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Adding a Facebook "Like" box to your Concrete5 website

I tried just using the "Like" button from the Concrete5 marketplace, but I didn't like the way it looked, and it also didn't seem to function properly.  It didn't track likes properly, and there was no way for someone to like the page from facebook without visiting your site.  When people did like it, it wasn't showing the actual numbers, and basically it was just confusing.  I also wanted to show a feed of my latest updates from facebook.  It's actually not too hard to do this, but there are a few things you have to do first.  This post takes you through the basics of setting everything up.

Step One - Create a Facebook Page

This is totally neccessary.  Because of the way that the facebook like widget functions, you have to have a page to share.  It would be great if you could just show your personal stream, but that isn't possible.  You need to either use the Open Graph protocol to get the like button working 100% correctly, or make a page on the Facebook website that you can then link to and share.

To make a page for your company or website, you just go here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

I went with the "Official Page" option for werstnet.com.  The process is pretty simple.

Step Two - Generate Like Box Code

From the "Get Started" tab on your page, there's a link to set up a like-box that takes you here:

http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like-box

You'll need to copy and paste the URL of your page, and figure out how wide to make the widget.  Then you just click "Get Code" and copy the iframe code.

Step Three - Add The Code To Your Website

This is really simple, too.  All you have to do is add an HTML block where you want the code to go, then paste in the iframe code. 

Step Four - Profit!

Ok, maybe not really, but that's all the more there is to it.  You now have a widget that shows the latest posts to your facebook page, and who likes it.  It also allows users to like your website and have it actually show up in their profile with other things that they like, and shows up better in their profiles when they like your site. 

It's much better than using just the little like button that you can get from the marketplace, and allows a lot more flexibility.  If you have a business that could benefit from social sharing on facebook, it makes sense that you should have an actual profile on the site for your business. 

You can also do things like hook up your Concrete5 blog to automatically publish to your facebook page using NetworkedBlogs (this will be another blog post) and then have your updates automatically shared to your twitter stream.  This increases the reach of your website, with a minimum of publishing effort.

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