It’s Like That

LikeHot on the heels of our custom domain announcement last week, we rolled out more social sharing goodness today. This time we focused on making our Facebook integration much more flexible.

Set what you want your subscribers to “Like”

When we launched social sharing, we made it easy for any of your subscribers to Like your email on Facebook. That worked well for a lot of you, but was a little inflexible for some. You might have your own Facebook page that you’d rather them Like instead. Your email might be pointing people to a landing page, and you want your subscribers to Like that page instead of the email itself. Now that’s all possible, all without your subscriber ever needing to leave your email.

Introducing the likeurl property

To keep things as flexible as possible, we’ve added a new property to the fblike tag called likeurl. Throw any URL in there, and that’s what your subscribers will be Liking when they click the Like button button in your email.

<fblike likeurl="http://yourdomainhere.com"></fblike>

An example of this in action

Here’s where the good stuff happens. Let’s say I’m sending a weekly newsletter for Threadless, who have done an amazing job of getting more than 250,000 people to Like them on Facebook. When I send my weekly email, I’d much rather my subscribers Like my main Facebook page for Threadless rather than an individual email I’m sending. So, I throw the following in my email:

<fblike likeurl="http://www.facebook.com/threadless"></fblike>

Now, when any of my subscribers hit this Like button, they’ll see something like this (depending on whether or not any of their friends on Facebook like Threadless already).

The Like lightbox when you set a likeurl

As well as putting this like on the subscriber’s Facebook wall, they will also continue to see any updates Threadless post to Facebook. Essentially, that recipient is subscribing to your Facebook page when they Like it. It’s a brilliant way to encourage your email subscribers to keep up with you through another medium.

One small design change you might notice is that we now list the URL that person is liking below the modal title, just to make it clear what it is they are endorsing.

Take control of Likes with Open Graph

It’s possible to customize how Likes display on profiles, using Facebook’s Open Graph protocol. For instance, if you want a custom picture and description to display when someone Likes your site, then you can set this by adding Facebook-specific meta tags to the site itself (not the email campaign). Find out more at Facebook’s developer site.

Keeping your reports simple

Now that you can set the URL you want subscribers to Like for an individual Like button, and you can have multiple Like buttons in a single email, we wanted to make sure that data was available in your social report.

Now when a subscribe Likes a URL that you’ve set that isn’t the email itself, we’ll include the specifics in the sharing timeline. This means that even if you include multiple Like buttons in an email, each with a different destination page, you can still see a split of which ones were more popular in your reports. Here’s an example:

Reporting

We’ll still pool all of your Likes together at the top of your reports so you can easily compare them against those that share your email on Twitter or forward it to their friends.

With this out the door, we’ve got some other surprises for sharing on Twitter coming your way soon. A big thanks to everyone who gave us so many great suggestions after the initial launch of social sharing. It’s been brilliant seeing so many of you embracing it already, and hopefully this update will encourage more of you to follow suit.

Posted by David Greiner

21 Comments

  • Justin
    16th March

    Great addition! Thank you. Great for new templates, but equally a great reason to pitch old clients on updating their old templates to take advantage of new tech like this.

  • Red Hot Eshot
    16th March

    Brilliant!!! We didn’t use previous FB like feature because it was ugly and appeared as weird domain name on FB iPhone app and also outdated quickly. Now liking FB website is whole new thing.
    Thanks Campaign Monitor!

  • Jesse
    17th March

    Love it, thanks!

  • Mika Tuupola
    17th March

    Awesome! Took away the ugly url problem of previous implementation.

  • Rhys Harry - Reasonably Good
    17th March

    Nice. Can see how we can use this well for clients who have strong FB following.
    Thanks.

  • Sean
    18th March

    A great idea and a step forward (in theory) - however I’ve tested this with one of our templates & it simply doesn’t work. I thought it was because I had tried to apply inline styling to the Tweet & FBLike buttons, but even when I remove this (and wrap it in as a span instead) it still won’t work.

    http://email.thinkuhi.com/t/ViewEmail/r/EDB4776C7ACFD872

  • David Greiner
    18th March

    @Sean, I just checked out the web version of your campaign and clicked the Like button, which showed the Like lightbox for http://facebook.com/thinkuhi is it. working that way for you, or are you seeing a different issue?

  • Sean
    18th March

    @David Nope, its just refreshing the page - no lightbox. Using Chrome, about to test in FF and IE.

  • Sean
    18th March

    @David Also not working in FF & IE :(

  • David Greiner
    18th March

    When I load the page in Chrome, FF and Safari I see this: http://d.pr/jPma Maybe try a hard refresh and if it continues let us know and we’ll get to the bottom of it for you. We haven’t heard of any other customers running into this one, and this feature has already been very popular.

  • Sean
    18th March

    OK I’ll try clearing caches and keep refreshing - looking at the source of the web version, the FBLike image is wrapped in an anchor tag which points to the web version link. On clicking the URL gets appended with #fi (e.g. http://email.thinkuhi.com/t/ViewEmail/r/EDB4776C7ACFD872#fi)

  • Sean
    18th March

    Works in Safari only

  • David Greiner
    18th March

    @Sean: This is a weird one. I’ve just tested again in Firefox and a Mac and PC and it worked every time. If you have the time, could you please fire an email in with browser versions and a screenshot or two and I’ll get our QA team on the case.

  • Sean
    18th March

    Strange indeed - just tested it on a 3G network and its working fine. Must have something to do with using our internal corporate network.

    Thanks for your prompt response :)

  • Rosastef
    23rd March

    Excellent! Just wonderful. I’ll be creating a new campaign today and will make use of these new features right away. Thank you!

  • Rob Bare
    24th March

    This is a good step but what I really need is the ability to edit the URL I’m liking in the editor. My devs tell me it can only be hard coded. I do emails for music events so if I’m advertising 3 events in a single email recipients need to like that event specifically which changes every week.

    Anyway, I’ll wait for that one.

  • Phil Gilmore
    24th March

    Hi Rob,

    Your devs might not be happy with me advertising this (*gulp*) but i’ll go right ahead anyway. It’s not the most elegant of solutions, but you can edit the likeurl directly from an editable area.

    While editing, if you click on the little “source” to the top right of the editable area, you get the chance to tinker directly with the html. So instead of using the “facebook like” dropdown, just input the source directly, as suggested by Dave in the blogpost, and you should find that works:

    <fblike likeurl="http://www.abc.net.au/news/"></fblike

    The editor is tricky, so it won’t show up until you click the “preview email” button, but it does work. Give it a go and let us know if you have any troubles.

    In the meantime, i’ll make a feature request, and if enough people demand this, we’ll look at implementing a more elegant way of doing this using the editor UI.

  • Kirsty
    30th March

    Hi,
    firstly this is a great feature that we plan to use a lot. Can you tell me if you have a “follow us” for Twitter in the pipeline?

    Thanks

  • Ros Hodgekiss
    30th March

    Hi Kristy, we’re certainly open to the idea, but can’t confirm that it’s part of our future plans. I’ll add your vote for this internally and will keep you posted as to whether it’s something we introduce in the future.

  • Kirsty
    31st March

    Cool thanks for getting back to me.

  • Wendy
    1st April

    Where does one put this tag?

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