Ask The Experts: Facebook Like vs. Share – What’s the Difference?

by Gradiva Couzin on March 25, 2011

Q. What’s the difference between Like and Share on Facebook, and which one should I add on my site?

A: Facebook like and share are similar, but have some distinct differences.  Here’s an overview of how they each work:

Per Facebook, “A single click on the Like button will ‘like’ pieces of content on the web and share them on Facebook. ” Depending on how you implement the “like” button, the user will also get an option to add a comment with the Like
Per Facebook, “The Share button lets people add a personalized message to links before sharing on their timeline, in groups, or to their friends via a Facebook Message.”
Each of the buttons above can be used individually, but you also have an option to use them in tandem. Their functionality remains the same.

Which to choose?

We recommend defaulting to the Like button so users on your site have an option to like your website content or Facebook page. A  Like tends to act as a “social proof” and gives your brand or page more credibility. It is also a simple way to create awareness across Facebook as it only requires a “single click” interaction.

Because most Like buttons now contain an option to also “share” it to increase visibility on the users wall, we don’t always think it is required to have the Share option on the page. However, depending on the the content of your page, you may wish to also include a Share option along with the Like, or just choose to stick with a Share alone.

In the future, these Social signals may end up playing a role in SEO. So, keep in mind that getting more likes/shares could potentially be a component of Google’s ever-changing search algorithm.

Developer instructions for adding the like button can be found here. For the Like button, we recommend using the HTML5 or XFBML embed method; when using one of these options, the user will always have an option to add a comment with their like.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

cesar de la garza April 12, 2011 at 8:43 am

time to update on this..

Gradiva Couzin April 12, 2011 at 10:27 am

So true, Cesar! Until we get around to writing a new post on the subject, folks looking for more up-to-date info can go here: http://searchengineland.com/how-to-convert-website-visitors-to-facebook-likes-70545.

-Gradiva

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