If you can remember that far back in Facebook history (2007), it started as a “fan” page. Then one day (way back in 2010), out of the blue, Facebook decided to change it to a “like” page.

Why did they change it? Here’s their reason: “To improve your experience and promote consistency across the site, we’ve changed the language for Pages from “Fan” to “Like.” We believe this change offers you a more lightweight and standard way to connect with people, things and topics in which you are interested.”

Huh? Oh, that’s corporate-speak. What it really means is to create a business page where your customers or fans can go and interact. Kind of like what it was.

Reality: It’s hard to make fun of what would qualify as the third largest country in the world (if we counted subscribers as “population”), so everyone went along �¢ï¿½â�� me included.

And then the begging began. PLEASE LIKE ME! Or, LIKE US ON FACEBOOK! The signs were everywhere. Still are.

And many people did:

Zappos: 833,000 likes

Elvis: 8.5 million likes

Lady Gaga: 53.5 million likes

Chevrolet: 1.9 million likes

Tesla: 234,000 likes

Jeffrey Gitomer: 35,451 likes (Not bad. But not as many as I would like. I try to give people a reason to like me, rather than just ask.)

What about your business? Who is liking you? And why? What’s the reason customers would like you beyond the beg?

Want more “likes”? Consider the process, not just the ask. Asking for a like gives me or anyone else little or no incentive to do so. Can you imagine this conversation, “Honey, as soon as we get home, let’s ‘like’ them.” No, not going to happen.

Here are a few thoughts to get your mind wrapped around the “like” process and help you understand how to attract and earn more of them:

�¢ï¿½�¢ Maybe remind people WHY they “like” you. “If you love our service, share the love on Facebook at Facebook.com/yourbusiness. THANK YOU!”

�¢ï¿½�¢ What’s to ‘like’? Ask yourself WHY people like you and talk about that.

�¢ï¿½�¢ Where’s the value? “Like me �¢ï¿½â�� and my 10 best ideas for summer weekend getaways will be yours!”

�¢ï¿½�¢ Where’s the one-on-one? Interacting with customers one-on-one will get people talking about you on THEIR Facebook page, and liking you.

�¢ï¿½�¢ Maybe if you love me, then you’ll be more likely to “like” me. Your passionate customers are the ones who will like you.

�¢ï¿½�¢ Maybe if you’re loyal to me, then you’ll be more likely to “like” me. The customers who buy from you over and over are the ones who will “like” you.

Strategy: Instant “like” in your store or place of business. Do it now! Where’s your iPad? Why aren’t you asking people to sign in at your cash register or welcome counter and “like” you on the spot? I mean, really, do you think your customers head home and say: “I really have to “like” the dry cleaner as soon as I walk in the door.” Not likely.

Strategy: Smartphones can improve like. Ask customers to like you at the register. Give a coupon.

Okay, so they “like” you. THEN WHAT?

Like is a one-time click, what’s my reason to post, interact, and return?

Strategy: Instead of just asking people to like you, ask them to tell you WHAT they like �¢ï¿½â�� or WHY they like it. Or better, why they like YOU. Get people to post something, not just click a button. Expand the like so that others can see your value and your reality.

The value of like is undeniable. Lots of people liking you gives peace of mind to new and prospective customers. Like is proof �¢ï¿½â�� social proof that you are “safe” to do business with.

Like is a vote of confidence to the business, not just other customers.

Like is a source of pride and affirmation of self-worth.

Like is reputation building.

Plan a strategy. You now have some additional awareness of both the value and the strategy of “like.”

Jeffrey Gitomer is president of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer. He can be reached at salesman@gitomer.com.