Facebook’s new ‘Like’ buttons explained, in plain English. By now you’ve probably heard that Facebook has done away with the idea of ‘Becoming a Fan’ of a Facebook Fan Page, and has instead replaced that function with a ‘Like’ button. So now, you can ‘Like’ a friend’s photo or status update, and you can also ‘Like’ the Fan Page of your favorite businesses or products, such as Boston Logic or Dunkin Donuts. When you ‘Like’ a Fan Page, it’s the same as ‘Becoming a Fan’ used to be in that you will now receive messages from these Fan Pages in your News Feeds (unless you ‘Hide’ them). Most people have no trouble understanding this change; it’s more of a name change than anything else, right? Right.
But what about the OTHER ‘Like’ buttons? The new ‘Like’ buttons you’ve been noticing on several websites all over the internet, on sites like BostonLogic.com, Yelp.com, NHL.com, Levis.com, etc. These new website ‘Like’ buttons were announced at the F8 conference this past April and are part of an expansion of Facebook to help you personalize your entire online experience. These new ‘Like’ buttons can be added to any website, even specific and multiple pages of your website.
So now, not only can you choose to ‘Like’ the Boston Logic Facebook Fan Page while on Facebook, but you can also choose to ‘Like’ our website, or our blog, or a specific blog post (like just this particular blog about ‘Like’ buttons), or even our listing on Yelp.com when you’re browsing the internet. Basically, anytime you find one of these new ‘Like’ buttons somewhere on the web, you can click it to show that you ‘Like’ whatever content is on that web page, much like when you share something on Digg or Yahoo Buzz, etc. But that’s not all!
If you’re already logged into Facebook (I know that I, for one, keep a browser page with Facebook up for most of my work day) clicking the ‘Like’ button will post a notice on your Personal Profile Wall (aka Mini-Feed) stating that you’ve ‘Liked’ whatever it is you’ve clicked on and provide a link to that website. If you’re not logged in, a popup window will appear and prompt you to log into your account, and then a notice with a text link to what you’ve ‘Liked’ posts to your Profile Wall. If you change your mind, you can click the ‘Like’ button again, and it disappears from your Profile Wall automatically. You could also go manually delete it from your Wall, but that would not undo your click on the website, so your click would still count on the tally for that button; this difference is actually significant, here’s why:
That ‘Like’ button on the web doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with a Fan Page on Facebook, which is a good thing, because otherwise there’s be a Fan Page for every style of jeans Levis offers! Instead, the webmaster (or owner) that installed the ‘Like’ button on the website you’re visiting is given an invisible back-end Admin Page (using their personal Facebook Profile ID Number), which actually functions much like any other Facebook Admin Page.
From this ‘secret’ Admin Page, the webmaster can see who has clicked on their various ‘Like’ buttons and send out notifications to each group of ‘Fans’ (anyone who clicked any ‘Like’ button) that will appear in each Fan’s Facebook Newsfeeds. So, even if you never ‘Liked’ or ‘Became a Fan’ of the Levi Jeans Facebook Fan Page, you DID click the ‘Like’ button on the Levis.com website next to that wicked cute pair of shorts- essentially granting Levis permission to send you notifications regarding the shorts you liked or related items, promotions, etc. via your Facebook News Feeds.
Currently, the ‘Like’ buttons you click while browsing the web don’t show up in your friends’ Newsfeeds, only ‘Liking’ a Facebook Fan Page does. This is good news for people with lots of interests/ ‘Likes’; you’re friends won’t hate you for spamming them with all your internet window shopping, but you are giving the companies, websites, and brands you’re interested in a quick way of reaching you with cool offers and such on your own terms.
If you DO want to share whatever it is you’ve found to ‘Like’ on the internet in your Friends’ News Feeds, many ‘Like’ buttons display the option to ‘Write a Comment’ once you’ve clicked it. If you do this, it will broadcast your comment and a link to the page you were on to all your Friends.
So, like, feel free to ‘Like’ what you ‘Like’, like wherever and whenever you want, and share it however you like!
To learn more about Facebook’s other new features that you can also utilize for your social media marketing campaign, visit the Facebook blog. If all this new ‘Like’ button stuff sounds like something you want to implement, but you don’t have the time or know-how, let Boston Logic help you by signing up for an Online Marketing Campaign!
This content originally appeared on the RealEstateSEO1.com blog. I wrote it while working at Boston Logic.