Facebook is replacing its "become a fan" lingo for "like" on its Brand Pages, also referred to as business fan pages. What will this mean for your brand? And for the people who "like" your company?
PR Newsler of MediaBistro brought up some brand implications of "like" vs "fan". They suggest that the language change will make it easier for people to connect with a Brand fan Page. The folks at MediaMemo shared with everyone the memo Facebook wrote to advertisers, quietly announcing the language change, explaining that: "People already 'Like' their friends’ status updates, photos and links everyday. In fact, people click 'Like' almost two times more than they click 'Become a Fan' everyday."
Herein lies a behavioral issue. While it is true, that to "like" something with a single click is much easier to understand that to "become a fan", to "like", in Facebook, is associated with low impact interactions with very little ripple effect, unlike when you "fan" something, you are hooking in with a business page who can then show up regularly in the newsfeed and send fans updates. If you "like" a status, or a photo, you just click to show your support and move on, hence the reason, possibly, why people are two times more likely to "like" than to "become a fan."
Will this move bring your business page more fans? Probably. Does this change in the language make an action more understandable by less experienced Facebook people who will then be more likely to fan? Most likely. Does this change signal to the user that they are hooking in with a business page, to see all of their branding messages in that user's newsfeed and Updates inbox? Not really. It is this possible misguidance of the uneducated user that could annoy that user when they like-like-like everything, and then are inundated with branding messages when they are trying to keep up with things they care about.
I'm cool with Facebook changing the lingo to make it more clear, but I don't think it's using like terms (couldn't resist that pun), and I do think it misleading to uninformed users to quickly increase a fan base for a business. It's not like everyone reads Facebook's blog and industry articles to see how to use Facebook to grow business. Also notable is that Facebook strongly encourages Brand Page (business page) owners to promote it with an easy-to-create Facebook ad. If the ROI is low because people are being thoughtful about who they fan, or hook into, and don't convert into a fan, then it's to Facebook's advantage to change the lingo into something easier and less-thoughful to agree to. It's good for the business too, if they are just looking to increase fan base numbers, but hopefully the business holds onto those fans once the fans realize they've just signed up for a lot of updates, links, photos, notes, messages, etc.
At the end of the day: be aware of this change, and make the necessary language change on your website if you do say "Fan us in Facebook", or any other lingo with fan.
Oh and hey - have you fanned us - or liked us - in Facebook yet? Get hooked in with us on Facebook, we have a good time over there!