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A “Like” Doesn’t Mean They Like Your Brand
The minority of people on Facebook---just 42%---say that when they “Like” a brand, that means they are a brand advocate or fan. The remaining 58% assert that Liking is not a sign of brand affinity, or they are not sure how they want their “Likes” interpreted.

What’s more, somewhere between 40% and 50% of consumers say that a “Like” does not automatically give a brand permission to market to them. Even those who are open to Facebook marketing from Liked brands have clear boundaries. Most believe marketers should not access their Facebook profile, even the parts that are public. And, they do not want to be targeted with marketing via other media.

So what is the meaning of a “Like”?

For people under 24, a Like is a sign of self-expression or a brand endorsement. For those over 25, it’s complicated. Their key driver for Liking is getting something in return: discounts, exclusive content, or advanced news. 35-51 year olds are the most demanding. They expect concrete value, and are the quickest to Unlike brands that do not deliver.

93% of Facebook users Like brands. The average user Likes 14 brands. Top reasons why Americans do not Like more brands are because they do not want to be bombarded with advertising, and they do not want companies to have access to their profiles.

We should think about...
  • Are we putting too much emphasis on increasing our Like count on Facebook?
  • Are we assuming that a Like means more than it does, and gives us broad marketing permission?
Sources: 2011; Exact Target 2011
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