The Facebook ‘Like’ button began as one of the first connection points for brand sites and Facebook users. When it was unveiled at F8 back in 2008, marketers licked their chops over the prospect of being able to bring in fans to their companies’ Facebook pages and begin serving them with relevant content right on the Newsfeed. While the Facebook ‘Like’ button helped break down barriers between sites and an increasingly social base of web users, it hasn’t turned out to be quite the panacea that brands and publishers have been looking for when it comes to socializing content.
In fact, recent research from Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, an Australian marketing think-tank, revealed that the Facebook Like button seems to be failing to make much of an impression on users as they peruse their Newsfeeds. Ehrenberg-Bass’s study found that only about one percent of users actually engage with brand pages they’re subscribed to. While this data shows the failings of the Like button, the research also gives us a chance to rethink how brands can leverage Facebook (and other social networks) to reach a larger audience.