Last night I was standing on our patio, admiring the sunset with my daughter. She looked at me and asked:

“Do you like the sunset?”

“Yes, I like the sunset.”

“I like it, too.”

According to some brands, agencies and consultants, that simple interaction turned both of us into ‘fans’ of the May 16, 2012 sunset. The company that created the May 16 sunset just acquired 2 valuable ‘brand ambassadors’ that have an influence on the bottom line of ‘May 16, 2012 Inc.’.

Welcome to the silly world of Facebook likes

The way some ‘experts’ cherish likes, you’d think they were lengthy love letters written in blood. Well, given that toilet paper has 10,496 likes, the premise that people click on things that mean a lot to them becomes absurd quickly.

Still, many brands and agencies use ‘likes’ as a metric to measure brand popularity.

The reason? It’s the easy way out and has no downside – besides that more and more brands go down the evil path of buying fans, putting ‘like’ traps in front of valuable content and eliminate any favorable feelings through forced love tactics.

Facebook is the Unicorn world. What would happen if the platform would introduce a “Don’t like”, “Don’t care”, “Hate it” and “Love it” button? The majority of brands would say goodbye quickly because expressions of apathy and dislike would outnumber any favorable interaction. Well, we know this is not going to happen. Revenue on Facebook would decline dramatically and, let’s face it, that’s what Facebook is all about, isn’t it?

There’s value in Facebook likes

There’s no value in considering like as an expression of brand favorability, love or passion. Most people push that thumbs up button as easy and mindless as they flush their toilet.

There’s a lot of opportunity in the social space. Brands will never unlock it if they continue to look at the Unicorn world through pink colored glasses.