Everyone loves Facebook, and with good reason. The social network has rolled personal networking, content sharing, and business marketing all into one platform. Facebook fan pages have become a critical component for businesses and organizations to engage and communicate with their communities easily.
Sharing pictures is absurdly easy on Facebook–but what if a company wants to share a document, PDF, or some other kind of file, on its Facebook page, it becomes more difficult. Embedding PDF documents in Facebook is not straightforward as there is no native application in Facebook that allows us to do it. However, such a capability is crucial for fan page administrators to disseminate information.
If it has been determined that sharing documents via Facebook is the most appropriate method of distribution, there are several options.
Pro Tip: Consider the increase in user preference to view Facebook and other social platforms on mobile devices. With a smaller screen, the content you’re sharing will need to be very engaging or users will pass it up.
Here are our favorite options to embed a document or PDF on a Facebook fan page.
Convert to a .jpeg
The simplest way, by far, is to convert the document file to a .jpg file which is a format that Facebook accepts. Once the file is in this format, it’s as simple as uploading a picture to your fan page. This works well with one, maybe two pages, after that your fans simply won’t want to look at it.
Another consideration using this method is the upload size limitation that Facebook imposes on images. While 2048x 2048 is a significant size for a great camera photo, text is much more limiting and the pixels are much less legible when considering the size of most mobile devices.
Another simple method to share documents is Google Docs. If you have a Facebook fan page, you may wish to share a company or organization document that you created in Google Docs with your fans. Once a Google Doc is published, it is available to the public. Your fans don’t need a Google account to view the document; they simply click the Google Docs link and are able to see the document as a public Web page.
Although Google Drive does not have a traditional document library, it offers the unique option to share documents with specific people, offering an audience specific and flexible approach to content dissemination. And while there is no evidence yet, it could be interesting to see the future implications of Google Docs on search.
Scribd is a very user-friendly and extremely social document conversion technology. Their platform quickly converts books or document from virtually any format into a beautiful webpage or mobile reading experience.
As a social sharing platform, Scribd has focused its efforts on simplifying the process of sharing documents and provides enough options to make it an invaluable tool for anyone. Scribd offers users the the option of viewing their important documents directly on their site or the ability to download, if necessary.
The embedding code for Scribd provides users with a superior presentation of content. Online publishers like TechCrunch and Mashable use Scribd to embed documents on their own sites.
Scribd is also the best choice for bulk uploading and hosting of documents. If your company has hundreds of documents that need to be shared, Scribd is a superior solution. In fact, Scribd is the official document share site for the U.S. Federal Goverment including the White House, Congress and FCC.
SlideShare is another platform known for hosting high-quality, business focused presentations and documents. Similar to Scribd, Slideshare seems to focus on sharing business information including presentations and reports (B2B), while Scribd seems to be more for the common (B2C) user.
The Slideshare layout is more professional which makes for improved ease of use compared to its primary competition, Scribd. Often labeled “YouTube for document sharing,” Slideshare was acquired by LinkedIn, yielding great amounts of traffic from its target audience – business professionals.
In terms of search, Slideshare has yielded better results in Google searches. From a traffic perspective, however, Scribd still appeals to a larger audience, although that may not necessarily include the audience of your choice.
The final option for sharing documents on Facebook is static HTML. While considered the most technical in terms of implementation it is also the most visually appealing. The numerous steps involved include creating an additional tab to your company Facebook page. There are many online tutorials that offer step-by-step instructions all of which are very simplified even for the common administrator. WooBox offers a great Static HTML iFrame App on their site, the details and options of which can be seen in the picture above – as you can see, this option gives you exceptional control over content presentation.
Storing documents via static HTML increases audience engagement on your Facebook page since it does not involve redirecting them to other platforms. Embedding documents on Facebook also enables users to easily access them at all times, since the document will not get lost in a company’s Facebook feed.
The Static HTML option is also preferred if your audience prefers mobile devices. Since the document is stored as a tab on Facebook it is automatically reconfigured to fit the device.
Summing it Up
There are many options for embedding or sharing documents onto a company Facebook page. Keep in mind that document sharing is but one tactical solution to web traffic and lead generation. A strategic approach encompasses a greater tool set and is often more effective.
If you found an alternative solution to the issue yourself, let us know. We’d love to add it to the list.