5 Ways to Create Value for A Facebook Like

facebook like






According to Hubspot, customers are

51% more likely to make a purchase after LIKING a brand on Facebook!

WOW! That makes a Facebook Like REALLY valuable, so you should do whatever you can to get as many Likes as possible, right?


Let’s explore what a Facebook LIKE is really worth.

Social Media Strategy 1: Get Facebook Likes

Is this part of your social media strategy playbook? Well, you may be just wasting your money.  Let me explain.

Going back to the  quote from Hubspot earlier, you get the impression that Facebook Likes encourage folks to buy your brand.  If that’s the case, then maximizing the number of Facebook Likes you get will improve your ROI (Return on Investment).

But, it’s not that simple — it’s really a chicken and egg argument. Put another way, do Facebook Likes encourage folks to buy your brand or, do folks like your brand on Facebook because you provide high quality goods and services and are a good corporate citizen? Certainly, there’s a little bit of both going on, but I suspect that most users fall in the latter category — they like you on Facebook for all the great things you do off-line.

If what I suspect is true, driving Facebook Likes has little impact on your bottom line and efforts to achieve Facebook Likes are misguided.

When a Facebook Like might actually hurt you?

Say you’re running a contest — Like our page and get entered to win some prize.  It’s a common social media marketing strategy.  But, it’s dangerously wrong.

1. It discourages sharing – the more people who enter the contest, the lower your odds on winning.  So, you have NO incentive to share the contest with your friends.  Denied access to Friends of Friends, your campaign slugs along, generating too few Likes and too much cost.

2. It attracts the wrong people - folks attracted to your page in hopes of winning a contest are often NOT the right people.  They often aren’t part of your target market.  Thus, you spent money attracting folks who’ll likely NEVER buy your brand.

Another misguided use of the Facebook Like, is forcing folks to Like your page before they comment — especially if they’re unhappy.  Forcing them to Like your Facebook page before they can leave a negative comment only makes them angrier.  And, instead of just stopping by and posting their criticism, they’re now part of your community and can continue poisoning the community.

Creating VALUABLE Facebook Likes

Of course, there are good ways to create Facebook Likes.  Here are some of my favorite examples:

  1. Create engagement.  The SINGLE most critical aspect driving consumer purchase decisions is what their friends think.  When you create engagement (sharing, commenting, or liking your posts on Facebook), those endorsements show up on users Facebook profiles and get shared to their friends’ newsfeeds.
  2. Make a charitable donation for each Facebook Like.  It makes you look GOOD and encourages sharing.  For example, Pedigree donated a bowl of dog food to a pet shelter for each Facebook Like.
  3. Earn Facebook Likes by creating a positive image through both social media and traditional marketing tools including product quality, excellent customer service, innovative products, good corporate citizenship, traditional advertising, product placement that resonates with your target audience and authentic social media marketing strategies.
  4. Provide valuable content such as information, discounts, unique access, etc.
  5. Pay it forward.  The law of reciprocity says that people feel a strong obligation to return favors.  If you give users something, they’ll often reciprocate by Liking your Facebook Fan Page, since it’s a small effort to repay the obligation.  For instance, Chipotle gives out free burritos to those dressed in costume on Halloween.


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Marketing Strategy on Facebook: 3 Keys to Being LIKED

Likes have replaced Fans on business Facebook pages.  Having more Likes is a good thing — they support your marketing strategy by spreading your message through your “Fans” and all of their friends, thus amplifying your message.  And Starbucks is the leading company in terms of their Facebook Business Marketing Strategy – with over 16 million Likes – followed closely by Coca Cola with over 15 million Likes.  For example, imagine you’re Starbucks and you have 16 Million fans.  Every time you post a status update, it reaches 16 million (FANS) X 200 (avg number of friends per fan) or over 2 BILLION people.   You can see the top 25 Facebook Brands here.

Facebook Business Marketing Strategy: Getting Liked

The key to getting Facebook Likes is to give people a reason for Liking your brand.  Here are some great examples of ways companies are generating LIKES by optimizing their Facebook Business Marketing Strategy:

1. Support A Cause

Pedigree recently launched a campaign to encourage dog owners to Like their brand.  For every Facebook user who Likes their brand, they donate a bowl of dog food to an adoption center.  To date, over a million bowls of food have been donated – which means they’ve added a million new Facebook Likes.   As part of the program, Pedigree encourages sharing the program across about a dozen other social media platforms.
Other companies, like Skittles, use causes to drive Likes to their pages.

