Do you remember your first crushes in grade school when you passed notes asking classmates to check a yes/no box in response to whether or not they liked you?

While we’ve all matured in our personal lives, a lot of marketers today are still using schoolyard approaches to attracting and sustaining relationships with their intended.

For example, through actions such as “Like-gating” exclusive content or downloads and refer-a-friend programs, we’re able to amass an enviable amount of “Likes” or followers or subscribers on social media platforms.

This does increase awareness and improve campaign ROI, yet it’s not just about the numbers.

And the campaign shouldn’t end with the confirmation of a “Like.”

Taking it to the next level

Once you have the attention of your customers and prospects, you need to take the interaction to the next level to foster and cultivate longer-term customer relationships.

This may at first sound a bit daunting when you realize that some campaigns can lead to tens or even hundreds of “Likes” in a very short period of time.

However, consider that we already know with any given campaign, online or offline, a certain percentage of responders don’t have any intention of revisiting your business beyond the initial discount or introductory offer.

Now with social media, we have clearer signs of who’s more likely to return, share your offer, and become public proponents for your business based on their reactions to your campaigns.

Those two elements — “Liking” and sharing — are critical to campaign success, but to really see your efforts pay off, there’s another piece of the equation to consider.

The next step is to find meaningful ways to engage those customers over the long term.

To read my thoughts about how to do that, check out my latest contribution to American Express’ OPEN Forum, “Getting Past ‘Like’ and Into Customer Engagement.”

What does your business or organization do to get more “Likes?” Share your thoughts in the comments section below.