Facebook: Kill « LIKE » to «ENGAGE»

It sounded a bit like a seriously broken record. For more than a year, most of the marketing, communications and external relations efforts for way too many companies and agencies have been terrorized by one magic word: “LIKE”.

Facebook’s LIKE button was rapidly becoming the dictator of influence. Forget about engagement, forget about sentiment, and forget about relevant content, social ecospheres, authenticity: How many “LIKES” can we have by end November? In an online world where everything can be measured, the magic key of demonstrating success was a ridiculous simple graph showing your brand had more LIKES than the competitor.  Add the evil grin on the face of the presenter: we had more LIKES!

Everyone in his right mind knows that “LIKE” does not mean a thing, that LIKE can be bought, 27 dollar per thousand… still, in many pointy haired boss presentations, LIKE became the barometer of online success.

LIKE does not give any hint on the impact content has on an audience, how the content is received, discussed, analyzed, shared, rejected. LIKE is a tool to artificially shift stuff into a timeline. Lots of great content was created, shared, approved and enjoyed, but never liked… and thus never made it into the charts.

Zuckerberg and his team are now taking wind out of the sails of LIKE. LIKE will be less dominant. People can share without liking, or simple  indicate what they read. Facebook moves clearly towards a deeper connection with the content. Basically, it turns everyone’s profile into a dynamic content page.  Mark Zuckerberg said at Facebook’s keynote: “The next five years are going to be defined by the depth of engagement”.

Creating depths of engagement will finally force brands and companies to turn away from the cheap “LIKE” hunting, to rethink their engagement strategy. Creating content that makes the Facebook crowd tick will force communicators and marketers to work harder for their money.

Finally. 🙂


My “check-in” beats your “like” anytime

For brands, creating engagement in any way is key… that’s why they are in social media in the first place. In recent months, a telltale signal to determine that engagement at a glance is the number of “likes” a brand collects all through the brands online ecosphere. Fueled by mostly Facebook, the hunt for likes is powering an important part of the Social Media roll out, and, between us: that is a bad thing.

A number of “likes” does not show you in any way the quality or quantity of engagement with your target audience in any way… for that more intelligent sets of data should be explored that give more relevant information on quality, sentiment, loyalty and behavior.

And a “like” is just a wrong metric. Clicking on it is often a gratuit gesture… for most consumers it means nothing more than a thoughtless “click”.  There is no bar, no effort, no real thinking, and thus way too often no real intention or engagement.

Personally, I have more respect for the location based check in. A check in, is like a “like”, but only better. Checking in means that people are linking their real life location and behavior (shopping, eating, going to a concert,…) with their offline social media ecosphere. They went through an experience that reverberates in the social spider web. Location based social check-ins are more and more combined with the ability to rate the experience, adding a tremendous potential added value for the brand. Having people checking in from stores, airports, planes, restaurants and events and giving a positive social rating turns every active “checker” into an active brand advocate.

People will trust the review of someone who actively ate at a restaurant way more than one from someone who just punched the “like” button on a website.

Check-ins new style will beat up likes big time 😉

2010: year of social Media

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