I Like, You Like, We Like

by Linda Parkinson-Hardman on August 27, 2013 · 0 comments

If you have been around the web and on any of the social networks you will probably have noticed an increasing ability to ‘like’ something, be it a website, Facebook page or LinkedIn status update. It can seem as if the word ‘like’ is taking over the world.

But do you really know what happens when you ‘like’ something? After all we hit those buttons, often without a thought for the ramifications or consequences of our increasingly random choices. It’s also worth bearing in mind that not all ‘likes’ are equal, in fact some are more equal than others and can result in a very different reaction from one we may have been expecting. Perhaps a look at what ‘like’ means might be a worthwhile discussion.

There are two different sorts of ‘like’ across the social web. The first is the one presented when you visit a business page the social networking sites; clicking this type of ‘like’ means that you’ll be added to that particular pages list of fans, followers or network and will see their status updates in your personal home page update feed. Sometimes this type of ‘like’ can masquerade beneath a ‘follow’ button on networks like LinkedIn, Google + or Twitter.

The second type of ‘like’ is the one you see on a website, product page, blog post or a friend’s status update. Clicking this ‘like’ means you are publically announcing to the world that you are recommending said website, product, blog post or status update. You don’t become a fan of their Facebook page or a follower on LinkedIn or Twitter and you certainly won’t see their status updates in your home feed whenever they add the latest news.

This second sort of ‘like’ also has its doppelganger’s and can be found masquerading on other sites as +1s, retweets, shares, favourites or even the comment you add to another status update.

However, every time you click this type of ‘like’ your personal profile is updated with a little notification that flags the fact that ‘Linda likes burgers’, or whatever the object of your devotion happens to be. These notifications appear on the home pages of your followers, fans, friends and connections.

Taking a wander through a friends or followers ‘like’s can make very interesting reading indeed and they will often tell a lot about the other person, in some cases things they possibly didn’t want you to know.

Therefore, it’s worth doing a stop and check before hitting the ‘like’ button, this gives you time to pause and consider whether you really want the whole world to know your particular preferences on this occasion. After all, your business contacts and connections probably don’t need to know that beneath that steely business persona lies someone with a penchant for pink fluffy slippers with cute kittens embroidered on them.

Linda Parkinson-Hardman
Linda is social media strategist and trainer with Internet Mentor working with clients to help develop realistic, appropriate and sustainable uses for social networking sites like Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. She is an avid networker both on-line and off-line and loves meeting people to share her knowledge and expertise with.

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