Behold the PR Power of the “Like” Button

The power of suggestion is alive and well on the Internet. A new survey offers some level of legitimate proof that “likes” on social media platforms such as Facebook do, in fact, encourage more “likes.” The same can’t be said for “dislikes.”

It appears haters just do not have the same digital clout as positive people. And that’s probably a good thing. We all know some people like to rant online when in a foul mood. Others just have terrible attitudes every day of their lives—and the Internet has been their dumping grounds for far too long. It appears the public is well aware of this, and that has to make us feel good about being in public relations. We’ve known all along that deep inside the public is all about good mojo.

So, for PR experts this means that being the first people on the digital dance floor is a powerful tool and can increase additional favorable sentiment by 25%. This is excellent news, but there is also a powerful dark side to this. Industry experts know that the being disingenuous and misleading is a dangerous path to pursue in public relations. Implementing a campaign to falsely generate “likes” with the goal of accruing more “likes” through inertia can lead to trouble.

So don’t do it. Simply take this knowledge and be happy with it. Don’t try to exploit it. Don’t see it as a reason to “like” anything more than once. The public is smart. They know when they’re being gamed. There is a difference between “liking” something and hyping something. And the public has been online long enough to know the difference.