In a world where everything is likable, from brands to your high school’s track team, it’s hard to distinguish what we really like anymore. What was once a simple word has now grown so full of it that it is hard know what we really like. According to my Facebook profile, I like meditation, a movie called “The Red Shoes”, and a random café in Austin, Texas. I have probably meditated for a total of three hours my entire life. I vaguely remember watching “The Red Shoes.” And I have yet to travel to Austin, Texas.
Perhaps it is just me but when the “like” button came out, I was excited. Before the “like” button there was a “fan” button, remember that one? Anyway, a few of my friends and I found it entertaining to become a fan of literally everything. Not to mention the stupid pages such as, “I flip my pillow over for the cold side.” It was a bonding ritual because many of these pages were things none of us knew other people knew about. Does that make sense? I remember one in particular named; “I stomp on crunchy leaves in the Fall.” I always thought I was alone in this magnificent gesture. Surprisingly, 3,800 other people do the same thing every October.
If you have yet to notice, these stupid pages have come back to bite us in the ass. Now, I would rather see updates from Mashable, Diet Coke, or New Ink. Brands I genuinely do like in real life. Yet, I am confronted with ridiculous old pages that are desperately trying to maintain their amount of likes.
As much as I do love Facebook, I fear the whole notion of “liking” things has faded into a less than realistic action. Not to mention the current horrible photos that are being liked. “Like this photo if you believe Jesus Christ will return tomorrow morning” seems to be a popular one along with graphic photos of abortions. In these circumstances, a “like” is just a public outcry for something. If I like a photo of a baby who was almost aborted, what does that really do? Am I saving someone’s life? Am I donating to Planned Parenthood or the Susan G. Komen Foundation? I think probably not.
I am one of the biggest supporters of brand/customer engagement via social media. It’s my job in more ways than one. But, I feel a lot of people are only hoarding their number of likes through materialistic ways. Instead, real brands need to think about real people in real life. Communicate to your fans and consumers in a way that leads them to like you in real life. Do so in a way that encourages them to buy your product but because they genuinely like you.