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‘Like’ is the new word-of-mouth- don’t be caught without it.

“Like” is the new word of mouth. Don’t let Facebook catch you without it.

Have you “liked” anything yet today? Sure, you probably liked your breakfast, or liked the song playing on the radio during your morning commute, but the “like” I’m referring to is more than just a feeling — way more. For the general public, it’s a platform for sharing content. But for businesses big and small, it’s a social media trend you cannot afford to overlook. Curious? Read on.

I’m talking about Facebook’s Like button — a feature that millions of Facebook users interact with on a daily basis and that many companies have begun to see as a valuable tool in engaging with their audience. I’m taking the liberty of assuming the majority of readers are familiar with the feature, but click here if you need a quick refresher.

So why am I advocating the Like button become a minimum standard on your company website? Because I’m in advertising, and the idea of being able to create awareness of a brand or product with a simple thumbs-up icon is absolute genius to me. By offering the Like button on a particular page of the website, you’re offering the reader a chance to tell their Facebook network that they’re interested in content your company has posted and it was worth sharing. And in the same way someone may read a book because a friend verbally recommends it, a user is more likely to engage with your site and your content if a trusted source, the friend, has already experienced it and Liked it. The impact word of mouth can have is no stranger to brand advertising, so you can imagine the possibilities when this same concept is amplified by the millions.

Brands and companies worldwide are reveling in the ability to so easily distribute their content, track the exposure it receives, and learn what truly interests their audiences. This information allows for a deeper connection and more meaningful engagement with your target audience.  Facebook reports some of their publishers see that “people on their sites are more engaged and stay longer when their real identity and real friends are driving the experience through social plugins.” NHL.com is used as an example, with Facebook visitors “reading 92% more articles, spending 85% more time on-site, viewing 86% more videos, and generating 36% more visits than visitors to other sites.”

Here’s another example: I read this article just this morning, and during its mere 4-hour existence thus far, it’s already gained over 1,600 Likes. And in the time it’s taken you to read this sentence, I’ve gone ahead and Liked it myself. It’s that simple.

If the concept alone doesn’t do it for you, maybe these statistics will help:

As I said earlier, this isn’t something your brand, your products, or your business want to overlook. If you haven’t already, integrate the Like button feature on your website. If you’ve already embraced the trend, give yourself a thumbs up. “Like” is the new word of mouth — don’t be caught without it.

Oh, and do me a favor before parting: if you enjoyed engaging with the content of my post and feel it’s worth sharing, throw it a Like, would ya?

— Beth Madigan, Account Executive

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