What Are You Really Asking For From a Like?

Follow Us. Like Us. Subscribe. Marketers are constantly asking consumers to open the doors for ongoing digital communication with brands. We’re not asking for the follow or the like. The real request is for permission to continue engagement.

Access to consumers has never been more valuable, and the value won’t be going anywhere. As privacy becomes a bigger concern and the FTC works to limit behavioral targeting, having explicit permission for ongoing dialogue will be key because consumers will be more protective of their data.

Having a Like or a Follow is another way of getting a consumer to say, “It’s okay for YOU to talk to me.”

Social Platforms Make “The Ask” Easier.

Consumers are understandably less open to sharing their data. However, the technology of today’s social networks, like Facebook OpenGraph, OAuth and Twitter’s @Anywhere, offers solutions that people trust and don’t mind giving permission to. Consumers, at a surface level at least, understand these platforms. They offer a degree of transparency and credibility during registration that allows them to feel secure in sharing some of their data.

Like it or not, Facebook particularly carries a great deal of value to marketers. Consumers are used to sharing their information with Facebook, which makes them more valuable as a “middle man” every day.

Source: Flickr Creative CommonsPermission Is a Two-Way Street.

The ability to follow and log-in to a website is fairly easy to implement. The real question comes with the experience. What is being offered that’s worth a user’s permission? Why should they follow you, subscribe to your YouTube channel or like you on Facebook? The experience needs to be worth the permission currency.

Social Allows Us to Knock, Not Knock Down.

Social media takes us to the level of consumers, and gives marketers the option to ask consumers to let them in (knock on the door) versus traditional media, which usually shows up uninvited. Neither route can stand on its own. Social requires traditional to lay the groundwork and build awareness. Social opens the door for permission to be exchanged for ongoing content and community.

Getting permission is an investment in the future, which may be fraught with consumer information lockdown. Build a relationship now to leverage the permission later.