Last month, Facebook introduced new "Like" buttons.
How they work: when a Facebook user visits a third-party website and clicks on an embedded "Like" button, a link to that page is added to that user's Facebook profile. The link is also shared with that user's friends.
The really nice thing for those third-party websites is that, after a user clicks "Like," Facebook allows the owner of that Web site to update that user with links and photos in his or her News Feed.
So, what are some smart ways small, local businesses such as restaurants, shops and service providers can take advantage of the new Facebook "Like" buttons?
For this example, let's think specifically about restaurants.
The first trick will be getting your customers to your website at all. We recommend offering them discounts. So, for example, print on your receipts: "Click 'Like' on our website and get 10 percent off your next meal!"
Once your customers have "Liked" your website, you're free to send them updates. These updates should come somewhat frequently. One word of warning: even though you've gotten the right to essentially spam your customers, your updates should still be full of interesting content.
Struggling? Try writing weekly updates with fun stories from your shop. Your most loyal customers are probably interested in how you run your business. How did haggling at the fish market go this week? What cool clients did you meet?
The other kind of content you should make sure is all over your Facebook page are photos and updates from your customers themselves. Send updates to your the customers who liked your page, encouraging the to upload visits from store. Offer them discounts if they'll do it!
Another other trick to keep customers paying attention to your page is to host contests and give away free stuff.
If you're still not completely sure about the "Like" button, here are some answers to a few other Frequently Asked Questions, from Facebook itself:
What are social plugins?
Social plugins are simple tools that can be "dropped" into any website to provide people with personalized and social experiences. Using social plugins, websites everywhere can give you more ways to experience the web with your friends—from letting you form connections on these sites with your favorite movies or restaurants to showing you the most popular content based on what is being shared among your friends. Rather than seeing popular stories, products or reviews from people you don't know, you'll now see content that matters to you the most—from your friends—displayed prominently.
Social plugins include:
· "Like" or "Recommend" Buttons: click to publicly share and connect with content you find interesting.
· Activity Feed: what your friends are liking, commenting on or sharing on a site.
· Recommendations: Most liked content among your friends on a site.
How do social plugins work?
While these buttons and boxes appear on other websites, the content populating them comes directly from Facebook. The plugins were designed so that the website you are visiting receives none of this information.These plugins should be seen as an extension of Facebook.
You only see a personalized experience with your friends if you are logged into your Facebook account. If you are not already logged in, you will be prompted to log in to Facebook before you can use a plugin on another site.
At a technical level, social plugins work when external websites put an iframe from Facebook.com on their sites, as if they were agreeing to give Facebook some real estate on their websites. When you visit one of these sites, the Facebook iframe can recognize if you are logged into Facebook. If you are logged in, it’ll show personalized content within the plugin as if you were on Facebook.com directly. Even though the iframe is not on Facebook, it is designed with all the privacy protections as if it were.