The Facebook Like button has quickly become a standard. Millions of people are “liking” content all over the web, and some companies are seeing some good returns on the small parcel of real estate the button takes up on the page.
With every upside, however, comes downsides. Facebook’s social interaction tool is no different. Put aside the folks who simply don’t like Facebook – let’s face the facts – millions of people can’t be wrong when it comes to telling us how they want to share information on the Internet. At least, until the next best thing comes along. All this “liking”, though, has consequences.
Less True Interaction
It’s much quicker to “like” something than it is to actually make a comment. In short, the tool makes many of us lazy when it comes to letting businesses and friends know what we really think about the latest products and services a company offers. Less people are using comment systems, because it only takes a second to click a button.
This also means less people are spreading the word about their favorite charities, products, companies, and what fellow friends have to say. As easy as it is to click a button, it’s even easier to overlook the single line, automated text that appears on one’s page. It doesn’t have the same affect as actually “sharing” content on Facebook (which puts the information in actual feeds).
How the Numbers Stack Up
Does the sheer number of likes lend more credibility to the page’s content? Perhaps. But does it motivate people to do more than just skim the information and click the like button themselves?
In my experience, the number of existing likes and/or tweets about products, columns or pages made little difference to the following people who also shared the content.
It’s also about media attention and other social tools. If another company had been the first to launch a campaign like “Old Spice Man”, would it had gone viral? This is dependent on several factors. My point is, 5,000 people can “like” something, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to sales or further interest.
What do they do after liking?
The true measure of success is the number of people who stay on a page or web site after they’ve clicked the like button. Pages reached as a result of a user clicking on someone else’s shared link often have a high bounce rate. Analytics can tell you what people do after liking a page, which can provide insight on things you can do to keep them moving around.
There are two useful tools you can implement to determine both demographics and a user’s post-liking activity. Facebook Insights will give you information about likers’ age groups, country, and page views. Google Analytics can tell you what they visitor did after liking a web site page. You should use both in order to gain better knowledge about your existing audience.
To get started on tracking likes and determining success, visit the following resources: