. The Jetpack plugin will add many of these tags automatically, but this plugin lets you control the full set of available tags, set custom values, and add more advanced ones like video URLs.

See also: the Social Graph Protocol WordPress plugin site.

Social Media Badge Widget

While we support several direct integrations, if you have a lot of social networks connected to your site, the Social Media Badge Widget provides an easy way to display all of them in your site sidebar. Activate the plugin and connect your networks to have drop-down displays of the most recent activity from your accounts displayed in the widget. Supports Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Flickr.

See also: the Social Media Badge Widget WordPress plugin site.


Storify is a service that allows you to build a story using clips from many social networks. Search for a term like "Middlebury Reunion" and find the Facebook posts, Tweets, YouTube videos, Instagrams, etc. about that event and then drag-and-drop them into a list that can be displayed on your site. This plugin provides a shortcode for embedding the Storify content.

See also: the Storify WordPress plugin site.

Tweetable Text

This plugin allows you to wrap a section of text on your site, which then creates a link that, when someone clicks on that text, a window will open allowing them to tweet it with a link back to your site. A small Twitter icon is displayed after the text to indicate that this might happen.

See also: this article about using Tweetable Text.

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