More Opportunities To Gain Traffic From Facebook Likes

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Facebook continues to make changes that have implications for benefiting businesses and driving traffic. They have now launched three new updates to its Like button social plugin. First is the ability to like canvas URLs for Facebook apps that represent things like causes, movies, or other real world objects. Second is the ability to link a Like button to a Facebook Page. Third is the "box count" layout that displays the total number of likes above the button.

Do you consider Facebook likes important to your online marketing strategy? Let us know

"Since we launched social plugins in April, we've been listening to user feedback and working with developers to optimize the Like button to make it as seamless as possible for people to like content around the web and share it with their friends," says Facebook Platform engineer Jerry Cain.


The ability to like canvas URLs in apps means that app users can like pages from within an app. This will then place a like in the user's newsfeed, linking to the app. This could help app growth tremendously.
Page owners now have the option to either use the Like button or the Like box to encourage user engagement, with like buttons linked to Facebook Pages. 

Facebook's Open Graph

As far as the box count format for the like button, Cain says, "This layout provides another option to suit different website designs. To determine which Like button is most effective at driving referral traffic for your site, use our ref attribute for tracking."

Some Other Things to Keep in Mind

1. Consumers want to interact with brands on Facebook (and Twitter for that matter). WebProNews reported earlier this week on a study from ExactTarget, which found this to be the case. 
"Consumers don't isolate their communications to email, Facebook or Twitter and expect brands to communicate consistently across the channels," says ExactTarget's Jeff Rohrs.

The study found that 93% of online consumers subscribe to email marketing messages, 38% are fans of brands on Facebook and 5% follow brands on Twitter.

2. Facebook has been testing a feature that would make it much more valuable for search. The feature has Facebook showing all liked articles in its search results. The results, as AllFacebook describes, show content based on the number of likes and the number of friends who liked that object. 

"The search results have now become dramatically more relevant with the inclusion of recent news articles, something that previously wasn't accessible via Facebook's open graph search results," says AllFacebook's Nick O'Neill. "Currently, the search results only appear within the drop down from Facebook’s search box, however I’d assume that this will eventually shift to Facebook's search area, which has yet to undergo a significant overhaul."

3. Facebook is also testing subscriptions, which would let users "subscribe" to others. This means they would get notifications when a new status update is made. You can clearly see the advantages of this from the brand standpoint, no doubt. 
Facebook likes have quickly become an integral part of online content marketing and driving traffic/engagement. It is good that Facebook continues to add options around its social plugins, and the company will likely increase those options has time goes on.

Which feature that Facebook has launched or is testing do you think has the most potential to help you get more traffic? Share your thoughts.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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