We Want To Be Liked
People, by nature, want to be liked. As kids, we stressed over the first day of school, one of our biggest worries being “Will my new classmates like me?”
In online marketing, being “liked” is even more important. Having your page liked by someone on Facebook doesn’t just mean they enjoys your product or services — a Facebook like is a recommendation, and a sign of customer loyalty. The person who liked your Facebook page will, from then on, receive notifications on any new activity on it. Friends of the person who liked your Facebook page will get a notification on their news feed, bringing their attention to it, and possibly garnering a few more likes (and clients!) The Facebook Like has become a powerful marketing tool — and knowing how to use it effectively could greatly help your business.
Facebook, however, offers many ways to integrate likes into your business strategy.
The Like Button. This button can be placed onto any web page — whether that is your Facebook page, or your own external (outside of Facebook) page or website. It does not, usually, provide an overview or any other information. It just serves as a way for someone to let you know that they enjoyed the content of that specific page.
The Like Box. This neat tool is a bit more encompassing. It is, as the name implies, a box, that usually sits on the sidebar of your site or blog. It provides a quick overview of recent activity on your Facebook page — posts, comments, etc.; as well as a short sample of the people who have already liked your page.
Pros And Cons
So, which one is best for your business? Both the Like Button and Like Box have their benefits and disadvantages.
The Like Button, when in external web pages, does not exactly equate to a like for your Facebook page. If a person was to like a specific page on your site (say, your Contact Us page), then their friends would receive a notification that this person liked that specific page. This is helpful for spreading content worthy of special attention, such as a blog post, but it does not do much in building customer relationships. After the fact, the person who liked the external page will not continue to receive notifications from your Facebook page.
The Like Box, on the other hand, is a tool more designed to build a relationship with your customers. For starters, it continuously updates with the most recent activity on your page, which visitors to your site can now see at a quick glance. Also, liking on this box will register as a like for your Facebook page — which will automatically sign the person up to receive notifications of new activity on your Facebook page. This is helpful when you want to keep customers updated — announcements of new products and services, discounts, promotions, events — you name it. They will now be kept in constant touch with your business.
Knowing which to use — and when — can be a powerful asset to your marketing strategy. Remember that the Like Button serves as a one-time interaction — while the Like Box serves as a relationship-building connection.
To this effect, you might decide that you’re a blogger who needs their posts to be read by a wider audience — and you might opt to use the Like Button. Or, you might be a dentist, wanting to build a loyal patient base — in which case, the Like Box might be your best option. Even yet, you might be an attorney that runs both a website detailing your services, as well as a blog discussing cases and current events — and you might decide the best course of action is to place a Like Box on your main website, and Like Buttons on your blog to help expose your posts to new readers.
Whatever the case is, everyone who is involved in online marketing can agree on one thing — Facebook has become one of the biggest tools in the industry, and highly beneficial if used efficiently.