For being such a sim­ple con­cept, the Facebook’s “Like” but­ton has the poten­tial to be a very big deal. By bot­tling up a per­sonal rec­om­men­da­tion and plac­ing it into a sim­ple lit­tle but­ton, Face­book has given an incred­i­ble tool to busi­nesses to drive refer­rals. And, not just any refer­ral: a refer­ral with a per­sonal rec­om­men­da­tion from a friend.
If you’re not con­vinced, talk to Levi’s who turned Like but­tons on their site into 40 per­cent of their over­all refer­ral vol­ume (Yes. I said, “40 per­cent.”). Or take Amer­i­can Eagle Out­fit­ters who found that Facebook-referred vis­i­tors spent an aver­age of 57 per­cent more than those by other sources. And, believe it or not, that’s just the beginning.

How­ever, before you can unlock the power of the Like but­ton, you need to mea­sure it prop­erly. Unfor­tu­nately, from what we hear from our cus­tomers, most mar­keters do not have their Like but­tons set-up to be opti­mized based on the avail­able insights. That’s why Adobe has teamed with Face­book to pro­duce an inau­gural, joint Best Prac­tice Guide, “Best Prac­tices for Mea­sur­ing and Opti­miz­ing the Busi­ness Impact of the Face­book Like But­ton: A Hands-On Guide for Lever­ag­ing Solu­tions From Face­book and Adobe,” avail­able for free down­load today.

A few key insights

Cur­rently, the num­ber of Likes your con­tent receives is ulti­mately a shal­low and out­dated met­ric offer­ing no insight into the busi­ness value of your invest­ment. When Adobe Online Mar­ket­ing Suite cus­tomers apply these best prac­tices for the Face­book Like but­ton, they can actu­ally under­stand how much traf­fic resulted from the Like but­ton. More impor­tantly, they can know how many of those con­verted to sales which is the true evi­dence of Facebook’s poten­tial as a rev­enue gen­er­a­tor for the busi­ness. The afore­men­tioned whitepa­per offers step-by-step, prac­ti­cal instruc­tion on how you can trans­form the effec­tive­ness of your Like but­ton in an hour or so using Facebook’s tools as well as those within the Adobe Online Mar­ket­ing Suite.
Before start­ing this project, I fig­ured I would learn a cou­ple of new things about what insights are avail­able from track­ing the Like but­ton. But, now I’d argue you could build a mini-practice area around the depth you can reach with this sim­ple effort. The guide out­lines all the things you can do with an opti­mized Like but­ton inte­gra­tion. For exam­ple, I didn’t know that when a con­ver­sion event (like a sale) takes place, the Online Mar­ket­ing Suite can trace that event back to the orig­i­nal per­son who made the rec­om­men­da­tion via the Like but­ton click – even if it’s 20-or-more clicks downstream.

More­over, I had no idea about the seg­men­ta­tion and tar­get­ing you could per­form based upon Like but­ton data. For exam­ple, I’ve been a tech nerd all the way back to the MS-DOS days (maybe it was my lack of friends in junior high school). Sub­se­quently, one of my roles among fam­ily and friends has become “pur­chase approver” for con­sumer elec­tron­ics. That usu­ally involves an urgent phone call from the local Best Buy ask­ing for my review, opin­ion and bless­ing for what­ever gad­get or tech­nol­ogy they’re look­ing at purchasing.

It’s not lost on me that I’m some­what of a “holy grail” for the consumer-tech mar­keter. And, by imple­ment­ing the Like but­ton using the best prac­tices found in this guide, you can iden­tify, seg­ment and tar­get peo­ple like me – your brand cham­pi­ons, peo­ple who are influ­enc­ing pur­chas­ing deci­sions. When these peo­ple click “Like”, oth­ers pay atten­tion. This is some­thing search engines can’t deliver; they deliver mil­lions of results based on rel­e­vancy, but they don’t offer trusted rec­om­men­da­tions like our friends and fam­ily do. The new data and insights you’ll gain will help you make smarter choices about where you invest to drive con­sumers to your site. Maybe that means spend­ing less in areas like search (heaven for­bid), and more on efforts to cul­ti­vate brand champions.

If you are using the Adobe Online Mar­ket­ing Suite, I think you’ll really ‘Like’ this whitepa­per (couldn’t help myself). Please add your com­ments to tell me if and how this Best Prac­tice Guide helped you, and what top­ics you’d like us to address in future guides.