Blog courtesy of Bridge Global Strategies

Facebook has added yet another new tool to its bag of tricks that may have some profound implications on the marketing and PR worlds. Last week Facebook launched a new feature that allows public posts to be embedded on third-party sites, similar to the embed features on Twitter and Instagram.

Industry experts have already began gushing about how businesses can leverage embedded Facebook posts to better engage media and consumers. In an interview with the E-Commerce Times, Matt Rednor, chief innovation officer at MRY, suggested that reporters will start looking to Facebook to find embeddable posts that they can include in their online news articles. Stephen Hull, executive editor of Huffington Post UK, told that the Huffington Post will regularly embed Facebook posts, just as it embeds Instagram pictures and tweets on a regular basis. Meanwhile, CNN has already moved ahead of the curve—on the heels of the launch of Facebook’s embed post feature last week, the media outlet conducted a poll on its Facebook page to gauge audience reaction to the Bradley Manning trial, and embedded the poll results in an Op-Ed piece published on CNN’s website.

If this pioneering example is any indication, it’s conceivable that digital journalists and bloggers will be turning to Facebook frequently for media content, providing a major opportunity for businesses that are willing to create that content. But the big question is what kind of content will be most sought after. The example of the CNN poll referenced above provides one potential clue. Many businesses already sponsor market survey research or in-depth whitepapers to inform their stakeholders about trends that are relevant to their industry—what better way to entice a journalist who covers that industry than to sprinkle some pithy excerpts from that research on Facebook. Similarly, infographics designed with splashy, but informative elements could prove to be very popular fodder for the media. Another possibility to consider is posting compelling quotes from management team members about a major development or trend that is currently being reported in the media; this type of post could also work well as a public affairs strategy, where an organization takes an important position on a social or political

Aside from the media exposure opportunities, there are other ways businesses can leverage embedded Facebook posts. For example, customer testimonials posted on Facebook could be embedded on a company’s website. There may have to be an incentive to entice customers to post a public endorsement on Facebook, such as a prize offering, but having a real customer provide a credible assessment of your products or services is always better than just tooting your own horn. Businesses can also turn to embeddable Facebook posts to source content for their own blogs, adding to their appeal and potentially increasing their search engine optimization.

Practically speaking, it may take some time before embedded Facebook posts really catch on. For now, Facebook is only allowing five websites to embed posts—the Bleacher Report, CNN, Huffington Post, Mashable and People. But when this functionality is opened to the entire World Wide Web, the result could be a content gold rush. The businesses that have already built out a strong presence on social media and have a creative approach to social media relations stand to benefit the most; while the learning curve will become even longer for those businesses that are not proactively engaging on these channels.

So how do you envision leveraging embedded Facebook posts in your social strategy?

If you’re in healthcare, insurance, technology or other professional services industries, and need help with a PR, marketing or social media campaign, contact Scott Public Relations.

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