If you've logged onto Facebook since April 21, 2010, you've likely noticed Facebook fans are a thing of the past. Now, instead of becoming a fan, page visitors click the thumbs-up button to "like" a page. The good news is this lighter-weight action could mean more connections for businesses – after all, it's easier to "like" something than to "love" it. That having been said, some adjustments may be necessary for businesses to make the most of this change.
First, drop the word "fan." If you ask website or blog readers to become a "fan on Facebook," it's time to update your language. The official phrase Facebook uses is "like this page." Unfortunately, there is no easy way to refer to the people who like your page as a group. The word "likers" is gaining some momentum, but it is too early in the transition to know what the final word will be.
Next, be ready for bigger changes. Facebook has more updates in store, including a universal like button and seamless integration of pages into the interests section of user profiles. This could mean greater exposure for a company, but only if the page fits the new paradigm. Pay special attention to your Facebook account over the next couple of weeks to make the most of the shift.
A word of caution. "Liking" might be a lighter action, but it doesn't mean customers will suddenly start flooding your page. An effective social media strategy, including Facebook, focuses on building relationships, listening to customers, and expanding networks. By providing useful content, responding to questions and concerns, and being your authentic self, you can continue to create true fans through your Facebook page, no matter what the button says.