A Marketer's Guide to Facebook's New Social Plugins

Kipp Bodnar
Kipp Bodnar



Facebook Like Button Yesterday Facebook released a like button for the internet . At their annual f8 Developer Conference, Facebook announced platform updates that work to integrate their platform with sites across the web.

The event started with some fresh statistics about Facebook usage:

  • More than 400 million people using Facebook
  • 100 million mobile Users
  • 100 million Facebook Connect users
  • 25 billion items shared each month on Facebook
Despite the enormity of these numbers, Facebook's announcements were all centered around making these numbers bigger in the future. A major part of the announcement and one that is of great interest to marketers was new social plugin. Any individual or business will be able to add these social plugins to their site to connect it with Facebook.

Facebook’s New Social Plugins

  • Like Plugin -  This plugin is simple and requires no login.  It will show visitors to your site, which of their Facebook friends have engaged with your site recently. If a user likes something on your site with this button it automatically appears in their Facebook profile as well.   
  • Activity Stream Plugin - This displays a filtered view of the Facebook News Feed containing updates from only your site. 
  • Facebook Login Plugin - It works like the existing Facebook Connect login button, and it adds photos of your Facebook friends who have already joined the site.
  • Social Bar Plugin - A toolbar that is added to the bottom of your site. The Social Bar includes a Like button, friends who like the site, as well as Facebook chat.
  • Recommendations Plugin - A plugin that shows recommendations of items or content that visitors to your site may be interested in, based on recommendations from Facebook connections.

Marketing Implications of Social Plugins

So why do you want to integrate your website or blog with Facebook? Context. While integrating with Facebook may not be right for all businesses and situations, it will likely be a valuable tool for business blogging. All of the social plugins mentioned previously in this post help business bloggers achieve the important goal of getting more people reading their content.

As an example, let's say that you click a link in an e-mail or on Twitter. After clicking, you then go read the blog post as you normally would. If a site is using the Like Plugin, then upon arriving at the blog you could see that some of your Facebook friends have recently read other articles on this blog. This context makes it more likely that you will read more content on the blog and possibly share it with your connections on Facebook or other social networks. This sharing and interaction all happen on the blog without going to Facebook becasue of the plugin. As a marketer this is a big deal. It creates stickiness while increasing the reach of your content.

This same example could also be used for landing pages. If you are releasing a new whitepaper and using a form to collect leads, think about the improved lead conversion you could see, if prospects could see that friends had already liked the report on Facebook. In this case a social plugin provides "social proof" for the credibility of your whitepaper. While the likes may have happened on your Facebook fan page, with the new social plugins it is displayed on your own site and landing pages.

Marketing Takeaways From the Facebook Open Graph Announcement

  • Facebook is a platform not the just a social network
  • Actions between Facebook friends can now happen around the web
  • Marketers can now more easily integrate their web presence with Facebook
  • Social Plugins can provide social proof and increase the reach of content when used in the right situations
  • Marketers need to consider integrating with Facebook for new online marketing and community building efforts
Do you plan to use any of these social plugins as they become available?

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