The business of 'Likeonomics'

Publish Date: 
Feb 13, 2012
By Eric Anderson

REMEMBER WHEN THE OPINIONS of a few magazine editors, top celebrities and learned scientists helped us make our purchasing decisions?

We used to live in a world of mega-influencers. Now, we are increasingly living in a world of micro-influencers — where hundreds of thousands of regular individuals blog, tweet, post or Yelp their personal opinions, and we, in turn, believe them.

Paid advertising of the past had usually relied on the power of an informed expert or social icon. But that’s not so much the case, anymore. 

For example, is it really Michael Jordan who is selling Nike basketball shoes these days, or is it the local high school and college players who 'like' the new products on Nike’s Facebook page, which prompts others to do the same, and so on?  

Like it or not, “Likeonomics” is becoming a more vital component of brand-building. It doesn’t matter whether you are a manufacturer or a dealership, you are still a brand on top of being a business. The sooner you learn to separate the two, the better off you will be. Let your accounting side handle the business while sales and marketing focus on the brand.

Put simply, a business view is usually from the inside out, while the brand view is from the reverse — outside in. Your customers only see you from the outside, so the sooner you can effectively step into their shoes, the better you can objectively make them 'like' you, literally and figuratively.  

It’s a bit like trying to earn a credit score when you were in college. No one would give you a credit card until you earned a credit rating, but how in the hell were you supposed to earn that credit rating if nobody would trust you with a credit card? Likeonomics works the same way — you have to force the Facebook Likes in the beginning in order to create enough momentum to become 'liked' by a larger circle of peers.

A credibility factor. And by forcing, I’m not talking about fixing or stacking the deck, because the transparency of the Internet will quickly reveal you as a fake. Instead, encourage your customers to 'like' your Facebook page, dealership blog, Twitter feed, LinkedIn listing, etc. in any way you possibly can, because momentum breeds more momentum. Get the ball rolling and it will begin to pick up its own speed. It’s sort of like pushing a rock — that first push is always the hardest.