Social Media How To's

Likes are cheap: The Simple Psychology of Facebook

Like it or not, we’re all on Facebook and will always come back to it. 

The app and website are super easy to open, with no barriers to get in. They ensure that the usual annoyance of a password protected site isn’t there. The experience has to be seamless to keep it within a one-click extension of our daily lives.

A ‘like’ is the easiest way to show an interest in someone’s shared activity, without actually having to invest in the full story or follow-ups. It’s a form of minimal effort relationship maintenance which allows us, the user to remain up to date and negates the need for a real-life catch up. 

It still has a very tangible emotional connotation though. We all feel that sense of affirmation and pride when we post something which receives likes and comments full of kudos.

Don’t you wish, during a conversation that you could just say “like” and walk away, or as they start talking, “scroll past” and see what other people have been up to? 

Sharing, however means that the person feels so strongly about something you posted that they want to share it with their friends and followers. 

As a brand, this is the most powerful type of engagement. Your content has appealed to one of the following emotive responses of your audience:

  • They feel it brings value to their own lives and the lives of their friends
  • It defines them, or their carefully curated online persona
  • It will help them nourish or grow relationships as an influencer or bringer of news 
  • They feel that by sharingthis piece of content, they are more involved with the world

Consumers follow brands for a number of reasons:

  • To show support for a company or product they believe in
  • To get coupons or hear about sales
  • To give feedback
  • As a source of news

Amongst all the liking and sharing, are own updates. As a brand, these have to consumer-based and have clear value to your audience. 

As a user, we update our status for just a few key reasons:

  • For self fulfillment 
  • To share news
  • To fish for empathy or justification

Only 10% of Facebook users update their statuses once per day. This avoids feeling like they’re oversharing, and annoying their friends. Any more than that, and you run the risk of people realizing that they had little reason to follow you in the first place and are better off without your ‘news’ spam.

Facebook knows what it’s doing. They are rolling out more and more ways to keep you from ever needing another network, including hosting videos, videos and I’d put money on them introducing live video from a Periscope rival soon.

What do you think about Facebook? Love it? Hate it? Why? Share your opinion in the comments below.

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