The Like in B2B

If you are like me (and even if you are not), the concept of Like is, well, very social.

My friends post a photo or video of something memorable in Facebook and elsewhere and I’ll Like it. But diving a bit deeper in these shallow waters has me pausing about the value of Like. Like, why am I really clicking Like? In these situations I can think of these reasons:

  • I really like what is posted – that’s what Like is for? Like Right?
  • Wrong! I see cases where Liking is part of being in that inner circle of that moment, that moment being the act of posting something that may be memorable, but may be to demonstrate how clever we are? how creative we are? how inclusive we are? how current we are?…and this list can go on pretty much forever keeping to the spirit of the thought.
  • Wrong! I see cases where Liking is part of being noticed or getting recognition.
  • Wrong! I see cases where Liking is part of the popularity contest for what is posted. We even see blatant self-promotion in this case by companies (Like our page to get a free it-will-break-in-1-day-trinket) or by people (Like my comment so that I will earn something even though I’m not clear on what that may be)
  • Wrong! I see cases where Liking is a part of a kind of social threat: Like my comment even if you hate it because if you don’t I will never Like anything you post.

These are just some examples and you really don’t have to like any of them (and don’t let that stop you from Liking them), but I list them because I, like, Like them so that (and I’m getting to it) I can make my larger point.

So, let’s turn the table just a little and ask: Why do we see Like in a B2B setting? I start a discussion or ask a question or create a new idea. As we write replies or comments, sure enough, the Like button makes itself known. It would be logical to click Like if you really like the reply or just ignore it if you do not. You could also Like the reply for any of the social reasons I already listed and more that you likely have. Some bold platforms even have the Not Like or Thumbs Down icon to click, so ignoring both options must mean you are neutral or don’t care one way or the other.

In a community I participate in, the use of Like struck me like a bolt of lightning. Someone suggested an idea and others chimed in with their opinion, myself included. It was a pretty clear cut idea and on the surface one person voted it down because of wording (as opposed to voting it up and suggested that the wording should be changed – that’s what I did). When I realized that the idea could lose steam (bolt of lightning on its way) I went back and looked at the replies. Without realizing immediately why I was doing it, I started Liking all the positive replies. As I started hovering my reply, the system, of course, would not let me Like my own and that’s when the bolt of lightning struck its target:

I like, Like in this scenario because I want to influence the next reader that this is a great idea and they should vote it up plus also Like all the other positive replies!

The only missing connection is how do we know this happened so that we could see the influence of the Like in our metrics. I don’t have a good answer (yet), but I have stored this experience in the think-about-it-compartment and will come back to you when I think I am on to something. Of course, if you think about it and put comments with your ideas in this blog maybe I’ll Like your reply to influence and promote more discussion around the topic 🙂 .

PS: Just moments after writing this I went back to the idea and, sure enough, more positive replies were entered and the Likes on the other replies I initiated is catching on because others are now also doing it for the same reason!

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