“Like” a Facebook page has many different meanings and it can be used in different ways. The meaning of “Like” is highly dependent on the context in which the “Like button” appears.
“Like” is a quick way to express approval for a specific piece of content (status, picture etc), its casual and doesn’t need any real thought or consideration. But when it’s applied to brand, “Like” becomes more complicated, and the consumer’s age is a significant factor in determining what “Like” means in this context.
In the recent study that conducted by the ExactTarget, it found that 25% of US Facebook users disagree that marketers should interpret “like” to mean they are a fan or advocate of the company, only 42% of them think marketers should interpret a “like” in that way, the other 33% are indecisive.
Brands are undoubtedly connecting with a larger number of consumers on Facebook as a result of being “Liked,” but the value, depth, and duration of those new relationships is questionable.
And among those who do not become brand fans, many are negative.
More than half of users expect to be bombarded with messages or ads (54%), while 45% do not want to give companies access to profile information and 31% do not want to push content from a company into friends’ newsfeeds.
Based on ExactTarget study;
Facebook users aged 18-26 have the lowest expectations of receiving something in exchange for their “Like.” For them, “Like” is mainly a form of public self-expression and brand advocacy. Among those aged 27-34, the expectations are somewhat higher. They want something in exchange for their “Like” – most commonly, the opportunity to receive updates on new products, promotions, and savings. Facebook users aged 35-51 have the highest expectations. They don’t just want “something” in return for “Liking” a company – they want something relevant and valuable, whether it’s information or discounts. Moreover, individuals in this age bracket don’t hesitate to “Unlike” a brand if it doesn’t live up to their expectations.
The study also found that 58% of US Facebook users expect to gain access to exclusive content, events or sales after “liking” a company, while 58% also expect to receive discounts or promotions. Additionally 47% expect to see updates about the company, person or organization they “liked” in their newsfeed, which bodes well for brands as they work to have their content always show up for their followers.
In regarding to the issue of permission, in overall, 56% of our survey respondents indicated that marketers should not access even public profile information after they “Like” a company on Facebook—but attitudes vary with age.
Facebook users aged 25-34 are most comfortable with allowing marketers to use their public profile information, but even they are largely against the practice. Only 24% believe marketers should get access to their information, compared to 47% who think they shouldn’t. (The remaining 29% are undecided.) Users aged 45 and older are strenuously opposed, with 70% saying marketers should not access their public profile information, and only 10% raising no objection.
In the game of “Like,” the rules are complicated. Consumers make up the rules as they go along—and they’re subject to change without notice. The winners of the game are companies that successfully learn to play by the rules.
As study suggested – marketers should realize that “Like” is just the beginning of their relationship with a consumer—not the end goal. Thanks to Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, “Likes” alone won’t guarantee you a spot in the News Feed.
The first “Like” must be followed by engaging content and two-way conversations, or your brand is essentially invisible to the user on Facebook. Use your Facebook page as an opportunity to capture email addresses, not just “Likes.” Ongoing engagement across channels is key to identifying your true fans and prioritizing them above those who merely “Like” you.