Facebook has been living in a two-button world. First, the social networking giant provided online publishers with a Share button, then it followed up with a Like button that replaced the notion of Facebook fans.
While these two buttons have both been used for awhile, they actually operated differently in terms of how they allowed individuals to share information on Facebook. The Like button was a simple one-step sharing process, while the Share button allowed users to share a headline, blurb and an image for an article in a multi-step process. With Facebook's most recent update to its Like button, all of the functionality of the Share button has now become a part of the Like button, while keeping the Like to a simple one-click process.
When users press the Like button today, a headline, blurb and thumbnail will be posted on their Wall. Then, they will be given the option to comment on that item. Prior to these upgrades to the Like button, only a link to your article would appear in a users recently activity, which receives less attention than the profile Wall.
For marketers, these changes highlight that Facebook is trying to move to one sharing button for publishers. With this change in functionality, it is clear that the Share button will be fading away in favor of a more robust Like button. As a business publishing content online, you should leverage Facebook as a referral source of traffic. These new Like button features are yet another reason businesses need to have at least one image in their blog post. Having an image in your blog post will help your article stand out more, when it is shared on Facebook.
Now that the Like button shares articles in a more holistic way, marketers should be looking at their analytics to see how their traffic from Facebook changes. Continue to encourage people to Like your blog content. More traffic also means that it is more important than ever to have calls to action on your business blog and within your individual blog posts.
Are you excited about these changes to the Like button?