James McNamee

Driving Social Engagement (Part 1) – Facebook’s “like” and”share” buttons and how they can work for your social media marketing

When talking with organizations about social media, it's clear that there are different levels of comfort and awareness across various industries. Some companies are effectively using social media to their advantage, some are looking to correct an approach that is not working,and others don't know where to begin or are simply afraid of it. In the past, we offered 5 Steps To An Integrated Marketing Strategy, and with social media being part of the marketing mix, there are some simple things you can do to promote sharing and create awareness. Our Driving Social Engagement series aims to offer simple, bite size guidance regarding social media buttons and links offered by the biggest social networks that can be used on your website. Today, we will focus on Facebook.

First, let's quickly identify the differences between a sharing button/link and a follow button, and then view some Facebook facts.

Follow Button: This button should be used to promote your social media profiles to help generate fans or followers for the particular accounts you're using. The goal is to acquire subscribers to your social profiles for future messaging through those channels.

Share Buttons/Links: These buttons and links enable your website visitors to easily share content from your web pages with their network. The goal is to allow users to share specific website content without officially subscribing to your social profile.

Tale of the Tape: Facebook

  • Active Users: 845 Million
  • Average Connections (friend count) Per User: 130
  • Average Visits Per Month: 40
  • Average Daily Visits From Mobile Devices: 200 Million
  • Female: 57%
  • Male: 43%
  • Age: 45+ (46%), 35-44 (22%), 25-34 (18%)
  • Interesting Fact: The average media site integrated with Facebook in 2011 received a 300% increase in referral traffic

Social Media Plugins For Facebook

Facebook Like Button
Facebook's Like button is a button that enables visitors to give a virtual thumbs up to your content. By clicking the Like button, a story appears on the user's Facebook profile and in their friends' News Feed with a link back to your web page. This button makes it very easy for visitors to endorse your content and share it with their Facebook friends.

Facebook Share Link
Although Facebook no longer supports its official Facebook Share button, and has officially replaced it with the Like button described above, you can still implement a Facebook share link on your content if you wish to do so. One reason to set up a share link is that the Like button does not enable users to add a comment or message to the content they're endorsing. If you create your own Facebook share link, you can provide your visitors with the option to customize their messaging around the content they're sharing.

To create your own Facebook share link, replace the bolded URL with the URL of the content you want to promote. Then link the full URL to the anchor text you want to appear in your content. http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u= http://bit.ly/GXj7i0

Facebook Like Box
The Facebook Like Box allows your business to promote its Facebook business page on your website, highlight other users who have already liked your page, and feature recent posts on your page. The box also allows visitors to become a fan of(AKA 'like') your Facebook business page without leaving your website. You can also use the familiar Facebook icon or other styled buttons to drive visitors to you Facebook page, although this opens a new window and forces users to leave your website.

To investigate all of Facebook's official social media plugins and how to implement them on your website, visit: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/

Whether you're looking to promote your company blog, provide the ability for users to share your website content with their networks with the click of a button, or would like to promote your social media accounts to acquire more fans or followers, there's a solution for you. Social Media buttons and links are one of the many ways to leverage social for your business, and Facebook offers some easy ways to integrate the largest social network with your website.

Identify your audience. Create visibility. Engage. Extend your reach.


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