Posted to Volacci's blog on October 2nd, 2013

Share User Generated Social Media Content Risk Free by Embedding Posts

The lines between content and social media are becoming increasingly mixed in our evolving digital landscape. As videos, tweets, photos and even simple quotes take on lives of their own on formats as diverse as Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook, it is hard to separate where content ends and social messaging begins.

The blurring of such lines has major implications for ownership rights and attribution. While nobody could ever be blamed for stealing or profiting from someone else’s work by using a retweet or sanctioned share on a social media site itself, the digital world was rocked earlier this year when a US District court found that the Washington Post and other news outlets violated the law by reposting pictures on their website without proper authorization or permission.

John Herman, of BuzzFeed, does a great job of explaining the nuanced differences in this article. The important takeaway for Drupal marketers, however, is that the safest way to share user generated social media content in your own digital marketing materials is to follow the host site’s established procedures for sharing and embedding content. So, if you have a customer sending in pictures of your product at use, or positively mentioning your services, and want to post that picture on your website, the smart decision is to embed that post. This will ensure proper attribution and shield your organization from any potential liability.

The easiest way to embed a social media post, like a Tweet (as done to the right), on a Drupal website is by simply adding the HTML code to the particular content type you’re creating (an article, blog post, web page, etc.). This works especially well if you’re just trying to share one particular post from an individual. There are countless modules and account features to allow marketers to stream social media feeds directly on a site, but that doesn’t solve the problem of the occasional embedding.

How to Embed Social Media Posts on a Drupal Site 

1. Find the Code

Each social media site has an option to embed any publicly shared post. The embed option is often buried under a “more” or drop down option menu, but should be relatively easy to find. Pictured here are the options for Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Facebook Embed SourceTwitter Embed LocationGoogle+ Embed

2. Copy the Code

After you have selected the embed option, simply copy the code to your clipboard.

3. Insert the Code

Next, go to the content you are creating in Drupal, and find the appropriate place to insert the code in your narrative. If you are going to be embedding Tweets or Facebook posts on a regular basis, it might be a better idea to create your own node or block for this option. But, for the casual marketer looking to simply get the project in front of them done, cutting and pasting HTML code is an easy solution.

Paste the code into the content’s body (under full HTML mode),

4. Adjust the Code, if Desired

It is easy to make adjustments for size or orientation of an embedded post. In the example Tweet pictured above, I modified the code to align to the right (align=right) and shortened the width (width=350). Twitter has some great resources for the necessary code language to modify embedding codes, here.

Of course, you can always stick with the default embedding options and still get a professional looking share, such as with the post embedded here from Volacci’s Facebook account.


Embedding social media posts onto your Drupal website is that easy. It might take an extra step or two, but at least you know that any photographs or messages being displayed on your website are in full compliance with the terms, conditions and sharing policies of that particular social network.

Have you ever taken the easy way out and posted someone else’s social media pictures on your website without proper authorization? Give an example of how embedding may have helped you in the comments below!

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