But it’s not too far from the news that started leaking earlier this week about the real change to Fan Pages: the replacement of “become a fan” with a “like” button. Just as you “like” a friend’s status update, photo, or link, you will soon “like” Nike or The Chicago Blackhawks or the Cool Side of the Pillow instead of becoming a fan of these brands and ideas.
The reason? Facebook says their users click “like” more than “become a fan.” And something about streamlining the way communication happens on Facebook. (Real world side note: imagine if everyone on earth gave high-fives to express any positive or supportive feeling…hmm.) So, essentially, “like” converts. And Facebook feels that this means renaming the fan button will equal “conversions” for Fan Pages.
Facebook’s theory is that people click “become a fan” less often because it feels like too much of a commitment. Well, this is probably true. When you “become a fan” of a Facebook business page, you will, indeed, have a new set of announcements and updates in your feed. While for many consumers, this is the exact point and benefit of becoming a fan of that brand, for plenty of others it’s a turn-off. The kicker is that these people will probably always find it a turn-off, no matter how you dress up the button.
And the reason the simple little “like” text link gets clicked is because it’s non-committal but still engaging, and generally between friends. Yes, you can currently “like” things like Facebook ads. But for the most part, a “like” sends the message that you appreciated something a friend said or posted; it allows you to keep a relationship alive online and lets you keep a dialogue open, without having to make too much of an effort (<– we might have a whole different blog post there).
Really, “like” just feels potentially too light for many businesses. In the end, this change will probably do little more than maybe confuse a few users and make things awkward for advertisers. It’s so much more natural to invite consumers to become your fan than it is to ask them to LIKE you. “Like Us On Facebook!” – this is weird. A little desperate, even. “Become Our Fan on Facebook!” – now this fits. It feels more inclusive or communal. There’s a passion there that is appropriate.
Well…if “like” ends up tanking and Facebook doesn’t want to go with “express a warm fondness for,” here are some runners up:
- “Share a Tender Embrace With”
- “Pat on the Back”
- “Offer Free Advertising through Social Networking Actions,”
- or my personal favorite, “Woo!”
Any other ideas?