How to Optimize Your Business’s Like Button with Open Graph - dummies

How to Optimize Your Business’s Like Button with Open Graph

By Amy Porterfield, Phyllis Khare, Andrea Vahl

With the Open Graph protocol, Facebook enables your website to establish a connection with your visitors and the Facebook platform. Facebook uses a (jargon alert) Open Graph protocol to interact with other websites. You can use the Open Graph on any website or blog.

When you use it, the Open Graph provides Facebook the technical tool to link information from outside Facebook with the information on the Facebook platform. By linking the information, your website becomes equivalent to a Facebook Page.

Why does this matter? There’s tremendous value in Open Graph when you use it in conjunction with the Facebook Like button. Open Graph allows you to integrate your web pages into what Facebook calls the Social Graph. The Open Graph protocol can also be used without Facebook.

When a user likes a web page by clicking the Like button, for example, the social plug-in automates an update in the user’s News Feed. It’s as simple as that, and it stops there. When you add the full Open Graph application programming interface (API) code to your website, however, here’s what happens when a user clicks a Like button on your site:

  • An update is automatically published on that user’s News Feed inside Facebook.

  • The updates you publish on your Facebook Page now also appear in that user’s News Feed (thus giving you greater exposure).

  • Your Page shows up in Facebook search results.

  • You can create ads that target people who have liked your content.

How does this work? It all starts with setting the right tags to define the content being liked. Open Graph tags are tags that you add to your website to describe your page’s entity — what your page represents, such as a band, restaurant, or blog.

First, there are tags to make the connection with Facebook. With Open Graph, you set tags for your web pages to define them for Facebook. Using the Open Graph tags on your web page makes your page seem as though it’s on Facebook.

When a reader clicks the Like button on your web page, a connection is established between your web page and the reader. Your page will appear on the reader’s Facebook Profile just as though that reader had liked a Facebook Page.

There are also tags to provide context for what is being liked. With the tags, you define this information. Using the Open Graph, Facebook can collect a large amount of information about your fans, prospects, and clients — the people you most want to connect with.

You can easily imagine cross-referencing some of this information to find people who are an exact match to a very specific Profile you define — specifically, a Profile that would likely be interested in your products and services.

The Open Graph protocol is pretty technical. If you’re not familiar with code, you could save yourself a lot of unnecessary stress and call your webmaster for assistance. To learn more about Open Graph, visit the Facebook Developer site.