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Party Line: Turning “Like” into “Love”

September is our Valentine’s Day issue, which means love is in the air. But what about all the “likes”?

I’m talking, of course, about Facebook — that online entity that has the power to be a combination of fun, functional and frustrating, often in the span of five minutes. If you’re a retailer, you know an online presence is a must for success, but what makes people “like” you and follow your brand?

A study from Syncapse, a social media marketing firm, found that people who “like” brands on Facebook do so because they actually like that brand — not because they’re being bribed.

The survey polled 2,080 Facebook users who were fans of 20 major consumer brands, on why they’d decided to “like” a brand’s page. Forty-nine percent of respondents cited their desire to “support the brand I like,” making it the most popular reason among the 10 that Syncapse’s survey offered.

Forty-one percent wanted to get updates from the brands they “liked,” and just under a third (27 percent) had become fans of the brand to “share my interests/lifestyle with others,” which means some Facebook users are willing to befriend corporations and endorse their products without any financial incentive. Of course money is still a factor, as 42 percent said they hoped to get special offers by becoming a “fan” and 35 percent “liked” a brand in order to participate in a contest.

But by and large the overall sentiment was that it’s about a personal connection that somehow emotionally engages the user. What makes your store unique? Share customer pictures on Facebook and encourage interaction. Post updates from employees and run contests that include frequent customers or the latest new trends.

The point is that with a little bit of work, you can turn those “likes” into loves.
 
Abby Heugel
Managing Editor

Originally posted Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013