At the moment we’re having a lot of discussions on the Like Minds LinkedIn group, and one of these discussions recently was about Facebook’s new Social Plugins and how people felt this created a new level of trust and social authority.
As you know, I did a video about this last week, in which I use lots of long words and jokes to basically point out this is move means we trust something more if we see our friends have liked it.
My friend Stuart Witts added the above video to the conversation, in which Levi’s have just used two of Facebook’s plugins to enable people to:
- Like individual items in their catalogue
- Invite their friends to connect to a storefront
This must’ve taken a developer no more than an hour to integrate into their site, and to be quite honest, doesn’t really do anything new: it just simply shows people what their friends like, and let’s their friends know when they like something.
Of course that in itself is very powerful. James Poulter, who I met at Like Minds Immersive in March, wrote yesterday about this new form of consumerism (what we could call ‘click-consumerism’?), and asks how this changes the purchase=self definition model that rose in the 60s and has been with us since.
My thoughts in the comments in James’ post were that this universal like button will also track what we like, as opposed to what we think we should like or say we like. Certainly, we’re seeing the early stages of Social Shopping.
How Can Local Businesses Use This?
The boast of social authority (the proof that their friends like, therefore they should like too) that this gives local businesses is huge. Seeing that 159 of my friends like Nike is no big woop — we all know of Nike and like Nike.
But seeing that 45 of my friends like that restaurant that I haven’t been to, or buy from that store that I’ve only just heard of, or are business people who use that service on the industrial estate — that has a lot of value.
Social authority is what big brands already have plenty of (they are well known), and is what local businesses are often struggling to get (they aren’t as well known), especially businesses that are off the beaten route.
The Main Point
If you’re skim reading, here’s the main point: the like button shows friends what you like. This gives that website more social authority, because if someone you know likes you, you will probably like it too.
Your Leading Thoughts
I still think that the like button is a pretty simple thing and that Facebook’s plugins aren’t feature strong — but there is certainly a lot of depth here, we just need to mine it. I value your feedback, so how about answering a question to draw the wisdom out of us?
- As a consumer, do you like things on Facebook often, and do you now like things on the web too?
- Would you ‘connect’ to a site like in the Levi’s video? If so, why?
- Scaling this up — where do you see this going? (with the tools we already have)