The New ‘Face’ of Facebook

by | Mar 05, 2014
Massachusetts REALTORS® are jazzed about a new feature from Facebook, which allows any REALTOR® to scoop up flattering content about its business from public posts on Facebook, and then repost it virtually anywhere on the web – including websites, blogs, and other social networks.

Embedded Posts Enhance Your Website, Attract Business. 

Massachusetts REALTORS® are jazzed about a new feature from Facebook, which allows any REALTOR® to scoop up flattering content about its business from public posts on Facebook, and then repost it virtually anywhere on the web – including websites, blogs, and other social networks. 
 
Angela Harkins, owner of Angela Harkins & Associates, based in Westford, says she definitely plans to use the feature to “ incorporate testimonials and other positive references from Facebook to our website.” Dubbed ‘embedded posts’ by Facebook, the new capability is being eyed by REALTORS® as an easy way to quickly collect a number of glowing testimonials about their companies, and then repost that content in as many other web environments and social networks as possible.

What are Embedded Posts

Embedded posts “make it possible for people to bring the most compelling, timely public posts from Facebook to the rest of the web,” says Dave Capra, a software engineer at Facebook.

The new feature enables REALTORS® to scoop up and repost positive reports about themselves, real estate trends, and market conditions that appear on the Facebook pages of major news organizations like CNN and The New York Times – as well as in online versions of local magazines and newspapers.

Each embedded post a REALTOR® uses retains the look-and-feel of Facebook, which many marketers believe will ensure added credibility to any testimonial, because the embed will most likely be seen as a spontaneous endorsement from the original poster –rather than a coaxed shill.

Plus, embedded posts also include any images and video that were featured in the original post – a boon to REALTORS® who are looking to spice up their websites with free multimedia.

Use it on Your Blog

All of that newly available public content on Facebook via embedded posts is also expected to show up on REALTORS® blogs – one place Marilyn Messenger, a residential specialist with Real Estate West of Boston, plans to use it. “I certainly would use it if something comes up that I want to share on my website, blog, etc.,” she says.

Instead of searching for a stock photo or video to support an agent’s blog topic, for example, a REALTOR® can instead make a quick stop at Facebook, scoop up an appropriate image or video, and then embed that content on the realty’s blog with just a few mouse-clicks.

The new capability will also make it easier for REALTORS® to update their websites every day without paying stiff fees to web designers. Essentially, a REALTOR® can initially post new marketing content –or any other content – to the Realty’s Facebook page, then scoop it as an embedded post for use on their website, blog and anywhere else on the web they have a presence.

REALTOR® bloggers will also be able to scoop up any public content that their business posts about itself on its Facebook page, including especially riveting text, images, or videos that the business creates as part of a publicity campaign for a new product or service.

Promote Your E-Newsletter

Embedded posts can also be used to promote the e-newsletter you run off your Facebook page. Essentially, instead of only promoting your Facebook based e-newsletter on Facebook, you can scoop up content that allows people to subscribe to your e-newsletter, and embed that into your website and blog.

Plus, you can use Facebook posts to create your own curated e-newsletter. Using this tactic, you can follow interesting Facebook pages on a daily basis, and cherrypick the best content from each page to create your own daily, weekly, or monthly e-newsletter that can be posted on your Facebook page, website, and blog.

Embedded posts also come in handy if you want to expand the reach of a poll you’re doing on your Facebook page. Instead of describing the poll on your website or blog and asking readers to click back to Facebook to participate, you can simply scoop up your poll and embed it directly into your website or blog for instant access to anyone who stops by.

Given the widespread proliferation of small-screen smartphones and similar mobile devices, Facebook has also taken great pains to ensure that the embedded posts you use across the web will auto-render nicely on those tiny devices.

For larger screens like desktops and laptops, embedded posts can be customized-to-fit anywhere from 330 pixels to 750 pixels. Also, if your company’s website happens to be a Wordpress site, Facebook has released a plugin you can use to ensure embedded posts render effortlessly on your Wordpress site. Check-out Wordpress: http://wordpress.org/plugins/facebook/ for more info.

How to Scoop a Post

Lesley Lambert, a REALTOR® at Park Square Realty in Westfield, says she has only begun to experiment with embedded posts. In general, she says she prefers to use all aspects of Facebook subtly – rather than as a 10,000-watt megaphone.

“On my personal profile I try to keep the real estate talk to a minimum, because I don’t want to spam my friends and family with a bunch of real estate posts,” Lambert says. “I like to be subtle with the mentions of my real estate career. A post that got a lot of traction was a status that read: ‘Little known fact, winterized homes are colder inside than it is outside. I just spent all day touring foreclosures and my feet are frozen!’ In this example, I am talking about real estate, but as a part of my day not in the sense of ‘I am top producer’ or ‘check out this home for sale.’”

In practice, scooping up an embedded post is as easy as looking for a Facebook post that features a globe icon in the top right corner – indicating that the post is public – and then clicking it. With the click, a line of code appears, whichyou then cut-and-paste to a website, blog or similar location.

While the technique is familiar to anyone who has designed the most basic of websites, novices can still get in on the act, engaging their web designer to place the code for embedded posts on their website, blog or elsewhere on the web.

Besides visiting your usual Facebook haunts to find Facebook material to scoop up for your Facebook page, website, or blog, you can also follow the Facebook pages of celebrities, authorities, and others who you think may come up with interesting material to scoop up.

Plus, you can use Facebook hashtags – another new feature of the social network – to ferret out Facebook posts on highly specific topics. For example, you can log onto Facebook and type #Massachusetts-HomeSaleTrends to retrieve any potential posts on that topic, or #MovingTipsMasschusetts for potential info on that aspect of real estate.

You can also subscribe to any number of pre-configured Interest Lists’ (https://www.facebook.com/addlist) on Facebook that round up news and posts on highly specific subjects. Or, you can create your own, personalized, highly specific interest lists for content that’s of interest to you. For more info on creating your own lists, check out ‘Interest Lists’ help: https://www.facebook.com/help/440058336033758/.

Of course, as soon as you start embedding snippets of Facebook on your properties, you’ll have to expect that a good deal of Facebook is going to come with it.

Content = Caution

Every embedded post you place on your website, for example, also offers access to all the other comments, likes, and shares that are associated with that post. You can access all this information by clicking a ‘See More’ link that’s included in every embedded post you place on your website.

So before embedding a friendly testimonial about you from Facebook, you’ll want to double-check to ensure there are no negative comments about your business that are associated with that post.

Also be aware that you’ll be offering your audience the ability to post Facebook likes and comments from your website, and share the content of your embedded post with others on Facebook. People will be able to ‘Follow’ the person who’s post you embedded on your website, and receive new posts from that original creator in their Facebook newstream.

One concern: while Facebook embeds are currently ad-free, many worry that Facebook may soon run advertising wherever it’s embedded posts appear. That would mean Facebook could run advertising on your website if you embed a post from Facebook there.

“It’s not out of the question to imagine that a video embedded in a post on your webpage could also show Facebook’s 15-second ads,” says Christopher S. Penn, vice president, marketing strategy, Shift Communications, a press relations agency. “The 15-second ad format is obviously targeted for running on Instagram properties (Instagram is owned by Facebook), but it could just as easily run on Facebook’s properties as well.”

With the move to offer embedded content, Facebook joins a number of other social networks that also make it very easy to share and embed their content across the web. Those include Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Quora.