How to Use the Facebook Like Button on Your Website


One of the questions we're hearing a lot these days is: "What's this Facebook 'like' button all about?" Once we explain it, the next question we get is: "How quickly can I get that on my website?" So I decided to write out an explanation for how it's done that anyone can read, understand and put into action for their own website.

Here are a few quick questions we often find ourselves answering that have quick answers:

Icons – Do I need to have a Facebook account to be able to add the "Like" button to my website?

No, you do not. Anyone can add it regardless of whether or not they have a Facebook account. Click here for our easy step-by-step guide on how to set up a Facebook account.
What are some of the key benefits to creating a "Like" button?

There are several very important reasons to get this button on your website. Here's a list of a few of them:

* The Facebook brand carries with it a sense of safety, authority, trust and familiarity. Having their logo and a connection to them on your website will make your site look and feel more legitimate and trustworthy in the eyes of Facebook users. This is massive in building credibility, increasing traffic and driving sales.

* Your website has a chance to go "viral" as friends recommend you to their friends who then recommend it to other friends, etc … As the saying goes: "birds of a feather flock together" and this can be a fantastic way to penetrate your niche and have your customers spread the word in a low commitment way for them that can build amazing results for you.

* One great part of it is how much Facebook charges for it – nothing! That's right, it's free. A free advertising tool that relations on referrals and recommendations (we all know the value of those).

* A seismic shift is starting to happen and Facebook is squaring off against Google and looking to overtake them as the Internet's number one search engine. This will not happen overnight, but it's wise to align yourself with Facebook early on so that you can get brownie points from Facebook for having gotten in on the ground floor.

So, now that you know what's at stake, here are some more general questions we get asked by people like you all the time. The answers are important for getting your head around how it all works – in simple terms.

What is the Facebook "Like" button?

The Facebook button button is used in two general places. One is on the Facebook site, the other is on sites outside of Facebook. For the most part we'll be considering the button you can put on your website, but I'll just take a moment to talk about the like buttons on Facebook.

The like button on Facebook is a button you can click on after looking at pretty much any content on Facebook. This could be a friend's photo, a comment a friend has made or even a group or application. The fact that you have "liked" these things is then reported in your friends' news feeds. If you have "liked" a page on Facebook for a product, community, etc … then they can send you updates and information from them will appear in your news feed.

The like button we're most interested in is the one you can put on your website. This is the one you can often see when you visit a website online, and it looks like this:

The one on the left is the i-frame version and the one on the right is the JavaScript version, but we'll get into that later.

When someone visits a website with this button on it, they can click on it to let their friends know that they like the site. After clicking on the button they'll have a pop-up asking them to login to Facebook (or sign-up if not already a member). Once they've logged in, they'll see the button on the right above, which shows that of their friends like that page, along with their friend's profile picture. After clicking the like button, a story will be posted automatically to their Facebook page telling their friends that they like the site!

If the button has been set up correctly, the website can also be placed on other parts of the Facebook user's profile by using "tags". So if, for example, someone is looking at a webpage about their favorite movie and they click the like button. That movie can then be added to that person's profile under "interests". There are many categories you can tag.
How do I put the Facebook "Like" button on my website?

This is where it gets slightly more complicated – but only slightly. There are two kinds of like buttons you can add to your website. One, which is much more simple, is known as the i-frame. This button is simpler and gives users less information about who, specifically, likes your webpage. With this option, users will not get to see their friend's profile pictures pop-up and the button is far less customisable.

The second option is JavaScript. This one is harder to add but allows users to see their friends' profile pictures and names pop-up which makes a huge difference in terms of emotional connection and trust building. The JavaScript button also allows the user to write a comment about your page that will be shown to their friends. The i-frame just shows the link, whereas the JavaScript will show positive comments that can be worth their weight in gold.

To get the "like" button put on your just head on over to Facebook's page that's designed to help you add the like button to your site. They have some explanations there on how to add the button with lists of all the options and how to implement each one. It takes a bit of programming experience and know-how that anyone with a web design background can have up and running in less than an hour.

However, if you're interested in using the JavaScript options to really leverage the full power this button can unleash, or if web programming is not something you're overly familiar with and you'd like to get someone else to get someone else to set up your Facebook like button exactly the way you want it.



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