How Much is a Like Worth to You

Businessmen want to know how much effort to invest in pursuing “Likes.” The popular feature seems to many as a cheap form of validation, equivalent to the old Stuart Smalley bit, “I’m good enough, smart enough and doggone it, people like me.” Those who never wanted to become experts in social media are asking “why is it important?” and “will this bring me money?”

Likes Bring Measurable Results
To say a “Like” is an end is short-sided, like saying that motion stops when a pebble hits the water. To do so would ignore the ripples that act like homing beacons to viewers and search engines.

A Like does many things behind the scenes, providing measurable objectives, reports, and now impacting search queries. Bing’s new features make it easier to see what your Facebook friends Like, incorporating your community in your search results.  This begins a more conversational aspect to your searches. Decisions can now be made by a committee of your choosing on news stories, bands, celebrities, movies,  or brands.

A Like is a validation that someone is interested in you, your product or your service. And in social media, we collect validation like currency.

Still, there are many benefits to a Like. When someone “Likes” your page it appears on news feeds, meaning their recommendation will be broadcasting  to their 300 closest friends; a ripple effect that allows compounding affirmation. This is validation supreme.

Those Likes that you click will also help Facebook configure what advertisements go to you, so for those Facebook advertisers who choose to focus on one or another interest, this is big.

Likes Bring Conversation
That Like also gives you permission to talk to your clients who have, in essence, voted for you. When you update your status, there is now a measurable audience waiting to see what you have to say. And if your content is share-worthy, you have the potential to go viral. This, of course, increases the need for your content to be impactful and relevant.

(Facebook graph demonstrating your posts, people talking, and total reach).

For Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the Like acts as a beacon for Google’s eager robots seeking content with recency and relevancy.  And while Google algorithms cannot see what is happening inside Facebook, they can certainly see what relevant activity is occurring on your site. And a Like button embedded on your site is highly relevant, especially if it is clicked often.

Of course, frequency is as important as reach; it’s important to get in front of your people repeatedly and often. And that endorsement from a friend is much more powerful than an paid ad, creating greater loyalty. It’s a handy medium to remind people that they have a friend when they need it, and the transparency personalizes and localizes in a format that allows the occasional shameless plug.

Can you monetize this?  Sure – like this article, which says:

  • On average, fans spend an extra $71.84 they would not otherwise spend on products they describe themselves as fans of, compared to those who are not fans.
  • Fans are 28 percent more likely than non-fans to continue using a specific brand.
  • Fans are 41 percent more likely than non-fans to recommend a product they are a fan of to their friends.

And this one which gives conflicting information:

Depending on who you ask and the metrics you use, a Facebook follower could be worth nothing at all, as little as $3.60, as much as $22.93, exactly $136.38 more than a non-follower, or a whopping $214.81 for a nonprofit organization.

Still, for those who grew up in traditional media, the Like button is Nirvana. Where we once were dependent on expensive statistics dependent on research diaries filled with vague groups and guesses, we can now track individual motivations and interests with laser-LIKE focus. Its value is measurable beyond compare.

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