Share Button vs Like Button For Best Facebook Exposure

Only about 17% of your Fans see your Facebook Page posts…

That angers me a little.

I can’t help it.  The fact that I can post to my Facebook page and have that message show up in only 17% of my Fans news stream is angering.

Damn you EdgeRank! 

OK… Complaining about Facebook algorithms is akin to hollering at the Moon, so I will stop.

What does a good Blogger do when faced with social network algorithm issues? 

That’s right, a good blogger figures out how to best work the system for maximum exposure.

If you’re asking yourself, “What is EdgeRank?”  Edgerank is one of the ways that Facebook decides which posts to include in a user’s news feed.  The equation is very simple:

Affinity + Weight + Time Decay = EdgeRank

You can read more at EdgeRank Checker. (the image below is from Edge Rank Checker Blog.)

Improve EdgeRank with the share button

The Facebook Button

So we all have ways to share our content to Facebook (If you don’t that’s a MUST DO right now!)  in the form of a button placed somewhere on your blog.

Ms. Ileane uses the DiggDigg floating social media buttons that trail the post as you scroll down.  That is one way to do it.

Some people place their social media buttons at the beginning of the post, others at the end and others yet, at both the beginning and end.

I use a social media plugin called Socialize which places social media buttons at the top of each blog post and then creates a Feature Box at the end of each post with additional social media buttons (Check out my post on stupid ebook publishing mistakes as an example).

The point is I don’t care where you put your social media buttons, but you need to have them and a Facebook button is a MUST.

So now the question is… Which Facebook button should we use to increase post exposure?

Share Button vs Like Button

Tying our initial problem (only 17% of our Fans see our posts) to our question (Which Facebook button should we use to increase post exposure) we’re left with a decision…

Should we encourage our blog visitors to use the Facebook Share Button or Like Button?

For those that don’t know the Share Button looks like this:

And this is what the Like Button looks like:

I encourage to try both right now and see the difference in how they share content on Facebook.

Why I will always use the Share Button

There are two reasons why I will always use the Share Button and not the more common Like Button:

  1. The Share Button attaches an Affinity score to the post shared and the Like Button does not.
  2. The Share Button carries a higher Weight score to the post shared than the Like Button.

Maybe these two items don’t seem like a big deal.

You’re saying, really Ryan, those are the two reasons that you use the Share Button over the Like Button?

And my response would be ABSOLUTELY YES!

For anyone that been blogging for more than three months knows every little thing counts when it comes to getting your content found Online!

The difference between Share Button and Like Button may seem small but if that small difference gets your content in front of more readers than it’s worth it… No doubt.

BONUS VIDEO: HOW TO ADD A LINK TO YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE BACK TO YOUR BLOG

The Rub

Last time I wrote a Guest Post for Ms. Ileane I discussed the Zombie Apocalypse and your Newsletter Subscribers.

What I don’t want to see is your Facebook Posts getting lost in post apocalyptic EdgeRank world as well…

Use the Share Button… Get in your Fans news feed more often!

Thank you,

Ryan H.

Recommended Reading: 

 

About 

If you received value from this article, I encourage you learn more About Ryan Hanley or visit his website, Content Warfare you can also download his Free eBook the No Bullshit Guide to a Successful Blog.

139 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Hi Ryan, Great to see you here at Ileane’s place. This article is fascinating. I had no idea about Edge Rank before I read this.

    A couple of questions. First, couldn’t we both “Like” and “Share ” our posts? Second, do you recommend that we eliminate the Like button so Facebook sharing is the only option for the readers?

    People often want the path of least resistance and clicking Like may be all they are willing to do.

    Thanks, Ileane, for having Ryan here at your place!

    • Carolyn,

      What I didn’t go into in the post but I think is very important is understanding who reads you blog and making a decision based on that determination.

      For my insurance agency’s website I have the Like Button because (just like you said) the Like Button is more common and less resistance. The people that read my insurance blog or most often not Tech people so I want to make sharing easy for them.

      With my Marketing blog I use the Share Button but the readers are a little more sophisticated with Tech so I’m willing to take a few less likes for the more powerful Share.

      Does that make sense?

      Thanks!

  2. I think both can be implemented successfully, as the best option is always to leverage strategy as much as possible. I am gonna check EdgeRank, sounds quite interesting and this is the first time I see it.

  3. Great post!
    I’m using the share button for a long time now and I can say definitively that it is much more effective than the like button that everybody else uses!
    It manages to bring the right content to the people who want to see it.

  4. Hi Ryan,
    When I like any post then I also prefer share button over like button because it carries a higher Weight score to the post and share button gets your content in front of more readers and like button doesnot.

