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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Is “Like” a measure of engagement?

Observation:  Today’s Research Brief inspires us to ask a worthwhile question.  Just because you have lots of “Likes,” is your Facebook page successful?  Click here to see the story.

Implications:   I don’t know about you, but I’ve looked over the shoulder at several folks surfing Facebook and I’ve asked the same question.  And I confess to some of the behaviors myself.  Maybe someone sees a page because on of their friends has liked it, so they land on the page, are amused for a moment, and then click “Like” on the way out.  Was the campaign that elicited this response viral?  Absolutely.  But so is a quickly passing cold sore.  That doesn’t mean it will have a long-term effect on the user’s life, nor on the company involved.

It’s just as important with social and other forms of digital that you measure the right things.  Are you customers truly engaged?  How do you know? Are sales (or other desired responses) increasing in response to your messaging effort?  How do you know?  Where have you placed the thermostat?  You can get “re-pins” on Pinterest or “likes” on Facebook simply by sharing a picture of a horse with a hoof coming out of its head that you created with Photoshop.  That doesn’t make it effective social marketing.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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