Fix Your Facebook Like & Recommend Buttons

I’ve rewritten this article after ‘proper’ researching and realising how Facebook Like and Recommend buttons ACTUALLY work! The original article was prompted by Channelship pointing out that there seemed to be a difference between clicking Like V’s Recommend, ie – clicking Like only posted a tiny link to your profile page whereas clicking Recommend seemed to publish the link to your wall resulting in way more exposure.

Some background:

As some of you may know, Facebook have relatively recently rolled out an external “Like” system whereby content outside of the Facebook site itself can have Like buttons. Straight away tons of sites (this one included) added the Like functionality through embedding code manually or using plugins. I have personally used the FB Like WordPress plugin for this blog and find it works well but here’s the manual code for your self-hosted WordPress blog if you prefer. It should be pasted in your “single.php” theme file ideally:

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=?phpechourlencode(get_permalink($post-ID));?&layout=standard&show_faces=false&width=450&action=like&colorscheme=light

Facebook Like

Check your code:

What I realised is that it makes no difference whether you use the Like or Recommend verb for your button. The important thing is to make sure that you either use the XFBML version of the button code or if using the IFRAME version, make sure to use the “Standard” layout with at least 450px width. Doing it either of these ways ensures that people will be given the option of leaving a comment and it’s this comment that ensures the article link goes on your wall. All is explained in this paragraph from the Facebook manual code link below:

When will users have the option to add a comment to the like?

If you are using the XFBML version of the Like button, user’s will always have the option to add an optional comment to the like. If you are using the Iframe version, users will have the option to add a comment only if you are using the ‘standard’ layout with a width of at least 450 px. If users do add a comment, the story published back to Facebook is given more prominence.

Get manual code:

Here’s the link to get Recommend/Like button code for your site or static page. The link also has some important information about the distinction between Like and Recommend and leaving comments:

http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like

Here’s the manual code again for your self-hosted WordPress site:

http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=?phpechourlencode(get_permalink($post-ID));?&layout=standard&show_faces=false&width=450&action=like&colorscheme=light

Since Liking/Recommending in this way is akin to ‘Sharing’ and to avoid the ambiguity between Like & Recommend, here’s a link to a decent WordPress Facebook Share plugin:

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/share-on-facebook/

Conclusion:

It has already been proven via stats that bloggers have started to get a lot more traffic after installing Like buttons so make sure you have yours!

PS – Please “Like” this article if for no other reason than to see how it works!

Leon.

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