  5. Hi Ryan, it is good attempt to explain the the difference between like and share. Most of the readers do not know the anatomy of these terminologies

  6. I initially went with the “Like” button, then after a while tried the “Share” button and did notice an increase in the numbers with the Share button, so I’m still using that one now.

  7. Ooh this is really interesting! I didn’t know that Facebook used an algorithm to decide what showed up on a news feed. I just thought it was a sort of “all the news that’s fit to print” type of deal. Thanks for these tips. Now I know how to use this new technology!

    • Robert…

      Facebook is actually rolling out a new algorithm soon called GraphRank which is going to be even more intense…

      Everyone is trying to figure out the best way to deliver the most relevant information.

      Thanks!!

      Ryan H.

  8. Kimberly Gauthier

    I love the share button because (1) I can add my own comments explaining why I’m sharing and (2) I can sometimes choose where I share (my profile or one of my pages).

    Great post! It feels great to know that I’m getting something right (for me, that is).

    Kimberly

    • Kimberly,

      You’re definitely right on and I agree I’m a big fan of being able to share information where I want being forced into one profile or another.

      Thanks!!

  9. Very good point! The only concern is that it’s much easier and requires less steps and action for someone to like versus share. It would be interesting to see the number of people who decide to avoid the share because it’s more “work”.

    • Genevieve,

      You are right. There are going to be people that don’t SHARE and would have LIKED.

      So I recommend taking a good look at your visitors based on the Cost/Effect of choosing each Button.

      Good Luck!

  10. I wasn’t aware there was a difference in the share/like button. Oops. Good info, going to have to make some changes. Appreciate it.

    Just as a sided note, your ‘click here to comment’ button confused me for a minute. Was looking for an anti-spam click and I couldn’t find one.

  11. Wade

    You’re right! Facebook “Like” isn’t used as much as it needs to be! I also think that integrating a Facebook comment section is another good prompt to get people to share. Great post, I agree with you 100%!

    • I’m intrigued by Facebook comments but I don’t like how Facebook owns the comments.

      So if Facebook decides it doesn’t like Facebook Comments and closes the App your Comments are gone.

      Thanks!

  12. Great stuff, Ryan and glad to see you here on Ileane’s blog.

    Share button works way much better than the like button (at least on marketing & blogging niche blogs).

    Anyways, I’m using both the buttons – share button in the floating bar and like button at the bottom of the post.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    -Dev

    • Dev,

      I actually think your strategy is perfect. Placing the buttons right next to each diminishes the chance either will be used.

      But by placing them in separate locations there is a chance Both will be used.

      Love it!

      Ryan H.

  13. Aasma

    Hi Ryan,

    I think you’re quite right here, by choosing Facebook share over Facebook Like. Facebook Share gives you opportunity to get more exposure and it does contain more weightage than Like.

  14. Hi Ryan,
    Thanks for sharing the differences between FB Like and FB Share. The Share help you in sharing your work so that it reaches more and more audience. The FB Like is simply for the acknowledgement and you may not get the appropriate exposure.
    Thanks
    Aditya

  15. I also think that the Share button has more advantages than Like, but it a little more difficult to get the same number of shares. Nevertheless, the best results will be obtained with the share button.

  16. This is a terrific observation about Facebook like and share. I never thought about it! I will definitely going to go ahead and change it on my blog. This is such a valuable information! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Hi Ryan – This is the first time am visiting your blog. Must say that its informative. Am amazed also, why is facebook promoting like button over share , despite the fact that facebook share seems more authoritative wherin user likes content so much as is accepting to share content with his community.

  18. I’d go with the share button. Yes people can see when you like things but when you share an item it stays on your page for a while so there you go, if I want people to see something I share it rather than like it!

  19. Dennis

    I currently only have the like button on my website but I’m definitely going to look into putting the share button there too.

  20. Anita

    I personally use the LIKE button on my blogs since more people will “like” than “share” something I believe. I also think have a high “like” count will have great effect on search engine rankings.

    • Anita,

      I definitely agree that the number social shares (Likes) you have can help in search results…

      So what you have to do is determine how many more Likes will you get than Shares and if that will have a greater effect on Search Results than the loss of News Feed performance in Facebook…

      Thanks!!

  21. Raaj Trambadia

    Yeah, I’ll prefer the share button. Moreover, any posts shared have the number of times the post is shared. So, if the number is high, more people prefer reading that shared post.

