“Like Us” vs. “Find Us” on Facebook

Offering incentives for consumers to like you on Facebook is a better way to build an active community.

Offer incentives for someone to "Like" your brand on Facebook

It’s certainly no secret that Facebook is one of the most powerful marketing and social media tools of the modern digital era. Just about every major brand has a presence on Facebook and most do an outstanding job of actively listening and engaging as they build their communities and “likes” so their messages can resonate with an increasing pool of customers.

A lot of brands are obsessed with achieving a high ranking through Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm to govern what is displayed (and how high) on someone’s newsfeed and with good reason. Today’s consumer factors peer review, image, and transparency into their buying decisions more than ever before so remaining front and center within a person’s newsfeed is priority #1. This, most of us have already figured out.

This post isn’t however about ways to achieve a higher EdgeRank, popular contests to run, or how to make your page look aesthetically pleasing to your community. Instead, what has been bothering me recently are companies who use the “Like Us on Facebook” call to action in their messaging which often may be the first point of contact with a consumer.

Lately I have been wondering, “Why exactly should I like you on Facebook?” Yes, I may have been a loyal customer for years, or heard great things about your brand from a friend or family member, but is this reason to automatically assume that I will jump over to Facebook and start “liking” you so you can fill my news feed with posts that I may care little about? Maybe I do care about what you are posting but isn’t it a little presumptuous that because I use your product or service that I will allow you the keys to my Facebook profile?

Like it or not, today’s consumer is a lot smarter about brand choices and pledging allegiances that prior generations. A lot of this stems from the flood of information at our fingertips  and our obsession with reading about other people’s experiences. What is amazing about the digital age is that not only do we have more choices than ever before, we are much more educated and cognizant of reality using social media platforms and tools to directly engage with multi-billion dollar brands that once seemed untouchable.

Consumers should be provided a reason to like you on Facebook. An incentive. A dangling carrot so to speak. Something that peaks their interest and leaves them yearning for more. In other words, compelling content. Realizing that brevity in advertising is the mantra of our age and often times space doesn’t allow for detailed incentives beyond a few words in an ad or a commercial, brands should focus on Facebook awareness, not suppositions that just because you buy from them it means that you should hop over to their Facebook page and automatically “like” them too.

So instead of going immediately for the “like” instead respect the intelligence and shrewd mentality of today’s consumer and use the “Find Us on Facebook” message instead. Let them make the call if you are worthy of the “like” and come to their own conclusion about the decision. If you value their business, participation, reviews, and opinions then prove yourself by offering content that knocks their socks off and keeps them coming back for more. Dispense with the “like” and gravitate to the “find.”

What are your thoughts? What reasons should business continue using “Like Us on Facebook?”

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  • http://twitter.com/NikkiKMayes Nikki Mayes

    Great post, John. I have long wondered why your call to action would be to beg a potential consumer to like something they don’t even know. Thinking about it from a consumer perspective, it makes me so distrustful of the brand. Sounds like a smarmy salesperson — “just try it — I know you’ll love it!” I think not! Totally on board with the “Check us out on Facebook!” message.

  • http://www.m2sys.com/ John Trader

    Thanks for the comment Nikki. “Check Us out on Facebook” is definitely another, more appropriate call to action. You’re right – it may be the marketer/PR person in us that views “Like Us on Facebook” as a “smarmy salesperson” as you describe but if you think about it, this statement elicits an assumption that our brand page is great so why wouldn’t someone like it? In reality, consumers have choices and should be talked to, not talked down to as I think “Like Us on Faceook” conveys.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Jeff.Faria Jeff Faria

    My sense of this is that people will ‘like’ what they WANT to like, and no amount of urging will force the issue. If you want ‘likes’, be ‘likeable’ and they will come.

  • http://www.m2sys.com/ John Trader

    Truth Jeff. It seemed “Like Us” wasn’t the right way to invite people to visit your brand page, just assuming that it was a given. Being ‘likeable’ is certainly a lot different. Thanks for the comment.

  • http://twitter.com/saving4someday Sara Hawkins

    Great insight. There are times when I feel like a brand is really trying too hard with the “Like Us” plea. I’ve seen a few with the “Find out more about us on Facebook” call to action, which I like. While it’s not traffic to their site, I think it gives consumers a familiar landing space and doesn’t feel like a hard sell. I agree with Jeff that consumer will “Like” what they want, but first they have to get there. And I think that if marketers (or small business owners) want to be engaging they have to remember that consumers are people (even in B2B, there’s a person on the other side).

    I think the “Like Us” please is like being at a bar and giving every girl/guy your number hoping just one calls. Not the best strategy to find a long-term relationship.

  • http://twitter.com/saving4someday Sara Hawkins

    Great insight. There are times when I feel like a brand is really trying too hard with the “Like Us” plea. I’ve seen a few with the “Find out more about us on Facebook” call to action, which I like. While it’s not traffic to their site, I think it gives consumers a familiar landing space and doesn’t feel like a hard sell. I agree with Jeff that consumer will “Like” what they want, but first they have to get there. And I think that if marketers (or small business owners) want to be engaging they have to remember that consumers are people (even in B2B, there’s a person on the other side).

    I think the “Like Us” please is like being at a bar and giving every girl/guy your number hoping just one calls. Not the best strategy to find a long-term relationship.

  • http://www.m2sys.com/ John Trader

    Thanks for the intelligent comments on the post Sara. You understand what I was driving at on the post, and that is a hard sell has so much more potential to backfire than a concentrated effort to produce quality, creative content that draws people in and makes them want to say. I appreciate you stopping by to chip in with your thoughts.

  • Anonymous

    maaf kn / tinggalkan..?

  • Tom

    What is so interesting is that I was just contemplating between the two, and I agree with you 100% – if my customer likes my company, they will find us AND like us on Facebook. It’s still imperative that I let my customers know that we are on Facebook, therefore, “find us on Facebook” wins the contest!