Embeddable Facebook Posts: Bad for Introverts, Good for Brands
By Gabby Cox
Just today, Facebook announced a new functionality for users: the ability to embed public posts on sites outside of the social network. This is in the same spirit of its hashtag rollout, as Facebook has made moves to make the network a place for open discussions, and a new way to monitor and track current events and hot topics.
The embeddable post features are being rolled out to five publications first: Bleacher Report, CNN, Huffington Post, Mashable and People. Judging by the comments made on coverage of this announcement, people are not too keen on Facebook making itself more public, and I can understand why. With roots as a closed network for Harvard students (and subsequently just for students), Facebook users originally felt comfortable sharing personal information somewhere they felt was closed and private. Of course, anything you put online is never really private, but users don’t want to worry about their posts being published on a news site or having to adjusting their privacy settings to prevent it.
With 72% of Facebook users keeping their status updates and posts strictly private, I have to wonder how accurate it will be as a true social barometer. So while the issue of personal privacy on Facebook is a whole other discussion, the PR expert in me wonders how embeddable posts will benefit brands trying to reach broader audiences. I see obvious pros to brands in the following ways:
- Exposure to new audiences, reaching people who may not already follow your brand on Facebook
- Allows people to track conversations and likes of a particular post in real-time. This is a key differentiator from Twitter’s embeddable tweets.
- Much easier and more interactive than taking screenshots of Facebook pages. This is definitely a benefit for the media when covering social news.
- Extra collateral to repurpose for marketing initiatives – embed these posts in emails, websites, blog posts
At the end of the day, users may not like their own posts out on display, but it will be interesting to see how brands utilize embeddable posts as they roll out to everyone.
And if anyone is questioning the true effect of brands on social networks, check out the below infographic about building brand loyalty online. With 80% of users saying that Facebook is the one network they use the most to connect with businesses, and 25% of users confirming that Facebook is the main social network that influences their buying decisions the most, we’re definitely interacting with companies on social networks, and the benefits to brands (and the PR / marketing folks who run their social profiles) are undeniable.