    Great article and amazing discussion going on! Cheers

  22. Thank you for this article, Ryan and Ms Ileane. I have been finding that as I do more and more on Facebook, that it seems there is more and more to learn about. I knew a little bit about Edgerank before, but had no idea what the formula is. Now that I know a bit more about how it works maybe I can get my posts seen by more people online. that would be a really nice outcome. :-)

    • Michael,

      In general I assume that most people think every post they write finds it’s way into every friends or fan’s news feed.

      It’s eye-opening really considering how much time people spend putting the posts together.

      Thanks,

      Ryan h>

  23. as many have pointed out, it is all about effort…but 17%
    now thats an interesting statistic
    share does get more views, which is good, liking takes less effort…but hey…its only a few extra seconds right?

    thanks

  24. I was one of those people ready to jump off a building when I heard that I’m spending all this time posting to Facebook… for very little reason. It’s really a lot of work for such a low return, but like you said, there isn’t much use in complaining. I didn’t realize that the Share button actually carries weight, which is great to know, but I like it anyway because it means someone is actually posting your content to Facebook, which is much better for increasing the potential for being seen. Thanks for the tip!

    • Carol,

      One thing that can help you with Shares is to write a bog post to teach your readers “How” to share on Facebook and tell them that if they are going to Share your content that prefer the Share Button…

      That will help!

      Thanks,

      Ryan H>

  25. I think share button is better. And as i can see, you agree with me. Sharing means that you showed more interest on the link, and you wish to share it with others not just like it.

  26. Love the post and I always try to use Share button over the like button. But I did read a long time ago that FB “discontinued” the share button so now I can’t get it, they removed it from the Social Plugins page and a lot of sharing plugins don’t have it. Any ideas about the workaround?

    • Bran,

      If you do a Google Search for “Facebook Share Button” the Developers page will come up. Click that like and you’ll get the code for the Share Button.

      Let me know how that works…

      Ryan H.

  27. I was reading about the EdgeRank and other changes with all the new Facebook timeline both on our personal and now, our fan pages. I made a decision when the FB Share button first came out — I love it!

    My friends and family really don’t want to see all the ‘business’ articles, videos and posts that I like (which I enjoy sharing other peoples content, like this!) So when the Share button came out, I wrote a post right away to show other business owners how you can share your ‘business’ information to your Fan Page or even to your groups.

    However, with the new EdgeRank it does sound like your information will not be seen by all your fans. I would like to point out, that since the new Fan Page timeline, my posts and information that I ‘share’ have been getting a lot more activity and engagement.

    I think it will depend on the consistency of how you share our information on all social platforms.

  28. Hi Ryan,
    When I like any content then I share it because I feel it is better than like button but I didn’t go in details as you go and now I think that I was always right :)

  29. I agree. Using the “Share” button extensively increase the people that see your posts. This would also be very useful if you have a bunch of pages or groups where you can post to and receive feedback as well as have the same people visit your page. Liking a link however, as said on your post, detains how many people will see your post. Thanks for this great article!

  30. I always use Facebook Share button. you are right it gives more weight to post in compare of like button. but we should also add a like button on post.

  31. Ryan, you definitely gave me a lot to think about here. It is hard to keep up with all of the Facebook changes and how they figure things, so blog posts like this really help. I appreciate the amount of detail and the way you explained it so well. It looks like I have another change to make on my blog!

  32. Ryan, I like Share button on top of like button…its good if people share the content which they like. Currently I do use both buttons but use share button in sharebar to give more exposure..

  33. Ryan, I just had a real “duh” moment. I know the difference between a FB share and a like but wouldn’t you know it? The last time I switched my plugin, I configured it with the like button! So, thanks so much for the nudge. I’m all set now and I’m a happy camper.

  34. Ofcoure, share button gives more exposure to people, as you have complete post which people can view but people tend to click on like button more than share. so they must be used in a balanced manner to get max benefit out of it..!

  35. I honestly had no idea facebook even used a system like EdgeRank. I have both fb like and share on my blogs and I’m contemplating removing the “like” button so more people are inclined to use the “share” button

  36. OMG! Edgerank??? I had never heard of this. Now I know!
    And I must say that you persuaded me to change my buttons from “like” to “share”.
    Thank you!!!

    • Thank Jim… You’ll have to come back and let everyone know if you see any change in exposure on Facebook.

      A good idea might be to let your audience know what and why you’re doing it.

      Ryan H>

  37. IMHO , the like button does everything , sometimes even more than that share button. With the evolution of Facebook Ticker, everyone sees , what the user has liked and where he has liked. IN addition to that, you can add comment , too , with liking the post :)

    • Do you realize how useful the Facebook Ticker is for Facebook? It is a really great addition to the news feed. You will be able to see your friends’ update live. Just imagine if you have a profile that you use solely for business and your friends are actually other companies in your circle of competition.

