Home » Social Media » Social Media Marketing or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learned to Love the ‘like’

Social Media Marketing or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learned to Love the ‘like’

It’s no secret that the majority of companies are now looking to Facebook to garner new customers while maintaining brand image. The all and powerful ‘like’ on Facebook has now become the widely accepted benchmark for social media marketing success; but should it be?

Renowned e-marketing blogger Mark Shaefer recently brought this point up for discussion on his popular blog ‘Grow’. Mr. Shaefer argues that companies would be mistaken if they began their social media campaign by targeting ‘likes’ from Facebook users. Shaefer explains that the ‘like’ doesn’t adequately engage the users into forming meaningful and lasting relationships. While I am inclined to accept the discoveries of social media expert Mark Shaefer, I am unfortunately left puzzled due to my own personal encounters with the ‘like’.


Marketing can be, and should be, boiled down to statistical analysis when ever possible. By quantifying a return on marketing efforts, corporations can make informed decisions about how to build relationships with its customers. The problem occurs when you try to quantify a ‘like’? Ask some business experts and you will most likely see conflicting views. Some defend the value of a ‘like’ and others adamantly reject its worth.

Although this may be categorized as irrational and wildly unconventional, I personally believe that companies should take it on faith that a ‘like’ is incredibly valuable. Companies should begin to stop worrying, and learn to love the ‘like’.


My social media presence isn’t currently up to speed with the growing trends but I would like to believe that my online activity aligns with the average 22 year old college student. I more or less check my Facebook news feed  with some frequency as a relief from the mundane day to day activities.

To my surprise, I have found that companies I have liked have made significant impressions on me during our “un-engaged” relationship together. As long as these companies produced fresh content and popped up on my news feed, I began to feel personal involvement in the brand’s life.


A while back I ‘liked’ Atomic Coffee, a local coffee shop, because of content that was suggested to me by my friends activity. I saw the content they produced (chocolate covered bacon!?!?) and its novelty and originality pushed me to like their page out of sheer impulse. After some months passed, I seemed to grow fond of Atomic Coffee. I unexpectedly became an expert on their specials and their products. I began to view them as something else entirely: as my own friend.

I know what you are saying… a real friend? While I may have been speaking in hyperbole, the effect of seeing Atomic Coffee show up on my daily news feed nonetheless had an impact in my buying behavior. Atomic Coffee went from a store with goods to pass on to consumers to my personal coffee brewers in which I had a relationship unique to me. The ‘like’ in this instance has made the difference between utter anonymity and obsessive passion. If a simple ‘like’ could potentially make one consumer a brand advocate, then wouldn’t it be worth the marketing efforts to secure them?

… Well… No. Companies are mostly concerned with their bottom line and ‘likes’ don’t generally carry a dollar value amount. Even with that said, if I found myself atop the corporate ladder and head of marketing for a billion dollar company, rest assured I will most likely be one of the few that stops worry and loving each and every ‘like’.


2 thoughts on “Social Media Marketing or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learned to Love the ‘like’

  1. Matt, I wanted to thank you for your excellent blog post and for carrying the discussion forward. I actually don’t think we disagree at all. In fact your experience with the coffee shop kind of proves my point of the article. The big opportunity with social media is to build that kind of relationship, even a friendship with brands. I wrote another post about this called, “It’s not just a brand, it’s a buddy.” Thanks again for your very wise observations here and for reading my blog.

  2. Mark,
    Thank you so much for your comment. I must say it is an honor to have you read my blog post. I am currently a student of Professor Todd Bacile at Florida State University and we constantly refer to your blog and books as the most respected source on social media.

    I very much enjoyed your post titled It’s not just a brand, it’s a buddy.” I too have experienced many of the same events you described with Home Depot. The technologies we have today have put certain expectations on companies that weren’t there before. I may be wrong, but I feel companies are playing on our turf and must cater to the consumer now more than ever.

    I wonder if this is the “new normal” or if companies will find a way to put the ball back in their court.

    Nonetheless, I am incredibly flattered by your feedback. I enjoy the content you produce and look forward to reading much more from your blog.



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