Facebook is the largest social network, and hence it is practically understood why people want to capitalize on its one billion users. Many of Facebook’s users are in the upper side of the economy and could be potential buyers of products and services. Hence, companies create Facebook pages and try to reach potential audience by asking people like you to comment and like these pages. This will make sense to you if you know the concept of viral marketing.
Viral marketing works just like how a virus spreads through your body—it is automatic and highly accelerated. In the same way, when you like a particular page on Facebook, you are actually recommending that page to all of your friends. They will be able to see this page on your profile page and timeline. Going further, if you have fifty friends in Facebook, the page you like reaches fifty people and by mere chance five out of those fifty may like the page. If each of these five people has fifty friends, the page will reach a wider audience of 250 people, out of which several more people may like the page. This spreads virally across Facebook’s network reaching a lot of people in a lot less time.
In reality, a well-constructed Facebook profile page could reach thousands of people in days and pile up ‘like’s and comments.
When you genuinely like a particular page, image, or a link, you should ‘like’ it in Facebook, and it will be propagated through your friends. It’s a good thing to do. On the other hand, I have noticed people simply going ahead and liking every page and image they find on Facebook. You should ask yourself if this is a good thing to do.
The Like Button
I am not going to explain what the ‘Like’ button does. It’s fairly understood by all by now. In fact there was a report (more like a speculation) in NYTimes that talks about the inner workings of the Like button.
In essence, the Like button can track your details and send it to Facebook, even if you don’t click on it. This is the reason why you see advertisements on Facebook to be highly relevant. If you are a movie buff and you visit several movie fan pages on Facebook, then Facebook will serve mostly movie-based ads on your sidebar. The data about how much you like movies is provided by the Like button of course.
In reality, the Like button that advertisers and marketers use to promote their pages can gain a lot of visits and revenue if they can make a lot of people like their pages. Also, by speculation, this could be deemed as an attack toward your online privacy.
The same is the case with other Facebook engagement features, such as ‘Recommend’ button, ‘Send’ button, etc.
Your Online Profile & Reputation
Let’s imagine you liking every page you find out there and recommending it to your friends and coworkers. How much of your judgment should they trust after a while?
Imagine if you like every brand of a tech gadget out there. Do you think any of your friends will ever ask your opinion about a particular brand? In the same way, if you continue to like images that add no value to you or others, what kind of a message does that send to your contacts?
In your Facebook friends list, you may have your close friends as well as acquaintances (that may include your boss, senior workplace officials, etc.) Your friends may not misjudge you based on your likes and recommendations. What about your acquaintances? Do you want to make yourself stupid in front of these people?
One of the recent marketing gimmicks I found is thus: the marketer may simply post an image or a video with a comment like this “Type ***** and then press Like/Share button and see what happens to this video/image”. This sort of messages and shares go viral within days piling up thousands of likes and recommends.
Now, as a prolific Facebook user you probably know that nothing is going to happen to an image or a video if you share or like it. But still people continue to do this no matter what! This sort of marketing technique is simply dishonest, and it can make you look stupid to your friends.
What to Like?
When you find a page about a favorite movie star or film, there is nothing wrong in liking it. But hold. Before liking that particular page, why don’t you explore the page a little bit? The page about your favorite movie star has to be the genuine page created by the star himself or his officials. If you see something like ‘no official affiliation to the star’ then is there any reason for you to like that page?
Anybody can create a Facebook page about anything. It’s completely free and easy to set up, just like a website. It is hence your responsibility to monitor what you come across and understand the meaning behind it. In essence, be that intelligent person who can read between the lines, okay?
Facebook is a social network and kind of an important service today. Nearly one billion users make Facebook relevant to advertisers, media, companies, and individuals. It has also become a hub of spammers and people employing dishonest tactics to manipulate users. Staying away from such tactics require you to know about them and judge them intelligently.