  38. Never thought of implementing both like and share buttons…. But as I read your article, I realized that the shared content is of no use if it doesn’t hit most of the fans newsfeed. So its better to use both share and like buttons on the webpages !

    Thanks for the share Ryan…

  39. I never thought about the differences with each button, but I am listening now. Maybe I am just use to seeing that feature (like button) on so many other sites, that I figured it was simply the norm, but I didn’t think about the Share button and how easily it would be to share posts too. Thank for the slap up side my head with this one. I have to change some stuff around and make sure that feature is prominent on my blog too. Thank you for the tip!

  40. Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for sharing this information.

    I knew that certain content can be counted as more relevant with the Edge Rank but I wasn’t aware that the shares verses the likes made that much of a difference. I just wanted to give my readers the option since I don’t personally share everything that I read on Facebook. I don’t want to overdo it you know.

    I’ve read that they suggest only sharing about four to five posts a day and of course, at certain times on Facebook but maybe this will encourage my readers to share my posts more on Facebook with their friends. I’ll give this a test and see how that works.

    Great post and thanks again for sharing this. Okay, I’ll share this post tomorrow on my Facebook page.

    ~Adrienne

  41. Thanks Adrienne… Definitely let me know what you think of a Share Button focus… It would be very cool if you saw measured results and could share with us!

  42. Interesting and what I was suspecting was true. And when you live in tomorrow relative to the rest of the world, it is a real challenge to get a decent feed going without the love of others or a decent VA or automated program

  43. Ammara Wasim

    Hi Ryan
    I was not aware from the share button and like button for best facebook exposure. Your post made me well aware from this concept. Thanks.

  44. Hi Ryan,
    First of all! A good post.
    I personally think that both Like and Share go hand in hand. The thing is that it is just a mental game. Some people feel the authority to `share` and some just `like`s your post. I guess both of them does pretty much the same thing in the end. So for me its just a mental game and in my experience `Like` work better than `Share`. But they can be implemented with great success on the same page.
    Cheers!

    • Jaspreet,

      I certainly agree that both can be added to a blog page and have successful sharing with both buttons…

      Getting everyone to hit both would be best case scenario!! ha!

      Thanks,

      Ryan H.

  45. Hey Ryan, Great information here. When I syndicate, I like to use the share button so I can have something good to say about what I am syndicating. My mindset is one of branding myself on Social Platforms, so whatever I choose to like, I need to tell people why. Thanks so much for this
    Donna Merrill

    • Donna,

      That is really… Really good way of looking at it and I like the fact that you used the word syndicating as that is what you’re doing.

      Great thoughts!

      Thanks,

      Ryan H.

  46. I have to admit that I hadn’t heard of Edgerank (or GraphRank, for that matter), but I’ve long prefered to use the Share button instead of the Like button for the same reason Kimberly does. In fact, I’ll sometimes try to tease something in the post, like for this one, I might say “Do you know the 2 reasons you should choose one over the other?” or “One of the comments (besides my own) has the reason I use one over the other!”

    Great thoughts! Thanks for sharing!

    • Grady,

      A good way to get more shares as well is to write a post explaining to your readers How to use the Share button…

      That will help.

      Thanks!

  47. Hi Ryan,

    This is an awesome guest post. I had no idea about EdgeRank before I read your post. But I have been thinking about the difference between Facebook Share and Like, and to me, it seems that shares will be visible in my newsfeed, but likes won’t? I have no idea if this is the case, but the only time I see any likes is in the scrolling sidebar (on the right side). I haven’t seen any in my newsfeed for a long time.

  48. Yosi Mor

    I too prefer “Share” over “Like” because — as already mentioned — “Share” allows me to add a Comment and specify Privacy settings.

    However, “Share” also has a big disadvantage. When a reader proceeds to “Like” the item that was shared, what actually gets “Liked” is the “Share” itself, and not the item being shared!

    For example, if I “Share” a Facebook page, and friends who see my post naively press “Like,” then what gets “Liked” is my post. In order to directly help the Facebook page, my friends would need to click through my post and then press “Like” on the Facebook page itself! The “Call To Action” in this “Share” scenario is much harder for me to explain and for my friends to perform — as compared to the trivial “Like” scenario.

    I also point out that, according to https://developers.facebook.com/docs/share/ :
    “The Share button has been deprecated in favor of the Like button, and will no longer be supported.”

    • ONE ITEM IN FAVOR OF LIKES — Most comments missed this but Yosi got it, I see something SUPER IMPORTANT amiss in the OP, in favor of ‘Likes’ which is not covered.

