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The Facebook Like Button – Should Businesses Like it?

April 26, 2010

In case you haven’t heard, there was a wave of Facebook announcements made last week: Social Plugins, Open Graph Protocol, and Graph API. 

The most anticipated of these announcements involved one social plugin in particular – the “Like” Button. Basically you can add a Facebook Like Button to any of your webpages. When a person clicks that Like Button, it links through to their Facebook account and appears in their profile feed for friends to see. According to SearchEngine Land, adding that button effectively turns it into a Facebook fan page.

First Google Sidewiki, now Facebook Like – Charlene Li‘s prediction of the social web expanding outside the confines of social sites and into our own websites, is starting to become a reality.

So without further ado, here’s 3 reasons why we should like the Like Button.

1. Reach
Like a broken record, you may have heard these a few times before: 

  • If Facebook was a country it would be the third largest country in the world
  • Facebook is half of the Internet

Whether you are pro-Facebook or not, you can’t ignore the huge amount of reach it has, and the huge amount of people (ie. customers) who are on there. Think of all the people who can see that their friends – potentially your customers – like you, or your product, or your content; and as a result will go check it out for themselves.

2. Simplicity
Let’s face it, people are lazy. Why write a blog when you can tweet 140 characters? Why spend time writing a comment when you can just press a Like Button. I’m guilty, you’re guilty, we’ve all done it at some point or another.

People are just too busy with too many other things, but at the same time we still want to feel connected to the world. The Like Button (aka the Lazy Button) is simple, and allows us to stay connected with one click. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg predicted that 1 billion Like Buttons will be clicked on within 24 hours after its launch (eMarketer, 2010).

Furthermore Facebook has made it simple for web developers to easily apply social functions to your site. The small amount of code to add Like functionality has already been provided… So there’s no excuse.

3. It’s All Positive
Believe it or not, some companies are still scared of adding feedback mechanisms like ratings and reviews to their site. God forbid, what if someone says something bad? Of course we know this is a very insular view – if people have something bad to say they will say it, be it on your site or elsewhere. The web is a very big place afterall, so better for it to happen somewhere you can see it so that you can address the issue quickly and properly. However, many companies are still held back by this fear.

The Like Button, in all its simplicity, helps to encourage such companies to start dipping their toes in the social swimming pool. There’s one option: “Like”. No “Dislike” [yet]. No “It’s alright, could be better”. Just “Like”.

There’s nothing to be scared about here. Who knows – maybe some companies will start to discover that more people than expected actually like the things that they are doing. Maybe the experience will even encourage them to more readily open up into a conversation with customers.

Like it or hate it, what do you think about Facebook Like Buttons?

From → Social Media

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