The Middle School Magic of Being “Liked” Redux

Remember sitting in middle school English when your best friend slyly passed you a note that said a certain classmate who you had your eyes on “liked” you? Butterflies, right?

Those young romances are fading memories today, but our love affair with the Like button and other means of demonstrating social media approval is going strong.

It was only back in 2010 that Facebook introduced the Like button and it quickly became one of the most important barometers in social media. SmallBizTechnology was on the subject immediately. Facebook loves the Like button because it tells them your interests and helps them understand how to better select the ads they send your way.

Convert Fans to Marketers

You can use it in much the same way. However, along with allowing you to better target offers, content, ads and more, we love the Like button and other social media sharing tools, such as those offered by Pinterest, because they allow us to convert our fans into our marketing team.

Let’s look at advantages the Like button offers your business, and remember that much of what we say here also applies to the other social media, especially Google+, which continues to improve its position in the social sharing world, especially as it relates to brands and “followers” of brands.

The last figure I saw indicated that the typical Facebook user will have about 130 friends who can also Like an item that the original user has “Liked.” Do the math and carry that out through the levels of Facebook friends and you see that a single Like has the potential to expose your content or product to a huge audience. And even when others don’t jump on your Like bandwagon (brandwagon?), they are still being made aware of your product, company or website. We’re going to call this the “horizontal” potential of a Like.

Think Outside the Bun

For as long as companies have been advertising, they have placed their names, logos, slogans, and tag lines in front of consumers to build brand recognition. Likes are a free way to do this. However, you must be sure that the small snippet social media users see is in some way memorable. You need distinctive profile picture graphics, a memorable name, a great blog headline, etc.

TIP: Check out the Facebook profile pictures/graphics that are used on the pages of products like Ford Mustang or retailers like H&M. They are instantly recognizable. While few smaller businesses can achieve that level of iconicity, many businesses have profile pictures that don’t perform or communicate at all when they are shrunk in size. Don’t make that simple mistake.

The Habitual Liker

Along with the horizontal aspect of Like you need to understand the vertical aspect, or “depth” of social media users who tend to Like items. They are the people who are truly engaged in social media. They make up the potential audience that is much more likely to consume your content and this gives you a greater chance to deliver your message. If you have something to say, these people represent the “low hanging fruit” that make the easiest targets for your content, and the most likely to pass it along to others.

And this emphasizes the need to truly understand which attributes of your content or products motivate people to hit the Like button. Paradoxically, the more you can focus your offerings, the more broadly you can spread your message. This is the beauty of a social media Like and why we love it so much.

Some of us still get butterflies from a good Like.

 

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/findyoursearch/5202301465/ “Facebook Like Button,” © 2010 FindYourSearch, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ 

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
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About ChamberofCommerce

ChamberofCommerce.com specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Chamber is focused on providing the latest business news, small business advice, and helpful tips and resources for small businesses, entrepreneurs and mid to enterprise level companies. Follow us on Twitter at @ChamberOnline.