The New Facebook ‘Like’ Button for Facebook Ads


With the recent release of the Facebook ‘Like’ button, the social plug-ins have gotten the spotlight but the ‘Like’ button has implications for Facebook self-serve advertisers too. It’s not as clear from an end-user standpoint what the action of the ad will lead to whether if the user is going to ‘like’ the ad or ‘like’ the Page associated with the ad. It’s important to be aware of this distinction to better utilize Facebook ads to meet your goals.

To explain, previously if an ad was linked to a Facebook Page, then the user would know this because there was a ‘Become a fan’ button which was very distinct from the ‘Like’ button in the ad.

Now, here are two ads where one is linked to a Facebook Page and one is linked off of Facebook. The distinction isn’t clear by the ‘Like’ button. The only giveaway as to which ad is linked to a Page is the ad copy.

If a user clicks these ‘Like’ link in these ads, then it becomes clear what the action meant but it’s very subtle. When a user clicks ‘Like’  to an ad that directs users off of Facebook, the text changes to ‘You like this ad’ whereas if the ad links to a Facebook page, the text changes to ‘You like __(Insert Page Here)__’.

One thing that is still in favor of the ‘Like’ button connected to Facebook Pages is when the social component of the ad is apparent. To effectively use this feature, leverage the option of ‘targeting friends of connections’ of your page. If the ad is targeting connections’ friends, then the user who is seeing the ad will not only have the bandwagon effect pulling the user towards clicking ‘Like’ but it’s also apparent that taking the action to click ‘Like’ will lead to connecting with the Page. The sentence gives it away by display users’ friends that have already connected with the page and lists the page name. The sentence reads  ‘__(Friend’s name here)___’ like ___(Insert Page name here)__’.

The only other subtle distinction is that ads that link off of Facebook will have more catchy titles since the Page name is still the default title for ad linking to Facebook pages.

These are very subtle differences for ads linking to Facebook Pages and off of Facebook but are importance to understand. If you’re using a Facebook ad to grow your connections on your page, you’ll want to use an ad connected to your page. This means that you should include a call to action to connect with the page in the copy to indicate what the user’s action will lead to. Additionally, I’d recommend to use the friends’ of connections targeting feature so that the social component will be at work for your ad too. Ads are a great way to grow connections on Pages and the ones that perform best clearly communicate to the user that the user will stay within the Facebook environment – which users tend to like. The more you can convey this in your ad, the better it will perform.

If you’re using a Facebook ad to drive users off of Facebook’s platform it’s important to understand these differences too because you don’t want users to take the action to ‘Like’ your ad- you want them to click the ad so that a conversion on your website may happen. To this point, you don’t want a call to action to ‘Like’ the ad; rather, you want a call to action to click the ad.

If text is ambiguous whether the ad is linked to a Facebook Page or off of Facebook it’s not good because it leaves the user confused at to what that user’s clicks and actions will result in. So it’s paramount to convey to the user as much as possible given the limitations in Facebook ads what that user’s clicks and actions will lead to. Less confusion and clear calls to action will result in better ad performance.

Post written by Helen Todd aka @helenstravels. To learn more from, connect with us on Facebook!

Written By:

Helen Todd

Helen Todd is the co-founder and CEO of Sociality Squared, a full service social media agency based in New York City since 2010 who understands the magic of people coming together around what they value and love. Helen is an award-winning marketer, international speaker, and also an advisor and speaker for SXSW Interactive. Helen holds a Master's degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Emerson College.