Are you a fan of being liked?

Facebook has announced that coming soon (is there ever a hard launch/release date with the world’s largest social media site?) the “become a fan” button would be replaced with a “like” button when it comes to brands and celebrities.

This in reality is just an extension of how the site already allows users to show they “like” comments or pictures which are posted by fellow users. According to stats provided by Facebook, the normal user clicks the “like” button nearly twice the amount of times they become a “fan” of a specific entity.

The updated feature would still allow users to be fans, per se, but allow them to do so with much less pressure. Of course, this also makes the site more streamlined for its developers.
In the marketing business, we use Facebook as another touch point for consumers. We use it to help foster a sense of community with fans of the brands we represent, assist in the continued building of brand awareness, share news and updates about goods and services and use feedback gathered to improve relationships with fans/customers.
So, how is this change going to affect those of us in the marketing world?

Frankly, it won’t be adverse. In actuality, with the way in which we operate when it comes to managing Facebook pages for our brands, it may actually help.
The reason you ask? Liking a brand is a more organic (which is one of the cardinal rules of social media) action than becoming a fan.

Consider this. I identify myself as a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Metallica and “The Blues Brothers.” Am I a fan of Gatorade or Trident gum? Frankly, no, but I sure do like their products.
“Liking” something is much more non-committal than identifying yourself as a fan, therefore making consumers more apt to follow the brand.