2. Give Exclusive Content

People want to feel special and love having access to information and products before anyone else.  Having this access encourages them to Like your brand and increases the likelihood they’ll pass along your information to their friends.  Movie producers, book authors, and musical performers use this extensively.  For instance, Taylor Swift often gives Facebook Fans advance access to her music tracks or music videos before they reach the public.

Companies are starting to use this tool.  For instance, P&G offered advance access to Pantene for its Fans before they were sold in stores.

3. Host a Contest

The Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau hosts a contest on its Facebook page.  People who Like their Facebook Fanpage are entered into the contest and have a chance to win 2 tickets for a hot air balloon ride during the famous Balloon Festival.

Dunkin Donuts is using their contest not only to build their Facebook Fan base; they’re using Facebook Fans to attract other Facebook Fans.  Contestants upload a video showing how much Dunkin Donuts’ coffee means to them.  Winners get a trip to Costa Rica or a year’s supply of the coffee delivered to their homes.  The contest encourages Facebook users to Like Dunkin Donuts and the contestants encourage their friends to Like Dunkin Donuts to vote for their video to win the contest.  This contest is so unique and represents such a successful Facebook Marketing Strategy, Dunkin Donuts won a Mashable award for the campaign.

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Why a Sad Puppy Face is a Great Marketing Strategy

sad puppyPeople go nuts for babies and puppies (kittens are pretty good, too).  So, when you use a sad puppy face in your advertising, it gets people to look, thus supporting your marketing strategy.  They question why the puppy (kitten, baby) looks so sad.  Using a puppy (kitten, baby) playing with a cute toy also works well for attracting the attention of casual observers.

Face it; no one watches TV or reads a magazine for the advertising — well except for those bride’s magazines, which are about 90% advertising, but don’t get me started on the whole bride insanity (Bridezilla accurately describes how I feel about this topic). So, when you add a cute picture, people at least see your advertisement, and, if you done it right, your brand name is right there next to the cute puppy so people can’t look at the puppy without also seeing your brand name.  That’s what makes this a great marketing strategy.

Researchers describe this phenomenon as selective attention, which Iris Beneli of CalState, Northridge defines as

a tendency [of individuals] to orient themselves toward, or process information from only one part of the environment with the exclusion of other parts

Individuals are constantly bombarded by sensory input — and this appears to be getting worse as a startling number of people are multi-tasking when they seek entertainment.  Watching TV while working on your computer makes it harder for companies to get you to notice their advertising, thus disrupting their marketing strategies.  So, they put a cute puppy in the advertising to stimulate arousal and get you to selectively attend to their message.

Social media is becoming so cluttered, its especially hard to get your message to stand out from everyone else.

See, it already worked for me — you saw Hausman Market Research Letter right next to the picture of the saddest puppy face I could find.

kittensSo, what’s my message — simply that Pedigree is donating a 20 pound bag of dog food to animal shelters for every blogger who mentions their animal adoption program in their blog.  So, if you have a blog, please join me in incorporating their message into your post so we can raise money to help animals.

See – I’ve even used some sad kittens to ensure you saw my message.

Seriously, the Pedigree adoption program is a wonderful tool to encourage folks to adopt homeless dogs who otherwise might be euthanized.  The Humane Society estimates 3-4 MILLION dogs and cats are euthanized every year in the US.  The Pedigree adoption program links to adoption sites, search engines for specific breeds of dogs, information about adoption, breeds, and matching breeds to family lifestyles.  I have 5 adopted animals myself — 2 dogs and 3 cats.  And their lives have been enriched (as has mine).  I encourage anyone who has every thought about adopting an animal to do it — you’ll never regret the decision.

Also, I want to encourage those who have animals — either adopted or purchased — to have your animal spayed or neutered to stop the spread of animals who ultimately end up on shelters.

So, why is Pedigree encouraging pet adoption and making donations to animal shelters? Frankly its good marketing strategy.  The company gets publicity from the media – in this case they are attracting both traditional media and social media by using bloggers to spread the message in their social networks.  The company sells more dog food, since adopted animals eat more dog food than animals euthanized.  Most importantly, it supports a positive brand image for the product by being socially responsible.  Since the economic crisis, there is evidence consumers are even more disposed to buy products from companies they see as socially responsible.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Blog about Pedigree’s adoption program
  • If possible, adopt an animal
  • Have your animal spayed or neutered
  • Support companies who demonstrate social responsibility
  • Use social responsibility as a tool to support your marketing strategy, but mostly because its the RIGHT thing to do.

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