In the B2C world, social media marketers are constantly trying to calculate their true “Cost per Like.” Back in November 2011 an EdgeRank Checker post titled “Comments 4x More Valuable Than Likes” stated the following:
“For every Like a Post gets, it received on average 3.1 Clicks. For every Comment a Post receives, it results on average 14.678 Clicks. This ultimately means that the more engagement your update receives, the more Clicks it will receive. What is interesting about this data is that a Comment results in roughly 4 times the amount of Clicks.”
More significantly, in October 2012 a DaylanDoes post titled “All About Facebook ‘Like’ Scam Posts” complained about how Likes were being abused:
“The Facebook Like algorithm is Facebook’s way of dictating if content is of any value to users. The more likes/shares/comments it gets, the more exposure to certain people it, and the profile it belongs to, will get both short term and long term.
All these metrics contribute to a users ‘EdgeRank’ – the score your profile is given that dictates how your page interacts with other profiles on Facebook. The greater a page/profiles edge rank is, the more it will be exposed in people’s newsfeed. EdgeRank is the reason you see a lot of rubbish in your Facebook newsfeed these days. Certain people and pages have EdgeRank factors that Facebook have decided are relevant to you.”
More recently, in May 2013, a Yahoo News post titled “Facebook Scam Alert – What Really Happens When You ‘Like’” warned about a phenomenon called “Like Farming,” in which “Scammers Are Making Money Off Your Likes.”
These are probably some of the reasons why, in the B2B world, Likes do not hold much value. In fact, long sales cycle B2Bs that provide high dollar value products/services hardly derive any tangible benefits from Likes. To them, Likes are at best an endorsement of their B2B brand. These B2Bs are far better served by Comments. And, they have good reason to be – because Comments in the B2B world usually mark the start of a critical awareness phase of the revenue cycle that is associated with their integrated sales and marketing funnel (see Figure 1 below). For more on this revenue cycle read The Marketing Id’s post titled “Revenue Performance Management: Viva La Drucker!” If the awareness phase is handled well and supplemented through use of a Marketing Automation Platform (MAP), a Comment’s owner could be authentically entered into the B2B’s sales funnel.
FIGURE 1: REVENUE CYCLE ACROSS INTEGRATED SALES & MARKETING FUNNEL
In the old media world (i.e., the analog and pre-Internet era), the saying used to be “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In the new media world (i.e., the digital and post-WWW age), YouTube quickly established that “A video is worth a thousand pictures.” So in measuring the worthiness of inbound marketing impulses that are critical to the social media world and MAP metrics, The Marketing Id would like (no pun intended) to suggest, metaphorically, “A Comment is worth a thousand Likes.” And, here are the Top 12 reasons why:
- Likes are primarily a B2C driver, Comments are more of a B2B feeder;
- Likes are typically anonymous, Comments are usually from a known entity;
- Likes actually reflect a passive sentiment, Comments suggest an active response;
- Likes originate with one lazy click, Comments are developed through a group of considered ones;
- Likes are often impulsive, Comments are mostly deliberate;
- Likes are quite unreliable, Comments are reasonably certain;
- Likes are simply akin to a thumbs up, Comments are more like all hands on deck;
- Likes are useful to just 1P (promotion) in the marketing mix, Comments are pertinent to all 4Ps in the marketing mix;
- Likes are basically a brand builder, Comments are more of a lead generator;
- Likes are associated with subject matter novices, Comments are related to subject matter experts/sleuths;
- Likes are invariably dubious suspects, Comments are targetable as likely prospects;
- Likes come at a variable cost; Comments are a probable revenue source!
While it might appear that The Marketing Id is not a fan of Likes, the truth is in the B2B domain even an unfavorable Comment is likely to provide more business value than a thousand Likes can? So don’t hesitate to comment on this post!