Facebook users ‘Like’ when brands are smart and strategic online

If you run a Facebook page for your business, you’ll know how difficult it can be to get people to ‘Like’ your page and interact with your posts. Now, a study has found the meaning behind every ‘Like’ varies significantly depending on the users age and context.

According to an ExactTarget study, 93 percent of Facebook users click the ‘Like’ button at least once a month, with the most common use of the button linked to posts by friends, followed by clicking the button on sites outside of Facebook as a form of social bookmarking.

As Facebook is such a vital part of the online social fabric, marketers must be smart and strategic when developing Facebook campaigns, said ExactTarget Vice President of Marketing Research and Education Jeff Rohrs.

“A click of the ‘Like’ button means different things to different people. It creates an opportunity for further engagement, but it is merely one step toward the types of meaningful, cross-channel relationships marketers need to succeed.

The research found that a universal meaning of ‘Like’ hasn’t emerged yet, mostly because a click depends on the individual consumer and the context in which the ‘Like’ button is used.

Other key findings of the research include:

· 45 percent of Facebook users say they ‘Like’ a company at least monthly, while 35 percent say they never ‘Like’ a company.

· 44 percent of users ‘Like’ something posted by a business at least once a month.

· People who ‘Like’ a lot of brands (11 or more) are more likely to be motivated by rewards in the form of coupons or exclusive deals in exchange for their ‘Like.’

· Younger consumers (age 18-26) tend to use ‘Like’ for self-expression and public endorsement of a brand.

· Consumers 27 and older are more likely to expect something of value in exchange for their “Like.”

· Among people that have ‘Liked’ at least one brand, 31 percent have avoided “Liking” more brands because they do not want to push things into their friends’ newsfeeds.

· The average U.S. Facebook user ‘Likes’ an average of 14 companies/brands.