When You Facebook “Like” a Business

Recently, a local reporter sent out a Tweet reminding followers to Like her publication on Facebook.

Hopefully – especially since the pub is doing a little consolidating – said excellent, hard-working reporter’s job security is not linked to hitting a Like quota! (Are editors asking reporters to do this?  Can’t imagine this boosts subscriptions although it may increase online traffic, hence ad revenue)

Soliciting Facebook Likes is a bit controversial…at least in marketing circles.  While PR experts agree it makes sense for businesses to collect as many Likes as possible in a social media world, some believe the practice of directly asking for Likes will lead to their overall downgrade in value.

Some businesses go so far as to offer an incentive: “Receive an additional $2 off this deal when you “Like” us on Facebook!.”

Melanie Yunk of Roaring Pajamas, a SC based company specializing in social media, SEO and digital marketing, says she’s seen some lame, misguided attempts to collect Likes.  Still, in today’s tough economy, she says it isn’t shameful to ask for them because the benefits are just too hard to ignore.

Yunk explained it this way: if a business has 87 Likes, then every time the business posts a message, it goes onto 87 Facebook Walls. Those Facebook users can then share the message with all their friends, extending the reach of the business. By a lot.

One San Carlos business that has no problem racking up organic Likes is Zest, the gluten free bakery at 1224Arroyo Avenue.  As of this writing, it has 412.

Isabel Silvira says she was one of the first to officially “Like” Zest; which means all her friends, by extension, know about the store, too.  She monitors Zest’s Facebook page – almost daily – for updates.  “My kids have tried everything in this store,” Silvira said, stopping at Zest en route from work to home in Half Moon Bay.

Silvira’s 16-year old twin sons were diagnosed with Celiac Disease – an autoimmune disorder that causes a toxic reaction when gluten is consumed – when they were nine.  “They tell me, anytime you see something new (at Zest) Mom, get it,” she said.

Whenever Silvera’s sons sample a new item, she’s sure to share their opinion in a comment on Zest’s Facebook page.  “When friends ask me what we thought of something, I tell them to check my comments.”

While not every business can engineer that kind of loyalty, except through offering products or services people really value, social media expert Melanie Yunk says there are some basic things that can be done to garner more Likes.  “Tell people on your website you have a Facebook page and to Like it, make sure your business card and receipts have a Facebook logo, she said.

A sampling of San Carlos businesses with no shortage of Likes: (as of 9/8/11)

Town 997

Harmony Frozen Yogurt  908

Refuge 896

The Reading Bug 486

A+ Japanese Auto Repair 219

Spasso 216

Cask Wine and Cheese Bar 206

Candidates with Likes;

Ron Collins (City Council)  44

Mark Olbert (City Council) 3

Adam Rak for San Carlos School Board 68

(other candidates not on Facebook; at least not yet)

 

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