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The Consumer Appeal
Businesses that use social networking sites have a way of appealing to the population network by offering things that appeal to them based on their demographics. They make it their job to know what you like, what you want to see, and what your interests are. If photography or cooking is your thing, it can be slightly appealing to continuously find ads and offers for these subjects in your sidebar every time you sign on to your page. Think it’s a coincidence? It’s not!
To Like or to Not Like
Facebook has a population of a little over 200 million users, with that number steadily growing daily. With that, businesses are vying for the users attention and dollars, and do very clever marketing to get it. One feature that they use is the “Like” button where users can essentially subscribe to their page and receive status updates and any special offers from the page. It not only increases the traffic to the page, but it helps the company to modify and target their marketing campaigns.
As a Facebook user, whenever you “Like” a page, you are granting access to your information to the person/business you friended, and they can see the details of your profile. They use the profile information to send custom ads to your page, which is why your favorite things seem to always pop up during your Facebook visits.
The Lowdown on the Like
Along with profile access, there are several other things that as a user, you should be aware of when you “Like” a Facebook page. They are:
1. The new Facebook friend also has access to your friends list, and unless their profiles are set to private, they can also view their profile information and send targeted ads their way.
2. By “Liking” the page, you also give the friend permission to send you private updates, which can include email marketing blitzes, more special offers, or other irrelevant material. Although it’s not common, it can be more of a nuisance than anything else.
3. If you’re concerned about privacy or anonymity, be careful of the questionable sites that you decide to “Like” since your list can be viewed by your friends and potentially your friends friends. At the bottom of each profile page is a list of each person’s pages that they have “Liked.”
4. Anytime a “Like” is clicked, it shows up immediately in the status updates page, so not only can friends can see it, but so can businesses, and that’s where the fun begins! Start watching your sidebar for page-relevant and topic-related ads.
The Facebook “Like” feature is not something that you need to be wary of or afraid to click. It’s really a great feature to have for people who have a genuine interest in things and want to stay on top of what companies are offering. Just realize that a “Like” exposes your profile and sometimes your friends profiles to more than you may realize. Carefully choose the pages you decide to “Like” as you get accustomed to lots and lots of activity coming across your live feeds and status updates.