A while ago I wrote a post on the Pros and Cons of having your readers Comment, Tweet, LIKE or SHARE (We’re talking about LIKE buttons outside of Facebook)
Lowest on my list was the LIKE. Why? Because it was the least interactive. It used to only show on the wall like this:
That’s just changed with the new Facebook rollout. Now the LIKE acts almost like the SHARE does. Did you catch the “almost”?
Using my last post as an example (Questions for Newbie Bloggers), right now 25 people LIKED it. Each of them has around 130 friends. My post just hit 3,250 or so people! But did it send the right message? Maybe not.
There’s three things the LIKE button could have done but didn’t that the SHARE button would.
# 1 It didn’t allow you to choose the picture. The post itself has 5 pictures, plus a large number of sidebar images. Which one did it choose? Stephanie just LIKED it while Mana LIKED it and added a comment. In both instances it (not the LIKER) chose an image from my sidebar.
It looks like I’m inferring Death by Blogging by looking at their walls. If you are adding images to your posts you know just how critical that image is. Having no control over what image is going to be used could kill any reach you hoped to have.
# 2 It didn’t allow you change the Title (Anchor text). That might be critical to both you and the LIKER. In my post you might notice the post title is actually something slightly different than version that shows up when you LIKE it. That was my doing. As the post writer I dictate what I would like as the Post Title when it shows up in Google. As a side benefit it also changes how it looks when you Tweet, Share or LIKE. I do that on purpose.
But who’s to say that I haven’t given it a completely different title? Using one of my favorite Simpson Episodes of all time, what if the title you saw before liking was “How To Cook For Humans” yet when you LIKED it it was “How To Cook Forty Humans”? The Title is important. Having control over the Title before you share it is even more important. (BTW: best episode ever!)
# 3 It didn’t allow you to change the Description. Typically the description is going to be the first paragraph of words that shows but once again, this is something I have control over as the writer. I can dictate what shows up in a Google search result. That means I can also dictate what shows up when you LIKE a post.
Here’s a recent post
And how it looks in a Google Search
You can see I dictated the description to show something OTHER than the first sentence or two. I want my description to encourage people to click to read it. That description also shows up on the new LIKEs as well. But what if, like the title, it wasn’t the delivering the right message? You wouldn’t know until after you LIKED it and saw it on your wall.
Contrast all three of those points with the SHARE function which allows you to do all three things and you’ll see why I still think the SHARE button rocks!
Go ahead! LIKE this post, TWEET this post, COMMENT on this post, but most important of all SHARE this post!