When you click on the button, it ensures your entire network knows you "like" this. This is the only button that allows you to gain access to groups and fan pages.
I believe marketing can be very valuable when word of mouth is utilitzed. This button allows this to happen and in some cases, it will create viral opportunities (maybe one day, maybe!).
Now - liking something on Facebook doesn't mean the same thing as liking something in real life. It let's your network of friends know you appreciate what you have seen. Personally, I think it makes the post more credible when people have "liked" it, because most of us care what our friends like.
Some statistics I found that I thought interesting: On the average, a Facebook user that hits "like" has more than double the average friends and tends to be more active in social media. These users also tend to stay on the sites a little longer.
Think about it and do the math. If an artist posts a painting and has 150 friends, and just 10 of them hit like, then the painting is seen by their friends. If they have an average of 150 friends, that is 1500 extra people!
Do the search engines pick up on the "likes"? Hard to tell. From my reading, Google, Bing and Yahoo are very secretive about their practices. It is possible they are using the like buttons, but I think you would have to have a blog or a website to get their attention. If anybody know more about this, I'd love to know.
I'd love to know your thoughts. Many of you know I love the reciprocity of promoting on facebook, more on that and sharing later.
I think liking something is supporting your friends, it isn't reviewing them.
Oh - I can't write a blog without putting an image of my work up -