Likes : Are they worth anything?
A thumb says something, but definitely not everything
The saying goes : liking something online has the same value as liking it in real life. It’s an outing of warm and positive emotions, shows engagement and positions the ‘liker’ as a true advocate of what he liked. In other words : if he likes a commercial message on social media, it indicates that he wants to buy. More even, him liking it will launch a cascade of other likes by his contacts, and this will push sales even more.
This is a nice story but, alas, it is not true. In most cases this ‘like’ means nothing more than a little smile followed by the hunt for another message that deserves a thumbs-up. It’s nothing more than a commercially useless eruption of which there are many, and it has no effect whatsoever.
On the other hand, A study of Harvard Business Review shows that combining typical push strategies with the harvesting of likes (pull) does show results. Reach out to your fans with smart marketing messages, and the probability of sales will boom. It costs, true, because this specific targeting generates an income of which Facebook wants a slice of the pie, since its ad spread is generated by fully automated algorythms…
Likes wíth value
- Make them work for you :
Retweet hashtags of your followers, add their Instagram photos to your own pages or pay bloggers and vloggers to write something nice about your products or services. In other words : build external authority.
- Don’t just sell by yourself, make others sell for you, too.
- Make them relevant :
You might recognise this one : Trip Advisor even mentions that somebody yoù know, liked that hotel, too. It’s the perfection of indirect referral…
- Learn from your users :
Client is king, today even more than yesterday. So listen to him, react to what he says and make him your biggest advocate. Your brand will benefit from your smart approach.
“Likes are very often nothing more than a commercially useless eruption of which there are many, and it has no effect whatsoever.”
Make it count
- Know which way that you want to go. Generating more sales demands another approach than changing attitudes. Set your targets, and use them as a benchmark for your data analysis (that BTW can come from other sources than Google…)
- Dare to invite your database to like your pages and use A/B tests. Is there a difference between those that were invited and organic results?
- Do your actions lead to immediate results?
- Target your messaging specifically to new followers.
- Check every response. E.g. for a sales campaign, the value of a like is determined by the difference between what your test group bought, and what the control group bought. If the first group spends more than the latter, your campaign worked. If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
So, it’s about a little tiny bit more than collecting those thumbs-up. If you need a hand, we’ll be glad to help you.