When it comes to Facebook, if you’re uncertain where and when to place a “Like” button on your site and when to use “Share,” you’re not alone. Social sharing technologies have evolved significantly in the past several months, but it’s not as complicated as it may seem. Used in concert, “Like” and “Share” are some of the best tools around for driving referral traffic from social networks, opening new communication channels with customers and prospects, and building relationships with your best advocates.
Here are three best practices for applying them together.
1. Design for Both “Like” and “Share”
Rather than choose one or the other, sites that combine “Like” and “Share” into the user experience see the greatest level of success in terms of driving referral traffic, building relationships and learning more about their customers and visitors. Why? Not only do “Like” and “Share” have different strengths and different applications, they actually drive the most value when used in concert. Let’s drill into the specifics to illustrate.
The “Like” button has many benefits:
- When clicked, an item is published to the person’s Facebook feed, driving referral traffic to the website. If the user is already logged into Facebook, this is a one-click process.
- “Liking” adds data to the user’s profile on Facebook.
- “Liking” is an easy way for users to make a connection with the things they have an affinity for — just a single-click user experience.
- “Liking” opens a new communication channel for publishers that can subsequently share news to the feeds of Facebook users who have “Liked” that item on their site.
Facebook recently released data on the value of a “Liker” which provides compelling reasons for engaging them:
“People who click the Facebook Like button are more engaged, active and connected than the average Facebook user. The average ‘liker’ has 2.4x the amount of friends than that of a typical Facebook user. They are also more interested in exploring content they discover on Facebook — they click on 5.3x more links to external sites than the typical Facebook user.”
So where does the next generation of “Share” functionality fit into this picture? Enabling “Share,” in addition to “Like,” enhances both the overall user experience as well as the power of the “Like” button for the site:
- Sharing provides a way for people to express themselves and share with friends when “Like” (or “recommend,” which is another form of the “Like” button) is not the appropriate sentiment. People typically “Like” things or social objects, but share activity. For example, if someone makes a comment on an article or reviews a product, they are more likely to want to share their point of view with friends rather than “Like” it.
- When a Facebook user clicks the “Like” button, the website hosting the button does not get access to information about that user or about the “Like.” Integrating sharing into the site — via Facebook’s Open Graph API — effectively closes the data loop by asking a person to connect with a website the first time he or she chooses to share something. Once a user connects, his or her “Like” data is available to the site owner, enabling a more personalized user experience outside of Facebook.”
This article is an excerpt from MASHABLE. Click the name for the full article.