What's a Like Worth?

When it comes to businesses on social media, A 2013 investigation estimated every like has a value somewhere between $214 and zero.

TL;DR - It's probably zero, as most of the time users who like a business are already customers.

So, do likes help create sales? Probably not, according to Harvard Business Review, whose article clearly demonstrates a lot more research into the topic than what I did while on the couch today. Under proper controls, sales don’t show much change between those who have and have not liked a page.

Yet, my new year’s resolution for 2018 is to like more stuff on the internet.

The internet of today is different to the one I grew up on. Back in the day, posting of personal information, things like surnames and photos, felt about as natural as giving out your home address to strangers on the night bus.
Something changed over the years, and that something was Facebook. Since 2007, social media, and phones with cameras have completely flipped the way humanity interacts with the internet. Millions of people who had never heard the connecting sounds of a dial up modem began to flood the internet with pictures of their face, their food, their pets. Other things...

Liking things, with a Twitter heart or a Facebook reaction or Instagram love is another form of sharing personal information. Almost always, a face and a name gets included in those interactions. It's for this reason my old web instincts have prevented me from trigger happy like-clicking. From 2018, that's changed.

Why? Whether you like it or not, the likes of you and your connections define the viewpoint of what you see on social media. The algorithms behind your newsfeed filter and tweak to deliver content based on likes. This means that failing to like and share the things you think are funny or important can lead to things you don't think are funny or important taking priority on the newsfeed of your contacts, and falling out of prominence entirely.

Liking things is also a great way to support content creators and connect them to a wider audience. It might not lead to sales - sharing and word of mouth is better for that - but it can help a little with extending exposure. And thumbs up, hearts, and most of the other emojis are like little forms of encouragement too.

It’s not only content creators that get happy feelings from seeing likes. Everyone does! In 2018, the time of pretending we’re not influenced by social media’s algorithms is finished. Of course we all want likes and upvotes and validation. A society where social media rankings determine our self worth and employment opportunities is still a long way off, so we should revel in this segment of the twenty-first century where sending a positive vibe to someone anywhere in the world is as simple as clicking a mouse button or pressing a thumb down on the glass of a phone screen. Be a light in the darkness. Shape or disrupt the echo chambers you’re stepping into every day. Like things, because the opposite is not liking anything, and who wants to do that?

P.S. You may notice that I don’t embed social media widgets on my website, because my old school thinking is still that we shouldn’t tell Facebook and Twitter Analytics all the pages we visit. If you want to follow Bradism.com on social media, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook and, occasionally, Instagram.


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