      When I share one of my Page’s photos on my personal FB and my ‘lazy-or-ignorant’ friends use the ‘Like’ action, they are liking my action of sharing something not the photo itself [an almost wasted vote], so it does not increase the likes rank on the photo itself because those Likes are not Hot-Linked to the original; in order to increase the statistics on the photo they would need to actually 1st click on the photo, then a 2nd click to like or share it………

      Versus:

      When I ‘Like’ my page’s photo, each subsequent like from a friend is pegged to the original photo because those are Auto-Hot-Linked, BIG DIFFERENCE.
      A big advantage on LIKE being better than SHARE. Why few notice this?

      To further visualize this, look in your personal FB Newsfeed, a Liked picture will show the total thousands of votes at the bottom… Versus a Shared picture may show 3 votes when it actuality the original might really have thousands. That’s because you can like a share but you CAN NOT like a Like. Likes on a share stay with the share do not get forwarded…. Attempted Likes on a Like all go to the original content.

      Subsequent shares are not affected either way.
      I have not decided which one I find better.

  49. Hey Ryan,
    Thanks for the education! I have to admit I didn’t know the difference in the FB Like and Share button when it comes to Edgerank, and I’ve kind of used both interchangeably and without a plan.

    No more — it’s Share for me from now on. Thanks!

  50. Great piece of advice ! – I actually use the same social plugin as this site, but what I noticed was that my shares and likes were the same number. I am not sure if this was a bug in the plugin, but to remove any doubt I removed the like button and left the share button.
    I knew I needed to do it, I just didn’t know why, so thanks for sharing that!
    Nicky

  51. I have also thinking same que. – which one is better – like button or share button. I am using like button in my site but still I am in confusion which one is better.

    • That is it! Have both. Can’t just say one works better than the other one since they can both be implemented just nicely.

  52. I prefer the Share button myself. It just makes me feel that the reader thought the post was good enough to share with others. I use the like button when I want people to know I read the post but don’t have a comment especially. Share is so much better. I have both on my blog.

  53. Hello Ryan. I believe social media sites like Facebook are a really good platform to share your blogs. However, is it the best option because apparently, people do not seem o be ‘into’ Facebook like before? What I mean is that people nowadays are very busy with work and other activities. So, would you still recommend Facebook as a very strong platform?

  54. Wow, I always thought that the share button is the same thing as the like button.

    Thanks Ryan for clearing that up, and you’re right everything counts, I’m going to be using the Share button from now on.

  55. LIKE button is the better option for users or fans but share button is more better for the author or blogger.However both has extra identity to clarify own works.

  56. Nice artical. will u guys plz help to create face book like page. i am trying make Facebook page and also i wanna put like butoon on my website but i am not able to do. some one can guide me?

  57. Really a great post you shared with us.when i put a facebook like button or facebook share button on my blog then i got direct visit or traffic from the facebook.its really a great way to get traffic from the facebook.

  58. Why not have both. They seem to do just fine, both of them for me. Liking is the natural way of getting to know what someone likes.

    Sharing is now not even supported by Facebook, and I now use the send button since it is just as effective.

  59. Facebook Share gives you opportunity to get more exposure and it does contain more weightage than Like.Differentiated two aspects very well and it is very useful post.Thanks for the article.

  60. Awesome post learned a lot. Didn’t even know there was such a thing as an edgerank lol. I still have a lot to learn about social media.

  61. I have both the Like and Share button on my site but I also want people to “Like” the individual pics as well and it doesn’t let them, just the entire website. If I delete the FB meta tags it lets people like the individuals pics but doesn’t show a pic of the site when people “Like” it. Can anyone let me know how it is feasable for people to “Like” both the site and pics without deleting the meta tags? I would greatly appreciate it!

  62. 17% reach? its the best reach i have seen My updates are reaching to max 10% of fan and it is very rare common is4-6% reach. and yes facebook share button is better than like button

    • Hi Ari! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your concern. I think you noticed that Ryan Hanley is the author of this post and not me :)

      At the time the post was written the Like Button I was using did not facilitate sharing of the post on Facebook. Since that time the functionality of the button that I’m using has changed and it does allow for sharing. However that is not the case for every like button around and the post is still valid.

      I just visited a couple of blogs with Like buttons that don’t open a sharing window like We Blog Better, for example.

      Chat soon Ari!

  63. This post provides great information about the share and like buttons. I have been using both facebook buttons on my site. I have a dating site. On the homepage and each profile page, I placed the LIKE button. On the blog of my site, I placed the SHARE button.

    However, after reading this article, I may try to use the SHARE button more on my site.

    Thanks.

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