What is the worth of a ”Like” on Facebook? It tells your friends that ”this is something he/she feels strongly about” and it helps Facebook to build your profile and targeted advertisements. But how much more value does it add to a company like Coca-Cola, for example? I would argue that it doesn’t add any, because a ”Like” for a company like Coke means literally nothing. They’ve already seized a good portion of your mindshare, even if you don’t use social media at all. For smaller companies this is different, as it may increase their visibility and help them grow and thus the argument could be made that ”Likes” are increasing their brand value, but then that begs the question ”Is the brand valuable because of the ”Likes” or do the ”Likes” come because of the brand?” Mashable reported a study in 2012 that a “whopping” 6% of fans of a brand engage with the brand’s Facebook page, an apalling number.
So an avalanche of ”Likes” is less than optimal and might only work to pat the egos of social marketing specialists. Here we come to the quality part. Ideally you would want your social media presence to reinforce the desired brand image, this much is obvious. A Facebook message or a tweet for example that says ”I just had a coke with good friends. Delicious” is infinitely more valuable than a nearly anonymous ”Like” or a retweet. Cultivating fans into super-fans will give you an army of evangelists singing your praise. As a company, wouldn’t you want more of such messages buzzing around in cyberspace, rather than an avalance of ”Likes”?
Wouldn’t ten meaningful messages generate more discussion and potential business than a hundred likes? Aren’t you as a consumer more interested in a story than a picture of a thumb? Shouldn’t companies encourage positive conversations in social media? Wouldn’t this bring their brand to the forefront of the competition? I think so, and doing so will ensure social media success.