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Putting social media “likes” into perspective

If you publish something noteworthy to social media, you will probably pick up some “Likes” along the way. They are an easy way for readers to interact and indicate some level of approval. It’s important that marketers not confuse “Likes” with deep interaction. It only takes a microsecond to hit the thumbs-up button and doesn’t require any effort at all. I compare it to somebody waving at you from a distance, and not much more. Not much value there.

If you don’t believe me, try this experiment: tally up your “Likes” and take them down to the bank and try to exchange them for cash. When the teller asks you how they can help, say: “I would like to exchange these “Likes” for $10,000 please.” The idea is totally absurd. Remember to differentiate ego-massaging metrics from those that represent potential revenue. Having a lot of “Followers” and “Likes” is great, but you can’t spend them. They are just a place to start.

In digital marketing, the goal is to move people forward on the path toward a purchase. To promote a reader to a “Like,” and then from a “Like” to “Follower”, and then to an “Opt-In Subscriber” of your direct messages – either emails or SMS or whatever method you prefer. Moving customers forward on this path may take quite some time, and some people will never take an additional step. That’s okay, focus on the ones that do.

I suggest you start by keeping track of the people that “Like” your social media posts and try to classify them in some way. Separate friends and family from actual customers, and actual customers from potential customers. This will provide you with ideas for future posts to entice the people that represent revenue opportunities to become opt-in subscribers.

Art Jensen portrait

Art Jensen


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