Value of "cheap" Likes / by Brian Hildenbrand

Social Media Managers are tasked with a seemingly simple, yet often surprisingly difficult challenge: Engage your followers to the point of interaction in 5 seconds or less. Let's be honest, 5 seconds is on the generous end of the time you get to convince your audience that what you're telling or showing them is worthy of that little click of a button that essentially says to the rest of their Facebook community "I endorse this post, you should check it out, too!" Very early on in my profile management days, I found that the quickest way to get such an endorsement was through social media's favorite replacement for 1,000 words: pictures! As a manager who took pride in the copy I wrote and my ability to engage a fan base through creative and clever anecdotes, I was borderline offended that the photo I took while at a stop sign for 5 seconds would encourage more engagement than my carefully crafted one-liner that I'd edited 15 times before posting. I soon came to realize that I was being a prideful fool.

Facebook rewards posts and pages that encourage interaction. That means when I post some cute picture of a little girl standing on top of a mountain that gets 100 likes, not only are thousands of people going to see that photo as it pops up in my fans' friends' news feeds, but the next day when I post some relatively uninteresting update about my clients' new hours the next day, I'm far more likely to have a greater audience than had I not posted that cute photo.

This of course does NOT mean that likes are a sufficient measure of engagement when analyzing the success of your Facebook marketing efforts, but it should remind us that those quick "likes" are potentially much more valuable than the "like" itself. Really, it's just further proof that there is no one way to properly measure social success.