NOTE: The facebook like and share buttons only work to their full potential of promoting actual content IF your network is FULLY PUBLIC. Private networks and those set to Public/Show Only Main Page will ONLY SHOW YOUR NETWORK NAME AND DESCRIPTION NO MATTER WHAT CONTENT IS LIKED OR SHARED VIA FACEBOOK! It does this to concur with your desire to keep either your entire network or content deeper than the main page private.
OK, after much testing, thinking, more testing, even more thinking and even a little debate, I have come to the solid conclusion the Facebook "Like" button is useless if you are wanting it to spread awareness of your network.
As I stated in this discussion, the facebook like button only sends the liked content to your member's profile pages. It does not send it to their friend's news feeds at all. For a friend to see a current members' like from your network, they HAVE to go to that members facebook profile page, and no one goes to people's profile pages anymore, they surf facebook from their main feed page (the same page we all surf facebook from). For the member to get it from their profile page via a like, they HAVE to go to their own profile page, and click share. So, if you are using facebook on your network to spread awareness about your network, #1 don't sell your efforts short. likes aren't bringing people, we all work too hard to be counting on a tool to spread awareness that is not doing so. #2 don't put your members through a 2 step process when they can easily get it to their friends in one action, while at the same time better spreading awareness of your network!
If a member clicks SHARE from your network, the content DOES go straight to all of their friends feeds. this spreads awareness of your content/network faster and much more efficiently.
If you remove the facebook like from your network, the link that says "facebook" that comes up is a SHARE. in one action, a member sends your content to all of their FRIENDS, not to their PROFILE PAGE, where it sits, dying, getting buried and rarely if ever even seen.
What I did, was go to my language editor and search for Facebook. I found it, changed the language so the link now says Share this with your Facebook Friends! I also searched for Twitter, changed it to Post this to Twitter! and on the Share link i changed the language to read Share this on other great sites! (slightly edited after shooting screenshot)
Now, I know MANY of you out there use the like button for different reasons, like photo contests for example. If you do, this tip might not be for you, you need to weigh the options and decide what's more important. (On a side note, you can track likes for contests with the network like button, you don't need facebook like for that, but I know some still prefer it anyway.) I have facebook connected to my network for the sole purpose to spread awareness of the site, and facebook like does not do this. share DOES!
I have been discussing this with someone else, who says i'm incorrect on the different behavior between LIKE and SHARE. If I am incorrect, someone PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I have my regular facebook account and a test account i made, friended the two, and i'm liking items with my main ID that are not getting feed to the test ID's feeds, but the shares I click ARE coming to the feed of the test account. If anyone tests this and sees differently, please LET ME KNOW! I will then want to figure out what i'm missing if that IS the case!
what i would LOVE to do is be able swap the placing of the Share this on other great sites! and the Share this with your Facebook friends! So the Facebook link is far left, or first. Anyone know if that can be done?