Practical Ecommerce

Facebook’s 10 Social Plugins; Benefits to Merchants

Facebook social plugins are a quick and easy way to extend your social reach and engage your website’s visitors with social interaction.

The Facebook social plugins are easily installed. On each plugin’s page — noted below — in the Facebook Developers section, the configuration tool lets you simply configure the plugin and get code. Drop an iframe onto your page, or use advanced techniques — such as JavaScript SDK and XFBML — for more versatility.

For more on how to install Facebook plugins, read “Two Easy Ways to Add the Facebook Like Button to Product Detail Pages” on Ecommerce Developer, Practical eCommerce’s companion site.

Here is a list of the Facebook social plugins. Each one provides a different way to engage your customers and enable social sharing of content, driving traffic to your website. Once you’ve installed the plugins, visit Facebook Insights and track how they are doing.

Facebook Social Plugins

  1. Like Button. The Like button lets users share your site content with friends on Facebook. When the user clicks the Like button on your site, a story appears in the user’s friends’ News Feed with a link back to your website. Include a Like button next to any piece of content on your site, such as a product listing, to drive users between Facebook and your site.

  2. Send Button. The Send button allows users to send your content and a private message to an individual friend or groups of friends, rather than to all Facebook friends with the Like button. The Send button is designed to serve as a companion to the Like button, and the configuration tool gives you the option to create a combined Like and Send button. The Send button is ideal to add to sale products or any time-sensitive material, such as a press release, for users to quickly alert others.

  3. Comments Box. The Comments Box lets users comment on your site. If the user leaves the “Post to Facebook” box checked when posting a comment, a story appears in the News Feed of the user’s friends, which will also link back to your site. Comments are orders to show users the most relevant comments from friends, friends of friends, and the most liked or active discussion thread, while comments marked as spam are hidden from view. As users need to be logged into a real Facebook account, they cannot post anonymous content. The Comments box promotes engagement and verifies the interests of users.

  4. Activity Feed. The Activity Feed plugin displays recent activity taking place on your site. It displays stories when users like content on your site, when users share content from your site in Facebook, or if they comment on your site in the Comments box. If the user is logged into Facebook, the Activity Feed highlights content from their friends. If the user is logged out, the Activity Feed displays recommendations from across your site and gives the user the option to log in to Facebook. Use the Activity Feed to promote your own social network.

  5. Recommendations. The Recommendations plugin lists suggestions of content on your site for the user. If the user is logged into Facebook, the plugin highlights content the user’s friends have shared. If the user is not logged into Facebook or has no connection through friends to your site, the plugin lists your content that has been the most popular in general. This plugin creates a personalized experience for the user to your content.

  6. Like Box. The Like box enables users to “like” your Facebook page and view its stream without leaving your website. The Like box can be a simple box with you Facebook page name, logo and Like button. The Like box can also be configured to display recent posts from your Facebook page, and show how many people already Like the page and which of the user’s friends Like it. Add the Like box to your website and see if it increases your Facebook Likes.

  7. Login Button. The Login button displays profile pictures of the user’s friends who have already signed up for your site, in addition to functioning as a login button. You can specify the maximum number of face rows to display.

  8. Registration. The Registration plugin allows users to easily sign up for your website. If logged into Facebook, the user sees a form pre-filled with his or her Facebook information where appropriate. If the user does not have a Facebook account or does not wish to register with a Facebook account, the user can still register using the same form.

  9. Facepile. The Facepile plugin displays profile pictures of users who have Liked your page or have signed up for your site. It is similar to the Login display, without the login function.

  10. Live Stream. The Live Stream plugin lets users visiting your site share activity and comments in real time. Live Stream is ideal for live events, such as webinars, conferences or company webcasts. Use Live Stream to extend the audience of your event.

Sig Ueland
Sig Ueland
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Comments ( 2 )

  1. Firoz Muhammed December 6, 2012 Reply

    I applied Facebook comment box on my blog and written and article on the same-

  2. Dave Burton December 2, 2014 Reply

    I strongly recommend AGAINST using the Facebook Social Plugin to add support for commenting on your site, unless you want to annoy your site’s visitors.

    Facebook uses an Orwellian censorship model which will prevent many people from posting comments. The users are given no explanation for why their comments won’t post. Rather, it’s made to look like a malfunction of YOUR web site — and it is only apparent AFTER the users have wasted their time composing their comments.

    There’s some discussion of this problem here (among many other places):
    (Copy saved here: )

    Use Disqus, or LifeFyre, or ANYTHING other than Facebook!

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