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Facebook “Like” Worth $174? Probably Not.

What’s in a “like?” Could those highly sought after, public displays of loyalty actually mean something outside the world of social media? Marketers would certainly like to think so. It has been said that each “like” on a company Facebook Page is worth a surprising $174 to the business. But before you go out and start charging companies for your precious “likes,” let’s dig a little deeper into their true value.

By liking a page you, as an individual, are admitting that the content the page is sharing is of some value to you or that you like the particular brand. Whether you actually buy from that brand or not is beside the point, as “liking” its page lets others know you not only support the page or brand, but that the content it shares is worth having in your News Feed. As a result, people “like” pages for a variety of different reasons: access to coupons, contests, news and updates, or to just to consume content that interests them. So don’t be fooled by a “like” on a page – just because someone likes a page and sees the shared content, it doesn’t automatically mean he or she is spending an average of $174 with the brand.

However a “like” is not worthless, maybe even more importantly, “likes” on social media mean more than just a dollar amount.  “Likes” generally represent how large the brand is outside of the digital world. Well-known brands, such as Target and Disney, attract “likes” far easier and more frequently than their lesser-known counterparts. This indicates that the true meaning of a “like” is a representation of brand recognition and loyalty that is worth much more than a simple monetary figure. The “likes” well-known brands accumulate are typically from existing customers, proving the magnitude of brand recognition, as loyal customers tend to be lifelong customers and true advocates for the brand, which amounts to so much more than $174.

All companies strive to become recognizable brands with strong customer loyalty – and this doesn’t necessarily only apply to huge brands like Target or Disney.  When a smaller company has built a strong and successful social media presence (think Philz Coffee or TOMs in its early days), brand recognition and strong customer loyalty almost always follow. And keep in mind that more “likes” doesn’t mean more purchases or money; instead it denotes a stronger loyalty, which has more power for long term success.

So instead of trying to determine exactly how much each individual “like” is worth, consider this: a “like” is not a dollar sign, but an outward display of community loyalty.  Your brand or the content shared on social media resonates well with your audience and they’ve publicly pledged this through clicking “like.”  These “likes” help to establish a brand’s recognition, build customer loyalty, and increase the reach of the content shared among other things. When you start looking at the meaning of the “like” as a measure of loyalty rather than a monetary value, then you will understand the true worth of a “like.”

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