Every Brand Should be Likeable

By Dave Kerpen, CEO, theKbuzz A few weeks ago, a friend of mine called up Continental Airlines, and heard a recorded message that went something like this: “We value our customers. But due to high call volume, we cannot answer your call.  Please go to continental.com to share your feedback.”

Seriously?

The social media revolution has given consumers around the world the largest voice we’ve ever had.  It’s led companies to think about how they can be more transparent, more responsive, and more likeable. Social media, along with a global recession, has also led companies, organizations, and governments to figure out how to accomplish more with less money – to get their messages out there and talked about, without spending as many dollars on declining media like television, radio and print. Long gone are the days where the Jolly Green Giant could sell lots of corn with a catchy tv jingle alone. We’ve known since my sponsored-wedding to the co-founder of theKbuzz, Carrie, that word of mouth marketing is the purest and best form of marketing – but social media has continued to prove this in many ways. People like to share with and feel connected to each other, and to brands, organizations, and even governments they like and trust. That’s why Facebook has quickly grown to nearly 500 million users, and the Facebook “Like” button, introduced just 2 weeks ago, has already been added by over 100,000 websites.

It is for these reasons that I’m thrilled to introduce to you today, our renewed focus, mission, and name: Likeable Media.

Likeable’s mission is to help build more transparent, responsive, & likeable companies, nonprofit organizations, and governments. We believe that social media, used well, is nothing short of transformational, not only in marketing, but in public relations, sales, customer service, and operations – and in breaking down silos to better connect companies internally and externally. We help build better brands – brands that really listen, deliver value, and respond to customers – brands that share and inspire likeable social content, that is, content that’s worthy of being shared online and offline, and “liked”, literally and figuratively.  We know that in today’s world, every company, nonprofit, and even government, is a social publisher – and through Facebook and beyond, we help our clients produce, respond to, and inspire great text updates, images, videos, & other content– or what we call Likeable Media.

Over the past 3 years, theKbuzz has so many accomplishments I’m proud of – and I don’t want to make this post about our past – but I’ll highlight a few of my favorites. We’ve grown from a couple, working out of our Queens apartment, to a premiere social media and word of mouth marketing firm, without any outside funding. We’re the only agency to win 2 consecutive WOMMIE awards from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, and 1 of just 48 global Facebook Preferred Developed Consultants. I’m quite biased but I believe our team is the best in the business – and we’re now 40+ passionate consultants, marketers and buzz builders across 3 offices. We work with some of the best and biggest brands in the world – brands like Verizon, 1-800-Flowers, & Neutrogena- but I’m equally proud of the work we do for hundreds of small businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. What I’m most proud of is our Facebook Community – where nearly 10,000 clients, team members, fans and like-minded individuals talk about social media and word of mouth marketing with us every day.

As excited as I am about Likeable Media – which will continue to serve our brand and large organization clients – I’m even more excited about Likeable Local – which will continue to serve our small business clients. It’s wonderful working with leading brands – but there’s something special about helping a mom-and-pop store figure out social media and start to benefit from Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and other sites and tools. After all, it wasn’t long ago that we were literally a mom-and-pop store ourselves. From a business standpoint, of course, there are also far more small businesses to help – and we’ll continue to fine-tune our services so that we can best provide value to everyone from mom-and-pops to mid-sized businesses at affordable rates.

Whether you’re a longtime client of ours, a friend, a member of the traditional media, or a total lurker, I’d like to invite you to check out our new website, and let us know what you think. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback – the good, the bad, and the ugly. We’ll be making lots more updates and announcements soon too, including our proprietary Likeable Index- a measure of how likeable and responsive brands are across social channels- and the Likeable Platform.  I do have 1 favor of you to ask- whether you’re a staffperson, client, friend, or reader – if we’ve provided any value to you over the past 3 years – content you’ve liked or used, for instance – please do consider sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, email, or however you share content you “like.” After all, we’ve got to get the word out ourselves.

Thanks to our clients, staff, readers, partners, and friends, especially the great folks at Wildfire Interactive, Buddy Media, Alvenda, Brandcraft, & Facebook, for your support over the past 3 years. Thanks also to YOU for taking the time to read this, and I’m quite hopeful that, no matter what, you’ll join us in our mission to build more transparent, responsive brands, companies, nonprofits, and governments – organizations that are truly more likeable.