Last week you may have noticed news of the new Facebook Send button. It was a super hot topic on many blogs read by marketers including Mashable and Marketing Pilgrim. And for good reason, as this added functionality brings us a new way to share our content socially.
For those that missed it, Facebook launched a few feature that allows your website or blog visitors to click a button similar to the Facebook Like button. This button then allows users to share the selected content with an individual or group of individuals through their Facebook inbox.
On your website you will display the Send button similar to the Like button, and you may choose to replace your ‘Email a Friend’ button or other social sharing functionality with the new Send button. You can see in this 1800flowers.com example that the Facebook Like and Send are the only two social sharing buttons they display.
This feature is powerful because it allows a user to share in a much more personal way than your typical social sharing. I would argue that this type of sharing is even more important to your brand than a Facebook Like or other social shares to sites like Twitter because it is delivered as a personal referral, instead of through a mass distribution.
I think it is also a reminder that email marketing is far from dead. It is evolving. Many people will prefer this functionality to other ways of sharing, including directly to a personal email account, simply because this is their preferred way to communicate. Plus, these Facebook emails are likely to arrive in the recipients inbox anyway, since according to a study by Merkle, “Nearly two-thirds (63%) of social networkers use the same email account for their social networking messages and the majority of their permission, or opt-in, email.”
This new functionality has another big benefit to an ‘Email to a Friend’ type of share button. The use of the Send button will actually count towards the Likes of your Company Page.
Here is an example of me sharing details about a hotel with someone using the new Facebook Send feature.
And in this picture you will see how it looks in the Facebook inbox. The subject line is the Title Tag of the page (yet another reason to pay close attention to your title tags) and the message I typed in is featured in the body of the email with the link clearly displayed and easy to click.
And now, if I return back to the original orbits page you will see that the Likes of this page has now increased because of my Facebook Send.
I know that adding the button isn’t as easy as just dropping in some code because it affects the experience your audience has with your website or blog. At Marketo we are thinking about how to integrate this into our website and B2B Marketing blog, including how it will affect other sharing buttons, the placement compared to our Facebook Like and Tweet This buttons, and how to ensure our users understand the new functionality.
Will you be adding this new sharing option to your site?