Everything you need to know to make the most of the new Facebook “Like” Button

You may have noticed a new Facebook ‘Like’ button popping up on many sites (e.g. CNN, ABC, Fandango, etc.) across the web, but what does this actually mean for your business? We’ve broken this new feature (the so-called Facebook “Open Graph”) down to it’s essentials so you can understand exactly what it means for your company and how to make the most of it in your marketing strategy.

In case you haven’t come across the new Facebook ‘Like’ buttons, see the example below. Any company can now display these Facebook ‘Like’ buttons on their website; read on to find out what they mean for you and how you can implement them.

Fact # 1: The ‘Like’ button enables you to build your Facebook fans

When someone clicks the ‘Like’ button on a website they essentially become a ‘Fan’ of that website. What this means is that the owner of this website can publish Facebook status updates to these consumers just as they currently do to fans of their Facebook Fan Page. So adding the ‘Like’ button to your website is a great way to convert your existing users into ‘Fans’ and to build an audience that you can regularly communicate with via Facebook status updates.

Fact # 2: The ‘Like’ button spreads the word about your website to friends of your website visitors

When someone clicks the ‘Like’ button a newfeed story is generated on Facebook. So if a visitor to your website clicks the ‘Like’ button and they have 250 Facebook friends, up to 250 people might be exposed to a message about this website visitor liking your company website. This is a very powerful way for you to utilize your website visitors to spread the word about your business to their friends.

Fact # 3: Clicking the ‘Like’ button adds your site to Facebook user profiles

When someone clicks the ‘Like’ button on your website, not only does a newsfeed get generated but a link also gets added to the ‘interests’ section of the person’s Facebook profile. So, for example, if I visit RottenTomatoes.com and click the ‘Like’ button on the Godfather movie page, the Godfather movie will automatically be listed among my favorite movies on Facebook. The interest topics on Facebook include: Interests, Music, Movies, Television, but even if your website doesn’t fit neatly into these categories it’ll still be listed under other ‘Likes’ and interests. This means that anyone visting the profile of a person who ‘liked’ your website can discover your business and click directly through to your website. This is an entirely new way for your business to get discovered.

Fact # 4: Users can ‘Like’ sub-topics on your website
You don’t just have to put one generic ‘Like’ button on your website; instead you can create ‘Like’ buttons for different sections or topics on your website. For example, if you own a travel website you could put a ‘Like’ button on your homepage for people to become ‘Fans’ of your website but you could also put a ‘Like’ button on each of the pages for your specific tours so people could ‘Like’ your Mexican Surfing Tour or your France Biking Tour. This enables you to have several very specific groups of fans that you can push highly targeted status updates to, such as all people who are fans of your surf tours or all people who are fans of your biking tours.

Fact # 5: In addition to the ‘Like’ button you can add a ‘Like’ activity widget

In addition to the ‘Like’ button Facebook makes it easy for you to add a like ‘box’ to your website which displays a live stream of all people who have ‘Liked’ or shared (“recommended”) on your website. For websites that get a lot of engagement, this is a great way to provide a ‘window’ into the activities of your various users. If you’re a smaller website with limited traffic keep in mind that the content in the ‘Like’ box is not likely to change very regularly so it may get a little ‘stale’.

Fact # 6: It’s easy to install the ‘Like’ button & other Facebook widgets on your site
Adding the ‘like’ button and other Facebook widgets is easy – it’s simply a matter of pasting a line of code onto your website. If you’re not able to do this yourself, your webmaster will be able to do it in a matter of minutes. Here’s instructions for how to do this: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like

Fact # 7: You still need to encourage people to ‘Like’ your brand
While the Facebook ‘Like’ button provides a great opportunity for you to get the word out about your business and to grow your ‘fan’ base it’s important to remember that unless you have a website with massive traffic and a super popular brand it won’t be enough for you to simply put a ‘Like’ button on your site. This will certainly help and is something that you should take the time to do, but you’ll still need to be proactive in encouraging people to ‘Like’ your brand. This, of course, is where Wildfire specializes – running contests, giveaways, and other Wildfire campaigns are some of the most powerful ways to grow your audience of ‘Fans/Likers’ and our platform makes it dead easy to run a promotion both on your Facebook Fan Page and on your website simultaneously.

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19 Responses to “Everything you need to know to make the most of the new Facebook “Like” Button”


  1. 1 Hasan Luongo May 18, 2010 at 11:05 am

    v cool, great writeup folks! quick question..or two
    1) We run an ecommerce site and just added the like button to all product pages – when someone likes a product do they also become a “fan” or like the page?

    2) do you know if the likes that happen on your site are tracked in fb insights?

    • 2 Keith May 18, 2010 at 11:17 am

      In my experience, when someone “likes” something, they are liking the link referenced in the widget, so it could be either they like your website or they like your web page. The only way it would convert them to becoming your fans would be if the link embedded in the widget was to your Fan page and not your website.

      • 3 Maya Grinberg May 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm

        Hey Keith,
        Thats a good point. It is important to be mindful of what the “Like” actually points back to, as well as to be proactive in getting the “Like” button in as many spots on your site as you want to highlight, to make sure you maximize exposure and potential for user interaction, if that is your goal.

