How many companies have you come across asking you to “like” them on Facebook? Every business, from gas stations to online clothing stores, is at least aware of the value and potential of Facebook likes. It’s not the first platform to have a currency of popularity: Twitter has its retweets and followers, Reddit has upvotes. But a Like goes much further than a retweet or an upvote, and Facebook’s sheer number of users is just one of the reasons. Here’s a look at how far a Facebook Like can get you and why it matters.
It works on anything. At first, one could only like status updates or uploaded media. Today, one can like comments, news feed items, and even entire pages. This gives companies the flexibility to choose their medium without worrying about lack of response channels. It’s especially useful to get Facebook Page likes as it paints a more holistic picture of your readership than likes on specific content.
Likes promote themselves. It’s been pointed out that when users click the Like button, it sets off a quiet but powerful chain of other events. It shows up in their News Feed, which makes you visible to people in their social network. The number of people who liked the content in return will show up on the page, and the more you have, the more curious people get. And that’s important because it’s all about getting people to take a second look.
It engages people. Once people Like your page, they get to read all of your posts and stay up to date on your company’s activities–just like they do with their friends. It’s a great way to invite people to events, spread related causes, or send word out about new products and services. In other words, it gives you a powerful presence in their lives even as you take care of other business matters.
You can go outside of Facebook. Facebook has integrated itself into third-party websites–that’s why you see your Facebook profile picture on comment forms on many news items. In other words, people don’t even have to be on Facebook itself to use that mode of interaction. If you run a blog, a corporate website, or even just a landing page, installing Facebook features opens it up to interaction and turns it into a community of thoughts and ideas–and that’s often what sets you apart from the competition.