Like what you see? There's a button on Facebook for that. Like it so much that you want it? There... isn't a button for that. But for company brand fan pages, there should be.
The presence of having a "want" button included on Facebook would ultimately have a different impact on a company brand page than that of the traditional like button. Depending on what you post, it could get a whole lot of use or not. A café changing its cover photo to a picture of a new seasonal summertime salad definitely gets plenty of clicks for wanting whereas a status update just wishing everyone a happy Friday and inquiring about weekend plans is best left to being liked (though if comments left behind include awesome weekend outings, those could very well be "wanted" just as much too.)
You want it, you got it! But for a brand's profile page, how could such a button be put to best use? Let's imagine and put a plan into action on what it would be like for Facebook to have this kind of feature available shall we?
Consider the Industry
The nice thing about having a button that implores that we "want" a specific item is that it can really help promote new products being rolled out at companies or even show off older products that have been recently revamped and enhanced. For retail brand pages this button would be extremely helpful to boosting the sales of hot new items, particularly during the holiday season in the case of chains like Macys and Target. Beyond retail, a want button is also ideal for the food, beverage, and entertainment markets all of which roll out seasonal items and have plenty of familiar favorites to highlight to the consumer.
Include a Visual!
Just as Pinterest has an image at the ready to repin, so should brand pages looking to make the most out of a want button. Including a picture not only maximizes the use of the new button, but may also be shared onto multiple Facebook profiles. Take care with how many photos you post onto the brand pages wall though - unlike Pinterest or even Tumblr, Facebook wasn't designed as a microblogging website and nonstop pictures each day could clog the profile up.
If you know you want to feature a high number of pictures, a good idea would be to create a photo album and encourage users to visit it and click on the products that they want. Add new photos of products daily to keep 'em coming back for more.
(Note: I'm talking about this button as though it's real. Must remind self it's not just yet, must remind self it's not just yet...)
Copyright Permission. You Need It.
This is where it starts to get tricky because unlike Pinterest where many of the photos on the site don't often link back to the original source, for Facebook to use a want feature would require that all of the images posted be copyrighted to the source posting them. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Even more crucial would be that the images would have to either include a URL link to the site where a visitor could find out more about the product or click through the picture to the website in order to buy it. After all, you did "want" it, didn't you? To that end, the launch of such a feature would also require constant updates on products that sell out or are available in limited supply, both on the brand page and on the website.
Personally I think it's a fantastic idea for businesses, especially the smaller ones just starting out, but only time will tell if Facebook will agree with me...
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation, an online filing services company that specializes in incorporations and LLCs. Find her online at mycorporation.com and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.