According to Rebecca Greenfield of The Atlantic Wire, Facebook's like button appears to be an indicator of popularity and social-media-prowness for those that receive them; however, data indicates that the reality is quite the opposite:
Analytics from the BuzzFeed network, which includes TMZ and The Daily Mail, show that "Facebook fans do not equal Facebook traffic," according to Buzzfeed's Matt Buchanan. Looking at the July traffic numbers, BuzzFeed's data scientists found "little to no correlation between the number of fans a publisher has and increased rates of referral traffic," Buchanan writes. This is something that non-media companies started figuring out months ago: Facebook page "likes" don't get people to consume things. In the news world, that means "likes" don't translate to clicks (which in turn translate to ad dollars). And the same goes for the regular business world, in which "likes" don't result in sales. That's why General Motors pulled its dollars from Facebook, not because it couldn't attract a big audience, but because that big attractive audience didn't do anything. It's these "like"-related concerns that have brands (and therefore the analyst crowd) concerned, and now the media contingent is hopping aboard.