  2. 4 Lao May 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I have it on our site, but never see the posting come up in the Livefeed. Only posted to the persons profile. So a user with 200 friends … Won’t be seen by 200 people. Only those that directly visit that users profile.

    Also, I think that some of the functionality described in this article is only valid for deep integration via the API, not by installing the widget

    • 5 Maya Grinberg May 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm

      Hi Lao,
      Thanks for your comment! This has a lot to do with newsfeed optimization on Facebook’s side– as you can imagine, there becomes a lot of “noise” in a newsfeed if everybody is liking things left and right, so Facebook has algorithms which determine the content to display in newsfeed and how long it stays there– this is how the “Most Popular” newsfeed gets generated, versus just “Recent”. So in terms of newsfeeds, it may be different when a user likes different objects in a site (like the really nested microsite) versus one of the main content areas, whether it goes to the activity stream or not.

  3. 6 Jed Singer May 18, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Before we start calling all of the above “Facts”, let’s look a little closer. Not everything on the web that you can “like” will appear on your FB profile Interests. For example, liking a location on foursquare will result in it linking to your newsfeed and wall, but nothing will appear on your profile page under Interests. Two posts that may be of interest here are http://socialightmedia.com/2010/05/11/why-facebooks-open-graph-is-an-ocd-nightmare/ and http://socialightmedia.com/2010/05/17/facebook-fans-and-likes/. There has definitely been a lot of talk about the pain points of the new Facebook “likes.”

    • 7 Maya Grinberg May 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      Great points Jed!

      We are most certainly not trying to declare everything as a fact, but explaining the functionality of the new features opened up by Facebook. By suggesting relevant and actionable ways to take advantage of these features for your brands website, we hope to provide helpful guidance to our readers around the pretty important changes that Facebook rolled out. But you’re absolutely right, its important to understand as much as you can, and so thanks for the additional reading! 🙂

  4. 8 Jakki May 19, 2010 at 7:32 am

    I would like to have the opportunity for ‘likes’ to go through to my fan page as opposed to my personal page.

    I don’t believe it can do that….unless you know different?

    • 9 Maya Grinberg May 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Jakki,

      Likes on content from your fan page will go towards your fan page, so make sure to put lots of great content on there!

      Cheers!

  5. 10 Ben Newton May 19, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    In fact #1, you say if someone becomes a fan of your webpage, you can send status updates to those fans. I only see this wirking if they become a fan of your facebook page. How would you send status updates to people who like a page on your site?

  6. 11 R.Anand May 21, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Can it also help as a kind of back links for SEO for google and other SEs. Also if some body likes my website ie. http://www.arounddelhi.com , then how can I send him updates if he is not a fan of may FB fan page http://facebook.com/arounddelhi

    R.Anand

    • 12 Maya Grinberg May 21, 2010 at 9:56 am

      Hey there,

      You will see that if a person likes your website, it will become a connection in their “Likes and Interests” part of their profile. The page will also be generated a community page, which you can visit to interact with and guide your connections to your fan page too. Cheers!

  7. 13 Joe May 21, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Nice post! While the comments add some added details and clarity, the general advice and clarification is probably very useful to most people who are quite confused by the LIKE button. I LIKE this post 🙂

  8. 15 Ben Newton May 23, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Maya – It seems liking a page on website does not create a link in the interests section. I have tried a few and they are not showing up. It seems only fan pages that are liked show up. Is there more to the like button that I am missing? I have put it on a site I built for a customer, and they have likes, but no way to send them messages unless they like their facebook page. Which would make liking a bunch of different pages on a website worth much less than just having everyone like your fan page so you can at least engage them in the future.

    • 16 Maya Grinberg May 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Hey Ben,
      This is an interesting observation. I think its important to point out that, at least at first, the outlined features and capabilities of each new “Like” powered feature may not be available to everyone. Because of the way the underlying technology works, its necessary for some key technical updates be enabled for each site in its source code to make every feature a viable one (there needs to be detailed metadata created which sorts each websites categories, classes, and objects into Facebook friendly categories). Its safe to say that CNN, the website that was used as an example for our post, was technically adapted to have every one of those features work, but that not all the webs websites will be adapted to that level at this point. Maybe soon! Our intent, though, was to outline all the possibilities that exist with the changes, and its great that you read the story and wanted to go test out our suggestions! Seems like we’re doing something right.

      🙂

      Cheers!

  9. 17 Ben Newton May 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Maya, I hope it does become available to everybody. RIght now I have a customer’s ecommerce site set up with a like button on each product’s page. If they can go in later and contact the folks that liked an item with a special offer, that would be awesome.

    But if they don’t get any chance to go back and interact with those people, then I think the like button is a waste of a click for individual pages. They’d be better off with each of those ‘likes’ going to a fan page.

    I hope more info surfaces about the data necessary to make this possible. Thanks.


  1. 1 Making the Most of Facebook’s New “Like” Button « NinaRamos.com Trackback on May 19, 2010 at 12:49 pm
  2. 2 Making the Most of Facebook’s New “Like” Button « Orlando's Marketing Buzz Trackback on May 21, 2010 at 8:02 am

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