New Research Finds 93% of Facebook Users Clicking ‘Like’ Monthly, Nearly Half on Brands

Study Reveals What Motivates Consumers to ‘Like’ Content, Brands Online

INDIANAPOLIS – A new study released today by global interactive marketing provider ExactTarget finds 93 percent of Facebook users click the “Like” button at least monthly, but the meaning behind “Like” varies considerably by age and context.

Featured in The Meaning of Like, the latest in ExactTarget’s Subscribers, Fans and Followers research series, the study found the most common uses of “Like” related to posts made by friends, followed by clicking the “Like” button on sites outside of Facebook as a form of ‘social bookmarking.’

“With Facebook such a vital part of the online social fabric, marketers need to be smart and strategic when developing campaigns on Facebook,” said Jeff Rohrs, vice president, ExactTarget’s Marketing Research and Education Group. “A click of the ‘Like’ button means different things to different people. It creates an opportunity for further engagement, but it is merely one step toward the types of meaningful, cross-channel relationships marketers need to succeed.”

According to the research, a universal meaning of “Like” has yet to emerge largely because a click depends on the individual consumer and the context in which the “Like” button is used, Rohrs said.

Key findings of the research include:

– 45 percent of Facebook users say they “Like” a company at least monthly, while 35 percent say they never “Like” a company.
– 44 percent “Like” something posted by a company on Facebook at least once a month.
– “Like” is not the same thing as permission – 15 percent say “Liking” a company’s Facebook page should “Always” be interpreted as permission to post marketing messages that appear in a user’s news feed, while 39 percent say their “Like” should “Never” be interpreted as permission.
– People who “Like” a lot of brands (11 or more) are more likely to be motivated by rewards in the form of coupons or exclusive deals in exchange for their “Like.”
– Younger consumers (age 18-26) tend to use “Like” for self-expression and public endorsement of a brand.
– Consumers 27 and older are more likely to expect something of value in exchange for their “Like.”
– Among people that have “Liked” at least one brand, 31 percent have avoided “Liking” more brands because they do not want to push things into their friends’ newsfeeds.
– The average U.S. Facebook user “Likes” an average of 14 companies/brands.

“Facebook has emerged an essential interactive channel for brands to create engaging experiences and share relevant content,” said Tim Kopp, ExactTarget’s chief marketing officer. “The Meaning of Like provides marketers exclusive new insights on what consumers expect from brands on Facebook and offers recommendations on how to integrate the channel into the broader marketing mix.”

Based on a series of focus groups, interviews and surveys conducted in May and June 2011, The Meaning of Like is the tenth report in ExactTarget’s Subscribers, Fans & Followers research series. For more information about the study and to access the Subscribers, Fans & Followers data, visit

The debut of the research comes less than a week after ExactTarget launched its SocialPages application, a solution that enables marketers to create and integrate branded Facebook pages into cross-channel interactive marketing campaigns. Built as an application on the ExactTarget Interactive Marketing Hub, SocialPages provides a drag and drop interface to create and manage branded Facebook tabs and monitor real-time performance and cross-channel engagement across email, mobile, social media and the Web. For more information about ExactTarget’s SocialPages application, click here.

About ExactTarget

ExactTarget is a leading global provider of on-demand email marketing and interactive marketing solutions. The company’s Interactive Marketing Hub TM technology provides organizations a single solution to connect with customers via email, integrated text messaging, landing pages and social media. Supported by collaborative global services teams, ExactTarget’s technology integrates with more sales and marketing information systems than any other in the industry, including, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Adobe Omniture and Webtrends among many others. ExactTarget powers permission-based cross-channel communications for thousands of organizations around the world including, Best Buy, Papa John’s,, Gannett Co., Inc., The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Home Depot and Wellpoint, Inc. For more information, visit