The Dynamic Potential of “likes”

Written by 5ivecanons Staff

Facebook toppling 1 billion active monthly users last year, which means 14% of earth’s population was clicking like in 2012.

Some critics have minimized the power and influence of the like button. Those people are dead wrong.

Changing Times

Before the internet came in and changed the way we live our lives, one of the staples in mass marketing was with home mailers. We’ve all received them. Most of the time those mailers end up in the trash, never to have even been read, resulting in a loss for the business who sent it out in the first place.

Mass emails followed, and although much more cost effective, they’re not free, they have low engagement, and even less conversions. Something had to give. Companies were not getting the desired results. That’s about where Facebook came in and transformed everything.

By offering the option of a “like” on a brand page, a business is allowing for customers to come to them. If one user clicks “like” on a brands page, it is immediately shown to that user’s network, which as of 2012, averaged around 262 people. When was the last time a person got an in-home mailer or an email and said, “I appreciated this mailer so much I am going to share it with 262 people?”

That number gets magnified as you get into younger demographics. For example, if three average 19-year-olds like the same page, that company’s page will gain exposure to over 1,200 people, all because three users hit “like”.

It doesn’t end at free exposure either, once a user like’s a page, they’re basically opting in for contact and marketing that brand page. As well as targeting their audience with precision ads, a company can fully utilize facebook to their benefit, and it all begins with clicking “like” (ie customer acquisition).

Skeptics of Its Effectiveness

There are many who don’t fully understand the power of “likes”, and thus, don’t give it the credit it deserves. The Atlantic Wire posted an article questioning the effectiveness of “likes”. In the article, they hammered home the fact that “likes” and consumption don’t go hand-in-hand. While this is mostly true, they are off target due to the fact that “likes” are not a buy now option, instead, it is a tool for brand awareness and social advertising.

Another anti-like campaigner, John C. Dvorak, recently posted an article titled “Do Facebook “likes” mean anything?”. In the article, Dvorak questioned the capability of Facebooks “like” feature.

This to me is the height of idiocy about the whole phenomenon

He stated that “The thing is dinky and says “like.” It’s apparently a “like” button estranged from your Facebook Inc. account that you are encouraged to click on. This to me is the height of idiocy about the whole phenomenon. Yes, let’s just like this or that randomly without meaning or intent, just because we can. It makes useless the whole idea in the first place, but the addlebrained users of Facebook don’t seem to mind.”

Not only does Dvorak call facebook users, many of whom are his readers, stupid and confused (addlebrained), but he questions the “like” button altogether. Dvorak must be writing this article tongue-in-cheek, as he has a “like” button directly below the title.

Dvorak clearly misses the point of “likes” as a social platform for businesses to use. He merely sees them as an annoyance and thinks that it is only a way for people to share what they enjoy with friends. In addition to sharing what you enjoy, it’s a great way to give recommendations.

90% of customers trust their friends’ referrals and recommendations.

Understanding The Rules

We published an article following Facebook’s overhaul of their promotion policy guidelines. The policy altered the way businesses could promote themselves by using “likes”. In the article, we lay out five rules to keep businesses safe.

1. You can’t click like to enter a promotion/contest.
2. You can’t “like” to register.
3. Don’t notify winners on facebook.
4. No calls to action in the cover image
5. Promotions must run on facebook apps.

By following these rules a business will be safe from facebooks new regulations. Have any questions or want to know how to leverage “likes” and social engagement for your business? Call us at 904.353.2900, or submit a message here and fill out the form.