In the call-out culture in which we live in, it’s no surprise that most of us want to be liked by everyone. When you’re well-liked by people, they’re more likely to come to your defence if you put your foot in it and they’re less likely to go out of their way to complain about the decisions that you make. This applies both to people as individuals and to brands as a whole, and there’s been no shortage of fails and backlashes to hit the news over the last few years.
But being liked by everyone is impractical at best and impossible at worst. Some brands have realised this and taken a stand on things which are important to them, such as Ben and Jerry’s offering their support to the LGBTQIA+ community despite knowing that it would stop some customers from buying from them.
In fact, it’s interesting to note that despite being the only major social networking platform to support both likes and dislikes, YouTube’s algorithm doesn’t differentiate between the two. In the eyes of YouTube, both likes and dislikes count as engagement, and engagement can only be a good thing.
Being liked by the right people
Instead of trying to be liked by everyone, we only need to be worried about being liked by the right people. An interesting example of this is YouTube celebrity Pewdiepie, who’s a popular target for negative articles in the mainstream media but who’s only concerned about being liked by his own audience. The same is true at a smaller scale. For example, if someone was a prominent flat Earther, they might not mind being disliked by mainstream scientists if they were liked amongst the flat Earth community.
As for how to be likeable…well, that’s a different subject entirely, and not one that there are any strict rules for. Still, it helps to be honest and authentic, sticking to your brand’s values and maintaining a consistent tone of voice across different social networking sites and platforms. In other words, if you’re super serious on Monday, you shouldn’t be cracking jokes on Thursday.
Ultimately, being likeable pretty much comes down to becoming more human. This means making sure that your marketing doesn’t make you look like an automaton and that you go out of the way to have human conversations with people. A CRM system can help too, because it allows you to store data on potential customers and to take notes on what you talk about so that you don’t seem to “forget” who people are.
The bottom line
Likeability is a difficult thing to quantify, but that doesn’t really matter. As long as you’re being liked by the right people, it’s okay to be disliked by the wrong people. You’ll be able to get a good idea of how you’re doing by keeping an eye on your comments and potentially by using sentiment analysis tools, but try not to obsess about it. Focus instead on being true to your brand and on providing as much value to people as possible. Good luck.
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