There is more to the surface of ‘Liking’ a brand on Facebook than merely “brand evangelists.” There are a few different reasons why people would Like a company on Facebook and the meaning of that relationship. After seeing so many brands commoditize the Like, I can’t help but share my thoughts on it.
- “Like us because you know us, like what we do and want more!”
These are the most natural and loyal type of Likes. If a brand has done their homework and informed their customers about their Facebook presence, they’ll hopefully get droves of people Liking their page. These people respond to a wider variety of content and are generally more engaged than the other types of Likes listed below. The pre-requisite is to provide a great product, deliver fantastic service and actually love your customers.
- “Screw it, we’ll bribe you to Like us!”
This type of Like is one that is based on a transaction – not a relationship. Often these take the form of a discount or other “bribe” for the person to interact with the brand. Expect these fans to respond to deals – and they better be good deals – but don’t bother asking for their input on the brand, because they don’t care.
- “We can buy you, like sheep, so click Like from this advertisement.”
Using Facebook Ads to encourage people to Like a brand’s page is really an act of desperation. People might like a brand’s page to learn more, but they sure as hell aren’t loyal. The strategy of acquiring fans this way is best reserved for well-known brands like Coach, Coke Zero, Red Bull, etc. Often, this strategy is much more complementary to their brand awareness campaigns and works.
- “Like us to get this amazing content!”
This type of Like is used a lot on brands to entice more likes in exchange for delivering some type of marketing collateral. Often, these marketing pieces are sub-standard and not worth they Like they were exchanged for. However, they perform well if the brand is laser-focused on their fan-gated promotion.
- “Like us … then follow us … then subscribe to us …”
These Likes aren’t exclusive; meaning, fans feel no sense of exclusivity for Liking the brand. Facebook offers a level of interaction not seen on Twitter or Blogs, so wasting it is an obvious sign the brand doesn’t know how to engage there. These likes are “average;” they might engage, they might not.
- “Like us because we care (but really, we don’t)!”
These types of Likes are more loyal than others, and often people will Like a brand’s page with the intention of connecting with the brand’s leaders. But when every piece of content is to generate leads and fails to solicit meaningful feedback, what does that show? This performs well short term, but requires a corporate commitment to deliver amazing service through Facebook. Failing to show you truly care about your fans will result in unlikes, being hidden from their coveted Newsfeed and ultimately a slimmer chance for other fans seeing the brand’s updates.
I think the Tweet from Tyler Hurst sums up how I feel on this subject:
Giveaways for new followers or fans is akin to buying friends. You realize they don’t really like you, right?
What should a brand do on Facebook to get more likes? Deliver amazing service, share compelling content and respect the audience’s interests. That’s it. It takes effort to build a brand that millions of people Like – using cheesy offers on Facebook to get there isn’t going to do it.
It’s my belief that 5 fans are better than a bullshit 500 fans. Earn it.
With this said, I am proud to have over 4500 amazing fans at Infusionsoft. We have a lead-gen offer, but it’s not fan-gated and people get it via email instantly. For newcomers, it’s a great way to learn more about what Infusionsoft is about and how they can improve their own marketing. Is it perfect? No. But it’s something that helps generate value for the company and the (new) fans.
Why do you Like pages on Facebook? Is it get deals? Is it to get latest company updates? Is it to have your voice heard? Let me know in the comments. Would love to discuss this further.
[Image credit: nerdytshirts]