As Facebook comes in to become one of the largest population groups in the world, it still finds its own flaws. Thanks to what can easily be assumed to be the influence of other social media sites, such as Twitter and Digg, the folks at Facebook have added yet another new feature.
Facebook Share allows a member to post a link/video/image to their wall that they find interesting or useful. Beyond spreading the content around to a broader audience, Facebook Share keeps track of the exact number of times a link has been “shared.” Depending upon the amount of friends that are active on Facebook that the sharer has, the more likely that your content is to be seen by a good amount of people.
Chris Hughes, writing for the Facebook blog, romanticizes the concept of sharing links with your friends. He mentions the ‘old-school’ methods of sending urls to those on your friends lists and even via e-mail… but only for the sake of sharing something really cool that your friend’s coworker just has to see. While it is nice to have an outlook on the digital age as being one of purely good, not-for-profit, motives, let’s be realistic here: The goal is to bring as much traffic as possible to whatever it is you have your hand in – and that’s a good thing.
Mark Kinsey, a Facebook product manager, reiterates in a more recent post that “the Share button enables you to take content from across the Web and share it with your friends on Facebook, where it can be re-shared over and over so the best and most interesting items get noticed by the people you care about.” But will the results really be so substantial for only moderately trafficked sites? Time, along with Analytics, will reveal the true number difference the Facebook Share widget makes; but from inquiring into the traffic as it stands now, most websites are not seeing a significant jump in numbers.
Website administrators and blog owners that wish to add Facebook Share can easily do so by heading to Facebook’s Share widget area. There you’ll be able to optimize the widget to best fit your site. Choose between a nice looking button widget, or just a link. If you choose the button option, there is also the ability to have a counter alongside it, which will display the most recent count of the amount of times that the link has been shared. What is great is that this widget is available to everyone for use, and will make your interface just that much more user-friendly.
So, is this the solution to reaching an unprecedented number of unique views? Likely not, but it will help get the message out there in a more organic fashion… which, ironically enough, is great for almost all social media marketers. Don’t forget to check out all of the other Facebook features and widgets that can help out your blog – or at least make your social life online just a little easier.