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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

When the Like–Button is not Worth a Cent

Published: May 27, 2020


Theo Lieven, Institute for Customer Insight; Nele Rietmann, Institute for Customer Insight, University of St. Gallen


Like Button; Social Network; eWOM


The importance of social network sites (SNS) for individuals in their daily lives has risen significantly in the past years. Accordingly, marketing scholars and practitioners have begun to try to understand how exactly consumers interact on social media and how companies or politicians may use it most effectively as a communication tool. Previous research indicates that SNS may be used strategically as an electronic form of word-of-mouth (eWOM) to reach the target audience on a rather personal level within an instant. This study investigates individuals’ usage of social media Like-buttons. An online study shows that many participants are not willing to pay even a minimum amount for “liking” social media content. This indicates their automatic, arbitrary usage of the Like-button and questions its value for marketing analyses, opinion polls or e-voting.