Engagement beyond the Facebook "Like"

If you’re not on Facebook you don’t exist. How many times have we heard that? And as Facebook grows we find more and more business pages there. All of them strive to get as many “likes” as possible, as many fans as possible. But what does a “like” really mean?

I wanted to share some highlights from a report Exacttarget published exploring “The Meaning of like“:
  1. Only 42 percent of active Facebook users agree that marketers should interpret “like” to mean they are a fan or advocate of the company.
  2. 93 percent of Facebook users engage in some form of “like” behavior at least monthly.
  3. 74 percent “like” something posted by a friend on Facebook.
  4. 52 percent click a Facebook “like” button on another site (news site, blog, website).
  5. 44 percent “Like” something posted by a company on Facebook.
  6. 45 percent “Like” a company Facebook page.
  7. For most of the survey respondents a “like” was a great way to express approval for a specific piece of content.
  8. Younger consumers (aged 15-24) tend to use “like” for purposes of self-expression and public endorsement of a brand.
  9. Consumers aged 25 and older are more likely to expect something of value in exchange for their “like.”
  10. Consumers tend to view a “like” as a way of bookmarking content and sharing information with friends—not a form of consent for marketing.
  11. 69 percent of 65 or older Facebook users have never liked a Facebook page.
  12. 30 percent of 35-44 year old Facebook users have liked 11 or more Facebook pages.
  13. Frequent brand-likers also express a greater expectation of having the company’s name appear in their profile, sharing brand information with friends, and interacting with the brand.
  14. 46 percent of Facebook users indicate that a “like” means that they “sometimes” are giving a brand permission to contact them.
  15. 56 percent of respondents indicated that marketers should not access even public profile information after they “like” a company on Facebook.

Do you feel identified? For me personally, there may be many more reasons to click a like button:

  • Interesting news: to keep me updated on the information that interests me.
  • Buddy tip: a friend has “Liked” and curiosity makes me visit the page. The chances are high of me liking the same things as my friend.
  • Good cause: Show me in solidarity, to support a good cause. Just today I “liked” the AECC‘s (The Spanish Association Against Cancer) campaign page for the International Breast Cancer Day.
  • Contests: Who doesn’t want to win a trip?
  • Temporary interest: a special campaign that is in my interest at that moment, but maybe not next month.
Does liking these pages mean that I am an advocate of these brands? Well, sometimes yes, sometimes no. But brands should definitely not count on it.

There are countless blog posts about the correlation between the likes and the level of engagement a page inspires is not always related according to data recently made public by Facebook.

Facebook has created a new feature to show the success of a page beyond the “likes”. The feature, called “People Talking About,” calculates user-initiated activities on a page, including posts, comments, Likes, mentions, shares, poll votes, photo tags and check-ins.
This shows how much interaction and engagement a particular page has and the importance of creating high level content. It definitely favors those pages that work have to create great content that people want to talk about and share. And from an advertiser’s point of view this is really valuable. It’s a great way to see if, apart from having many likes, the page also manages to keep the user’s interest and inspire them to want to spread the message to their friends.
At Linqia, our aim is to connect brands that provide great and engaging content with niche communities so that they can share the content with their members. The “People Talking About” feature not only lets us know whether a page is engaging with their members, but also allows us to measure the impact specific actions have in the community, apart from just measuring the clicks. So definitely a step in the right direction to ensure that the Facebook pages fill the role they should, providing a unique space to interact and engage with their members.


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