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Who Cares about “Likes”?

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 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 data collection sites could measure your popularity.  The more “Likes,” the more popular.  Like high school, except you can be really geeky and still be at the top.  Or was it just me that was 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.

At one time you could buy “Likes” on the Internet just as you could buy links; and now, how you can buy fake product reviews.  Firms hired millions of offshore tiny shoeless children refuges who would “Like” your site for .02¢ per click.  And you were pay a buck apiece, were’t you?

So now what?  Don’t bother with “Likes!” Like the new aluminum pennies – they’re valueless. Sure, they still live in cyberspace floating in the jet-stream as ions of electricity. But… the web space you used to put them in?  It’s priceless.

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 thousands of likes. Here’s the formula: 1 R = 10,000 L.  The computer nerds and geeks know that formula, you might as well share it also.

Ask for sales.  Make the old “Like” space work hard for you: Ask visitors to share your passion for getting new association members, 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!”

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, 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, a well-titled special report; or better yet – a 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 there to increase credibility, readership, and loyalty; and most of all generate a phone call?

Jeffrey Dobkin is a copywriter and a funny and motivational speaker on sales and direct marketing.  His advertising and marketing agency specializing in creating highly responsive letters, booklets and direct mail. 610-642-1000 rings on his desk. Visit