If you’ve read my blog before, you’re probably aware that I think the best blog on social media and marketing is Jay Baer’s Convince and Convert. Lately Jay has been on a tear on the subject of Facebook and the over-hyping of what “Like” actually does for brands. He wrote a trilogy on the topic, and they are totally worth the time and effort to read:
- Digital Sharecropping – Why Most Facebook Customization is Wasted Effort
- Mistake Math – Why We’re Valuing Facebook Fans All Wrong
- Ra Ra Wrong. How Facebook’s Cheerleaders Are Blowing Smoke
Still, I wanted to summarize a few salient points that stuck with me.
- First, Baer noted in this post that there’s a little too much of the tail wagging the dog when it comes to understanding what a “Like” actually means. In other words — people don’t “Like” a brand out of the blue, it comes AFTER they’re already familiar with and like the brand in the real world. So … anyone thinking Facebook is the start of the chain of events that leads to a “Like” usually has it wrong.
- Baer emphasizes that counting “Likes” is kind of nonsensical. It’s just a click folks. It’s nowhere near the commitment someone shows when they even sign up for a newsletter. (And effective, click-getting, response-generating emails are somehow forgotten in all the “Like” hype.)
- Think long and hard before doing Facebook customization. The vast majority of interaction/comments to updates are from News Feed — not Wall postings. Think about that. Nobody goes around visiting Facebook pages after they “Like” them … it’s all about the News Feed on their “Home” page.
So Baer is of course a big-brand kind of guy, and I’d just like to add from what I’ve seen with successful small and mid-size Facebook users, this is good news. It means you’re still getting a heck of a lot of bang from your buck just from status updates. Of course, how to do that right is another story …