Do You ‘Like’ Me?
In the beginning the “like” was cute, un-offensive and it allowed an opinion without having to generate text to explain yourself.
So it was readily adopted even by the most reluctant user, most people would give it a moment or two of thought before clicking the like button, after finding it a relatively painless experience and in some case it involved you in an interesting conversation. Thus ‘liking’ manoeuvred its way into our online habits and I’m sure many users would be at a loss if the ability to ‘like’ were withdrawn.
‘Liking’ exploits a part of our psyche which was previously untapped by the old marketing paradigm which always played to the what’s in it for me card’ it was always about what personal benefit there was to be had by engaging with a product or service. It took time for people to realise that liking wasn’t the same as buying; it was not going to cost you anything to like something, so we embraced it.
Now social networks go to great pains to make sure that your being presented with a continuous stream of material that you will have an overall positive response to.
Why, well it isn’t rocket science, it’s actually a bit like the old prank where your asked questions in succession that beg a ‘Yes’ response, then you insert something random or diametrically opposed and the person is likely to say yes before you have time to think about it. It’s the same protocol,
By using the terms ‘friend’ and ‘like’ social media networks have tapped into a simple yet omnipresent value of the human condition, the Fear of rejection
When I discus FB and talk to people about management of there profiles and accounts I always get asked the same question
‘If I un-friend them will they know?”
Quite often they are talking about digital acquaintances on the other side of the world, people they will never actually meet. Yet in the back of the primeval brain something happens once you connect with another person, there is from that moment on the faint possibility that you may, at some time in the future, actually meet this person in real life. Thus you want to present an acceptable and digestible version of yourself so that you are not rejected.
Only recently through pressure applied by users did FB introduce the unlike button and that’s only on business and fan pages not personal accounts
On personal profiles you must un-friend. And it that’s too confronting they introduced a halfway point ‘unsubscribe’, which means you’re still my friend but I don’t want to listen to your drivel.
All this activity generates a log of behaviour patterns, look at the past and you can predict with some certainty what people will like in the future.
Say yes to your friends, yes to feel good topics and ultimately you will say yes to the ads