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Does LinkedIn Need a "Like" Button?

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This week the New York Times reported that  "the online review, long the default means on the Internet to express support for a local business, has been eclipsed by Facebook’s one-click 'Like' button."

According to a study by CityGrid Media, 20% of adults say they prefer to "Like" a business versus 13% who prefer to write and submit a review. Women aged 18 to 24 are leading this shift.

The "Like" trend doesn't spell the death of online reviews, however. When it comes to judging a business, slightly more people still look for customer reviews rather than seek out a Facebook page and count the "Likes." Most people will go with the first review that pops up.

Whether you can trust yourself to properly assess an online comment is yet another question.

Last week we learned that many companies are using hired help to clean up user reviews, correcting spelling mistakes and poor grammar.


Because according to a surprising business school study, potential buyers would sooner give their business to a company described like this:

This hotel was okay, but the hot water ran out and we found signs of bed bugs. 

Versus this:

I HEART this place; so Kool and chill. V. Clean. Close to everytjing. Your going to luv it!!

Seriously. It's hard to believe, but grammar and spelling still matter -- which brings us back to LinkedIn.

The pressure to pen a well-written review may be the very reason so many people hate receiving LinkedIn recommendation requests. It takes work to write a good referral letter. It requires time, thought, creativity and an understanding of the basic rules of language. So shouldn't LinkedIn have its own version of a "Like" button? That way you could be "linked" to people you barely know, but only "endorse", with a click, those you can vouch for. 

Final footnote: According to that CityGrid survey, word of mouth is still king when it comes to business recommendations. Seventy-five percent of adults will simply tell their friends about a good experience rather than "Like" or tweet it or write a review. Most Americans are still finding new job openings that way, too.

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.