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Internet Marketing: Who Cares about Likes

Who Cares about “Likes”?  No one…

By Jeffrey Dobkin

Who cares about “Likes”?  Answer:  No One.  Do you have a big “Like” button wasting space on your site?  Do you send visitors unimportant requests to “Like” you, instead of valuable requests such asking for referrals?  I guess you see where this article is heading…

What’s the value of a “Like”?

Not much, really.  When “Likes” started they seemed to be such a great idea: Google and other mass data collection sites could measure your popularity.  The more “Likes,” the more popular.  It was like high school, except you can be really geeky and still be at the top.  Or was it just me that was so geeky?

What happened: “Likes” blazed over the web.  Everyone wanted you to “Like“ them.  Pizza places promised free sodas if you “Liked” them.  Gas stations cleaned their rest rooms for your click.  But then suddenly Pepsi had billions of likes.  So did Coke, Sony and McDonalds.  The Internet was bludgeoned under the weight of billions of worthless “Likes;” sweeping over everything like sands on the beach in a hurricane.

The value of “Likes,” plummeted.

You can buy “Likes” on the Internet just as you can buy links. And now you can also buy fake product reviews from poor people in other countries who can’t really speak English let alone afford your products — just look at the game reviews on iTunes.

The cost of popularity has also plummeted: today firms hire millions of offshore tiny shoeless children refuges who will “Like” you, your products or your site for 1/4 cent per click.  And you were paying a buck apiece, were’t you?  Or was that just me?

So now what? Direct Marketing Services

Don’t bother with “Likes!” “Likes!” are similar to the new pennies which are made out of aluminum (yea, they are too: scratch the edge on the pavement and the copper color comes off!) – they’re valueless.  Turns out a penny saved isn’t worth a penny anymore.  Ben Franklin would be so disappointed.

Sure, “Likes” still live in cyberspace floating in the jet-stream as ions of electricity. Worthless.  But… think about this: the web space you use to put them in?  It’s priceless.

Here’s what to do with that valuable “Like us” space:

Ask for Referrals.
Instead, take out the “Like” button space at the top of your website and use that valuable space to ask visitors for referrals.  Referrals still have tremendous value.  One great referral is worth tens of thousands of likes. Here’s the formula: “1 R = 10,000 L.”  One referral equals ten thousand Likes. The computer nerds and geeks know that formula, you might as well share it also. Told you I was a geek in high school. Some things never change. Sigh…

Ask for sales.
Make the old “Like” space work hard for you: Ask visitors to share your passion: getting new association members for your group, eating at your restaurant and of course sending their friends over to buy your products.

Ask for visitors.
Use that valuable space – above the fold as we used to say in the newspaper industry – to ask readers to send their colleagues to visit your site.  Copywriting suggestion:  “Have a friend that may find our material useful?  Please tell them to visit our site!  Thanks! Thank you very much!”

Collect email addresses. 
The space where you formerly put the “Like” button would look great with an email capture device.  Saving email addresses is one of the most valuable and useful parts of Internet marketing.  You can build a mailing list with a few simple lines of code or a clever widget.  As with offline marketing (my specialty!), your marketing is only as good as your mailing list.

Make a FREE offer.
That old “Like us” spot would be better spent offering a valuable FREE booklet, e-book, quote, white paper, or a well-titled special report; or any great FREE offer!

While the value of “Likes” isn’t there, the space you used for displaying it on the landing page of your site is of great value.  What relevant “call-to-action” can you put in that place to increase credibility, readership, and loyalty; and most of all generate a phone call – the objective of all my on-line marketing efforts?

Jeffrey Dobkin is a copywriter, a funny and motivational speaker on sales and direct marketing, and a lousy speller.  His advertising and marketing agency specializes in creating highly responsive letters, booklets and direct mail as well as traditional advertisements, brochures and white papers; and website copywriting and design. 610-642-1000 rings on his desk. While you’re here, please buy something.  Thanks.  Thank you for visiting www.JeffreyDobkin.com  Please sign up for our occasional emails.

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