I read this morning that Facebook plans to abandon its “become a fan” button and to replace it with the option to click “Like.” I’m becoming a fan of this idea. Friends have sent me countless invitations to become fans of their favorite cupcake shops, political candidates and TV shows. I wondered why I should be a fan–a loyal brand follower–if I had never experienced the taste of that red velvet cupcake, read a political candidates’ stance on the issues or watched and fell head over heels over Glee? Branding is an emotional connection to people who have experienced and been moved by your product or service.
If I were more of the following kind, I might become a fan just to make a friend happy but it doesn’t mean I’d actually be a fan. The new “Like” button offers an opportunity for us to create more brand authenticity and for brands measuring their profiles online to really know who “likes” them instead of counting hundreds of potentially meaningless fans.