Thumbs up: Importance of a solid ‘Like’

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. – This week, Forsyth Herald’s Facebook page, which launched last March, reached 300 “Like” clicks.

It’s a minor speck in comparison with how many people live in Forsyth County and receive the Forsyth Herald, but it’s huge in the amount of reach we are having. On the other hand, it’s frustrating that more people have not clicked the “Like” button to essentially say — we like what you’re doing and we want more.

Ever since Facebook went beyond allowing only friends to “Like” a comment, photo and status update to letting users “Like” third-party sites, news items and blog posts, the marketplace has exploded.

But what does it mean to “Like” a business or interest? More than you can imagine. In addition to helping Facebook collect personal data on its users, the blue thumbs-up icon is the essence of social media communication. Each month, 93 percent of Facebook users click on the icon and the site has an average of 170 million users.

When you like something the Forsyth Herald posted for example, you are essentially in marketing terminology “engaging” with us. Also, you are sharing this interest with your friends or what is known as “reach.”

The sharing and liking and photo tagging is a big reason Facebook is now worth somewhere in the $75 billion neighborhood.

“The ‘Like’ content keeps users on the site longer for advertisers to reach them, and produces scads of details about you for better targeting of ads,” reports Bob Garfield on a piece about the “Like” button for On the Media.

The report indicates that users under 34 years old “are far more likely to like a brand, that 58 percent of people who do like brands are hoping to be rewarded with discounts or freebies. And only 42 percent of active Facebookers believe that ‘liking’ a brand constitutes actually being a fan.”

With so many businesses vying for a Facebook user’s attention, those who choose to “Like” your brand are making a huge commitment and you should take a minute to thank them. They will likely reply with a “Like.”

So to our Facebook followers, I say a big, thank you. To those who were not aware we had a page, visit www.facebook.com/forsythherald and “Like” us and tell your friends to do the same.

You can also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/forsythherald.