I have long held the opinion that people buy from people they like. This is why successful CEO’s often play a dual role of entrepreneur and celebrity business leader, always ready to send out a quickfire sound bite or stage an elaborate publicity stunt.

But for every Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos or even Michael O’leary (Ryanair’s outspoken boss, and yes I do like his public persona), there are thousands of faceless enterprises chasing your business.

When I come across these faceless businesses, I ask myself “What is there  to like about these guys?”

This is especially true in the online world where any number of dubious business practices can be hidden behind a glossy website.

Good design and low prices only go so far in building reputation and trust. I want to really like an organization before I part with my money. And I will always happily spend more money with people I like than their less friendly competition.

At Vocus (where I am gainfully employed), we have our fair share of public faces. From Peter Shankman, the energetic founder of HARO to award winning community managers like Stacey Acevero at PRWeb, we are never short of a comment, sage piece of advice or detailed insight.

But in order to be truly liked, organizations need to expand their public persona beyond the people paid to represent the company or media savvy members of the C-Suite.

As customers, we do business with company employees, not CEOs. These are the people we need to like. It’s time to put employees in the spotlight and give your customers a reason to like them.

How are you making your company more likeable?

Need a little inspiration, check out this video from the customer support team at iContact.