Facebook ‘Wants’ a New Kind of Engagement

The symbol for Facebook's new "want" icon is a green shopping bag, pictures here.
Source: Pottery Barn

We often share and solicit ideas on how to develop a Facebook engagement strategy that goes beyond the "like" action. Facebook itself is giving brands a new way to take their fans beyond the "like."

Facebook has begun testing a "want" button with seven retail brands. The button is part of a new Collections feature, through which these retailers can share photos and information—in a similar fashion to Pinterest—about their products, reports PCMag.com.

Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria's Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics and Fab.com form the test group.

As part of the pilot, Facebook users can identify themselves as "wanting" a product in a vendor's Collection. Those notes will be visible to users' friends on their Timelines, similar to the way users can see which pages their friends “like.” There will also be a buy link for each product in a Collection that links to a place to buy it offsite, reports PCMag. 

A green shopping bag is a symbol for the new "want" feature. However, if you visit the Facebook pages of these pilot pages and fail to see the "want" button, you're not alone, reports Business Insider—not everyone can see the button yet. 

Those using Facebook's secured connection browsing option (HTTPS), which Facebook recommends using as a security measure, will see a message that secure browsing is not yet supported with the new "want" feature. (HTTPs browsing exists as part of Facebook's advanced security features, found in the "Account Security" section of the Account Settings page).

And while the new feature is only available to these major retailers, for now, it may represent a fundamental shift in how retailers will value their Facebook efforts. Facebook may be used more as a sales device, and less as a a community-building tool. 

Find out which engagement tactics are working now and which ones are no longer working, register for PR News' October 18 webinar, Boost Engagement With Your Brand Now on Facebook.

Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg