Thrive in our connected world

Facebook Likes – Why you should be liking customers, not the other way around

Brands chasing Facebook ‘Likes’ have got it all the wrong way around; they should be liking customers, not getting customers to like them.

Why? Well, ask the most successful salesman ever – Joe Girard according to the Guinness Book of World Records – what’s the secret to successful selling. and his answer is simple:

“I tell them that I like them.”

See Cialdini for more, but it’s a psychologically sound strategy and based on the oh -so-powerful principle of reciprocity: People who say, and critically act, as if they like us, create a sense of psychological indebtedness towards them – and we feel obliged to repay the favour – by buying from them.

As is so often the case, actions speak louder than words or clicks when it comes to liking.

So what have you you done lately to show your customers you like them?

(And thanks to the wondrous Farnam Street blog, a secret source/sauce of  brilliant insight, for reminding us about Mr Girard)

Written by
Dr Paul Marsden
Join the discussion

  • This is so true… unfortunately, in a matter of FB speaking, for what I know right now it is not possible to express likes as “FB page” but only as “FB profile”… and this is pretty obvious otherwise it would be pure-spam allowed, isn’t it ?

    So I think the thing is suitable only in case of one-man-business (where the person name is actually a brand)…

    What about brands ?

    Let’s say my name is JOHN DOE and I’m the owner of a business branded BRAND-X for which I’ve built a smart FB page…

    Let’s then say that from my John Doe’s FB profile I express likes on people profiles activities (other’s posts, photos, videos, photos, pages, …)

    How can I drives these liked profiles to effectively express an “i like” on the FB page of my business BRAND-X ?

    Does it exist a step by step practical method that actually works to achieve this goal?


  • Showing appreciation for your customers is key to building long term relationships and they will most likely return and buy from you again. Nothing you about that.
    However, the challenge is to how to be able to systemize this process using social platforms in a genuine matter

  • Ok.. I agree with you.. But I don’t think it’s the brand’s fault. I would say its more like Facebook’s fault. We all know why companies ask you to like them. Like used social media tools like facebook ‘likes’ recently to send someone to school. Why? So that they can be notified about everything that is posted on the page and to lock in hopefully a potential customer. I get what you’re saying but hey unless you find another way around it, I think its necessary.

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Digital wellbeing covers the latest scientific research on the impact of digital technology on human wellbeing. Curated by psychologist Dr. Paul Marsden (@marsattacks). Sponsored by WPP agency SYZYGY.