Do Facebook Likes Mean They Love You?

by Joanne Steele on January 24, 2012


Facebook thumbs upMy husband checks his Facebook page everyday. He thoroughly enjoys keeping up with his “friends.” He rarely posts anything himself and has liked very few business pages.

Why am I telling you this?

Because he’s a textbook example of a 65+ Facebook user according to a study reported by Brian Solis in a post, “I Like You, But Just Not in That Way.”

The complete study can be downloaded from ExactTarget.


If you busily post to your Facebook business page daily or weekly without considering important details about your customer that this study reveals, you’re wasting your time and may be doing more harm to your relationship with that customer than good.

You may have the most fantastic landing page on the planet, but if your Perfect Customer is my husband and people like him, it won’t make any difference because he’s never going there!

You may post fantastic marketing info about your business, but if you’re Perfect Customer is among the 54% who reported not wanting to be bombarded by advertisements, you’re toast.

If I were a big corporation, Facebook would make me crazy!

But I’m not, and you’re not. You are small. Your Perfect Customers fall into one, two and at the very most three profile types.

You only need a few hundred or a few thousand loyal customers to be successful.

You have always been successful because you give your customers what they need and want.

Those customers are now looking for businesses like yours on Facebook, and if your presence doesn’t shout, “I know and understand what you want and need!!” they’ll go somewhere else.

So refresh your memory about who you are in business to serve. This study primarily looks at age. You know lots more about your customer than just his or her age, but it’s a good place to start when evaluating how to approach Facebook. Take that knowledge about your customer… starting with age, to the study Brian Solis quotes.

Look at the study’s conclusions, and then go to Solis’s next steps at the bottom of the page.

Ignore #1. Most of you haven’t created an overall social media strategy other than to get something up on Facebook, and that is truly a great first step.

Then, read #’s 2 through 7 and heed.

Finally, write #8 in large black letters and post it on the front of your refrigerator, or somewhere where you’ll see it many times a day.

Ask your customer what he would like to see on your Facebook page. If my husband is your customer, better ask him in person, because he won’t “like” your business without that personal contact.

Use email. Use your personal Facebook profile if you have one. Use that time after you’ve made the sale and before you say goodbye.

Small local business owners have personal, intimate contact with their customers! It is what makes you unique and authentic in the eyes of those people. The information they give you will help you reach other’s just like them via social media channels.



1 Susan Pepperdine June 18, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Here’s one small thing I don’t “like” – using everyday as one word when it should be two. For example, the first sentence above should be “every day”
My husband checks his Facebook page everyday.

2 Joanne Steele June 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Thanks Susan. Everyone needs a really good editor. Let me know when you see anything you don’t “like.”

3 Clayton Denize February 4, 2012 at 5:44 am

Very interesting article.
I will read up on the Exacttarget findings.
I am the director of a Wi-Fi Hotspot Company in New Zealand currently introducing a new concept in hotspots. Users have to ‘Like’ the venues Facebook page to get their Free Internet pass.


4 Joanne Steele February 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I understand the rationale. My question is, do these people have any reason or incentive to every return. You’ve created a business transaction not necessarily a relationship that would lead to more sales in the future.

5 Gerald Sweitzer January 29, 2012 at 11:55 am

Facebook lost as many users as it gained in 2011. Not growing the the U.S. now. Many are like me, who closed my facebook account, and went onto Goolge+ A much better social media site, with many more options such as circles to place people in for their association with me.
Google+ has passed the 90 million user base since June 2011 when they started. They should pass 400 million before the end of this year. They will have a complete business version in coming months.
Even if they are only #2, I’m sure others will also discover that FaceBook is not the place for everyone. Google+ offers so much more.

6 Joanne Steele January 31, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Hello Gerald. Internet marketing is all about being online where your customer is, and for many small local businesses that is still Facebook. I agree that it is vital to be aware of the growing importance of Google+ and to watch and listen for indicators that your customer base is shifting to it and away from Facebook. The reality is that most small businesses are too pressed for time to manage a presence on all possible social media sites. It all comes down to where your customer is.

7 Gouthami January 27, 2012 at 12:07 am

As always, you make me sit up and think! Many thanks – I was wondering why our facebook page with 46,000 likes was not translating into enquiries, leave alone bookings!

8 Joanne Steele January 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm

The interaction on your Facebook page is good. You are properly using Facebook as a way to create relationships – people are leaving comments, adding information and liking. Now you need to move those fans to take action! Two suggestions, and they both relate to strengthening your call to action: 1. Send people back to your website where the booking should happen with more obvious links. Don’t have the whole text be the link. Tell people what to do. “Click here!” 2. Strengthen your “Book here” links on your website. Don’t make people work too hard to find it and act.

9 Herb Lawrence January 26, 2012 at 7:00 am

Joanne great post and information from Brian Solis. Nice article that everyone of our small businesses trying to leverage Facebook (or any social media) need to read and heed. One thing we have been having trouble getting through though is just because some one “likes” or even comments doesn’t necessarily equate to dollars in the cash register. Getting them to think beyond just posting to think about what they want the reader to do after they see the post (hopefully drive them to take some action) is key. Keep sending these articles we will keep sharing with our small business network.

10 Joanne Steele January 31, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Thanks Herb. Check out the reply I just posted to Gouthami, and Indian travel company. Your very able team of business trainers will be able to help provide little tweeks like this to your network members re: their Facebook marketing efforts. It’s exciting isn’t it to be changing our training focus to helping those with intermediate skills! Can you imagine helping a small business with the “problem” of dealing with 46,000 likers!!

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