Facebook Like vs Follow

Facebook like

Facebook like button, follow button, like boxes, fan pages and application. Which one should you use and why? For blog SEO social media is important both for users to share your content as well as informing your readers about new posts. Facebook have made a lot of changes since they first introduced the like button. In this article I will try to explain how it all works.

Facebook is the only site where the roles are reversed when it comes to content. All over the internet the content providers are the ones getting payed, on Facebook it’s the other way around. A while ago Facebook pages could see their reach decrease dramatically. At the same time Facebook started a big push for advertising options for content. So instead of content providers reaching as many people as possible and then the end user paying the price via advertisements now the content providers are the ones to pay for readers. That makes it even more important to get the social media push for Facebook done right.

Sharing to Facebook

When you read this you probably already share all your posts on Facebook and other social media sites, either via plugins like Jetpack or manually. Which ever you do that is a great way to get people to come to your site. You should also implement a way for users who read your content an easy way to share your content on there own walls or in their feeds.

The other part of your Facebook push should be to get people to follow your updates. If the reader likes your content they probably want to stay up to date with your postings. RSS feeds and e-mail have been two very popular ways for people to follow there favorite blogs in the past but more and more is moving onto the social media sites. Instead of getting an e-mail they will get your update among all other updates they receive on a daily basis in their feed.

Follow you or your site

Now you have to decide how you want your readers to follow new posts. Do you want them to follow you or your site? It’s important that you understand the difference and make a decision that you are willing to stick to because you can’t move followers from one to the other. Of course you can publicize to both your personal profile as well as a fan page but it’s easier to select one.

If you have a personal blog just about you and your life then you should get people to follow you personal profile and they can enjoy all of your public posts on Facebook. This is more intended for building interest around you as a person. On the other hand if you blog about a particular subject and you build your site around that interest then getting people following your personal feed isn’t a good idea. Then they will get all your public updates on Facebook and maybe your other posts, that is unrelated to the subject will scare them of.

However one doesn’t exclude the other. Create a fan page and allow people to follow your on subject post there. At the same time you can offer people to follow you specifically the author if they like. Just be careful about the placement of these two so they don’t get confused.

Facebook Follow Button

As mentioned above the Facebook Follow Button is for following a persons public updates on Facebook. If you try to point it at a Facebook Page it will just generate an error when clicked. There is a Facebook Follow Button generator that you can use to get the code.

Facebook Like Box

For pages or fan pages a like box is available that will display the page “profile” picture, a like button and a pile of profile pictures from people who liked it. It can be customized in several ways, and a Facebook Like Box generator is available.

Facebook Like Button

A like button can be used in several ways. You can allow readers to like a specific post via URL. When you use this function it is important that you make sure that the open graph data is correct on your posts. That information is used to put together the information displayed in the readers feed about what they liked. By pointing the like button URL against your Facebook Page URL, https://www.facebook.com/hackviking for example, you can allow your readers to like your Facebook Page. That action will also make the reader a follower of your page and they will see your posts in there feed. All information about Facebook Like Buttons and a generator is available as well.

Facebook application not needed

I have read a lot of posts claiming that you need a Facebook app if you use any of the above features with HTML5 and the Facebook Javascript SDK. This is not true! If you have an app configured the generator will include the appid=xxxxxxxx in the snippet but that can be removed and are not required.

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