Facebook Share Button Vs Facebook Like Button

Which is better to use – Facebook Share Button or the Facebook Like Button

Like is from ‘Heart’ and Share is from ‘Brain’. If you Like something then you will click Like. Like is a feeling and you indicate it to your friend. Share is something you Like as well as you want to Share. Share is like more open – personal and non-personal as well.

So, you have to decide if its Heart or Brain.

Pros for Like

  • Easily recognized
  • One-click action
  • Low barrier to entry
  • Can have option to add a comment
  • Adds to Facebook search optimization

Cons for Like

  • Cannot use Like to share via private message
  • “Like” has positive connotations, which might not work for all content, for instance news about a tragedy, you would share but not “like.”
  • (Former con was that News Feed story is smaller than that generated by Share and did not include photo. No longer an issue as of 2/27/11. See: http://www.insidefacebook.com/20…)

Pros for Share

  • Offers ability to customize title and summary of content, sometimes photo
  • Offers option to share via private message with individual(s)
  • Adds to Facebook search optimization
  • Neutral word compared to “Like”

Cons for Share

  • Opens new window that requires a subsequent click to complete the share
  • Not as familiar as Like
  • Users can modify title, summary and sometimes image, which means you don’t always control how your content is shared

I don’t have data or personal experience implementing both these options to definitively say choose one over the other. Some sites use both. (Example here: http://www.socialmediaexplorer.c…)

A Like button that includes the option to add a comment seems ideal because it has the low barrier to entry of Like and the ability to add more information as Share does. Additionally, Likes with comments have more prominence than a Like without a comment. (See: http://developers.facebook.com/d…)

The Share button has more features than Like, but the action requires more clicks than a simple Like. Savvy users will have a Share button bookmark or browser plugin already. (http://www.facebook.com/share_op… or https://chrome.google.com/websto… for instance)

I would determine what exactly you are trying to achieve with the buttons. Viral growth? Facebook search optimization? Commentary? Numbers to boost the perceived value of your content? Tracking data?

Again, it might be worth including both.

If you like the post the please use the share button to share it across your friends or feel free to comment.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/helen.johnston.906 Helen Johnston

    Love this image, I hope you dont mind if I borrow. It is certainly becoming more and more important to small business on FB.

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