Are we tired of “Liking” things on Facebook? What has a Facebook Like come to mean, anyways? As users become more Facebook savvy, Likes have become less meaningful.
In the past, as Facebook was growing, brands were still joining, and grandparents were all but absent, someone might have Liked something in their news feed simply for the novelty of it. Now, I notice users have become more reserved with their Liking, realizing it will be broadcast for all to see in the news feed. Tech Crunch expresses the average Facebook user’s familiarity with the value of a Like perfectly: “It’s the modern equivalent of ‘add my name to your email distribution list.’”
**As a side note, personally, I’ve had a friend come up to me and say, “Wow! The pictures from your trip to Honduras were great! You took some good shots, I really liked them!” Yet, according to Facebook, there is no record that they ever “Liked” my photo album or any pictures in it, let alone even looked at it. That’s what I mean when I say that I get the feeling that users have become more reserved with their Liking.**
More and more users are aware of how their data, interests, and connections can be leveraged to sell more products, gain more exposure, etc. Now as a result, for brands, it takes more and more effort to earn that trust and earn a Like from fans.
The apparent skepticism and reservation toward Liking means that marketers need to approach Facebook marketing from a different direction: SHARING.
When one approaches Facebook marketing from a sharing standpoint, things open up a bit more. Why focus on getting Likes, if many people (even friends!) won’t even bother to Like personal content of yours that they enjoyed, as I mentioned above?
Create content that is worth sharing, and you’ll be rewarded with “shares” and in turn, Likes as a result. By focusing on creating shareable content in the first place, you will actually create more enjoyable content for your fans. Think of creating content that you would want to share yourself, with your friends or your colleagues, and go from there!
The above is an example of how to create share-worthy content via HubSpot. They consistently push out great, shareable content to their fans, and as a result have a huge dedicated following of people “talking about this” on their page. In this post alone, they have over 340 shares and 464 likes. This is original content, playing off a popular Facebook meme, speaking perfectly to their target audience. So, it’s no wonder the post achieved so many shares. Think of creating content in a similar way, and you’ll be rewarded.
Though, down the line, there may be more ways for people to Like something on a page, without knowing it (termed “Hidden Likes”), right now the best way to engage fans in a meaningful way is to focus on sharing. Some sources point to the addition of a Want button to the mix, and that could be a great new way to gauge interest in products or services in the future. But, even without a Want button
Marketers are tired of Likes too, it seems.
As Facebook has evolved, marketers have also gotten tired of Likes. They are not the best gauge of engagement, and as mentioned above, focusing on gaining likes is not beneficial to a brand nor its fans. In a rather humorous move, Newcastle Brown Ale made an honest, and direct post telling fans to BUY, not LIKE.
The post reads: “Clicking “like” on this post doesn’t make us any money. So instead of clicking “like,” go buy a Newcastle. Because that makes us money.” Additionally, their entire Facebook page is full of funny comments, mocking the traditions of Facebook and how the somewhat stale strategy of “earning likes” has become so common. So, our hats are off to Newcastle for stepping up and creating truly innovative, funny, and creative content for their fans… I can see Apple doing this to increase iPhone sales too! =)
Are people tired of Liking things? Maybe. If this is true, then what strategies are you using to provide value for your fans? Do you focus on gaining Likes or are you more interested in creating shareable, original content?
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