No Like for You, Facebook

By Mark Evans - Monday, October 10th, 2011 at 7:30 am  

For most brands on Facebook, it’s all about the “Like”.

The number of “Likes” is a way to quantify the success of a Facebook Page, particularly given the increasing focus on ROI. It explains why brands invest so much time and effort to attract the “Like”, including the use of “Like-Gating”.

But there are lots of people who refuse to “Like”, which could strike you as “anti-establishment” given the pressure to “Like”. These are people who resist the temptation or the offers to climb on the brand bandwagon, even though they may actually like a service or product.

So Why No “Like”?

According to a recent study by ExactTarget, which can be downloaded here, the biggest reason people don’t “Like” a Facebook is they don’t want to be bombarded with messages or ads. This makes sense given how many brands tend to use Facebook as yet another marketing vehicle.

Another leading factor is people don’t want to provide brands with access to their profile information, which is a little surprising to see given how much information people disclose on Facebook. That said, there appears to be more concern about privacy on Facebook so giving companies direct access to personal information may be thrust into the spotlight more often.

Third on the list is people don’t want to push things into their friends’ newsfeeds, which is understandable given it is one thing to want information about a brand yourself but another to spread the word about that brand to your network. This is where Facebook’s new “Subscribe” feature could be useful as a way to quasi-Like a brand.

From a bigger picture perspective, there seems to be growing scrutiny of what consumers get from following or liking a brand. As much as it is great for brands looking to engage directly with consumers, there are questions about consumers get in return.

In a recent blog post, Brian Solis contends that if brands don’t provide some kind of value, it may cause consumers not to follow or like or, worse, un-follow or unlike.

Solis cited an IBM study that looked at what consumers want when they deal with companies via social media, and what brands think consumers want. The contrast is interesting and eye-opening.

What consumers want:

1. Receive discounts (61%)
2. Make purchases (55%)

What brands think consumers want:

1. Learn about new products (73%)
2. To receive general information (71%)

So, what do you want from a brand when you “Like” them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter? And what keeps you from liking or following a brand?

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