Liking and sharing content from a website (like this one) or on social networks has become natural reactions when we see, read, watch, or listen to something that resonates with us. But not everyone who hits the “like” button has to mean it.
The platform algorithms incentivise people to “liking” each other posts for better reach. So, if you like my post, chances are, your friends are going to see what you “liked.” And they might like what you “liked” because, (a) it’s genuinely excellent and share-worthy, or, (b) it makes you wonder, “over 50,000 people have liked this… and although I didn’t get the joke, I might as well like it before people start to judge me. And it doesn’t cost me anything anyway.”
It’s the story of all the viral content ever made. People like and share content enough times to let the network effort kick in. All that’s beautiful. One major problem, though — the algorithms are ever-evolving, and to a large extent, they have total control over what goes viral and what doesn’t.
What does that mean for you?
- You can like as much as you want to; the algorithms get to decide if the friends and colleagues in your network get to see what you value and appreciate
- You can create original content consistently, but the algorithm will decide whether your content gets the exposure it deserves or not. And it’s biased towards native content over anything else, even if it’s from your website!
Sure, one solution can be to create duplicate or repurposed content for different platforms, but there are so many of them! How much time can one invest in making all the different types of content for each platform? The other solution is a thought experiment.
What happens if there isn’t an option to “like” a post? And “share” is the only option? Sure, the chances of such posts going viral are close to none, but isn’t that a better way to show appreciation for your thoughts, time, and effort to create something for the audience?
You might argue that disabling “like” will beat the purpose, and a part of me will agree with that thought. But if your goal of “liking” my post was to have me check you out, the purpose of “liking” something is already beaten.
I’m thinking beyond business development, beyond content marketing, beyond vitality, beyond networking. I’m talking about sharing ideas that matter, that spread, that creates a cultural impact. Should they be at the mercy of a few damn likes? Could they make a better impact if people care enough to share it further with others who might appreciate the thought?
Here’s a test for you — if you “like” this post and can’t find it (because I’ve disabled it across the site), share this with one person who might appreciate the sentiment expressed here. We will see what happens.