What Good is a Like?
We get this award every year. We are apparently the best in our town in the area of Professional Services. I assume that all our competitors also get this award. This is, we think, one of those fake honors that is intended to make the recipient feel all proud and happy, so that they will order the crystal version to put on the credenza in their lobby.
The orders for the crystal versions doubtless make the company that sends out these award notices feel all proud and happy.
Is that all that a Like at your company Facebook page does for you? You see that hundreds of people like you, it makes you happy, so you continue to pay for your Facebook ads and offer prizes to people who like you — and that’s the whole story?
Actually, Likes can be useful for the right business.
- When someone Likes your page, it shows up in the streams of their friends as well as the stream of the person who already Likes you. When you see that your friend has liked a particular restaurant, it can make you feel like trying out that restaurant, just as you may feel like that when your friends tell you about their favorite restaurants face to face.
- When you have a lot of Likes, it can make you seem more popular — and popularity really sells in some markets. If I need my lawn mown and I notice a local lawn service page, the fact that they have 788 Likes can make me feel that they must be a good lawn service. If they have 5,000 likes, I might feel that they spend too much time on Facebook to do a really good job on my lawn, but within reason, Likes are similar to testimonials.
- When people Like you and your posts, it increases your (and your posts’) EdgeRank. That makes your posts more likely to turn up in your friends’ and fans’ Facebook streams. There’s no evidence that high EdgeRank leads to higher PageRank, but it can increase your influence at Facebook.
How much does this matter? In our experience, it all depends on your product. Take this simple test:
Think of your typical Facebook fans. They’re checking in during their lunch break or between classes. They see that a friend has liked your page, so they rush right over to…
- check out the great sale on cute shoes.
- see who’s playing at your club tonight.
- source a vendor for their next major CRM installation.
Which of these things doesn’t fit?
Unquestionably, Facebook is more useful for selling yogurt than for selling professional services. If you offer something playful and fun, an impulse buy strongly influenced by peer preferences, you’ll do better than if you’re offering biowaste disposal equipment.
Keep this in mind when you’re deciding where to put your resources.