Why We Like AND Dislike Facebook’s Dislike Button

Sep 21, 2015

Completely disagree with Game of Thrones winning Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmy Awards this year?

Want to tell your friend that article he shared from The Onion is supposed to be satire?

Upset that Starbucks is getting rid of your favorite summer drink now that fall is beginning?

You may be able to subtly do something about these things in the near future. That’s because Facebook will likely be introducing a long-awaited alternative to the standard “like” button: a dislike button.

What is the Dislike Button?

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in a recent livestream that the company was workshopping a few different options as alternatives to the basic “like” button because sometimes a “like” just isn’t an appropriate response. For example, when a Facebook user posts about a serious event such as a loved one passing away or a natural disaster occurring, it’s not appropriate to simply “like” that post. Of course, it might not be appropriate to “dislike” that post either.

Let’s think for a moment how an actual dislike button would affect the Facebook community and, more specifically, Facebook business pages.

The Good: Increased Opportunities for Engagement

You wouldn’t respond to every person who liked a post on your business page—that’s obnoxious. You might, however, want to respond to everyone who dislikes a post on your business page.

It’s a marketing best practice to respond to every piece of negative feedback you receive on your business page. Being proactive about responding allows you to correct an issue or help a customer with a problem. If someone doesn’t like or agree with one of your posts and clicks the dislike button, consider asking him what it was he disliked about the post. You may be able to start the conversation he was reluctant to begin in the first place.

In addition, this new access to negative emotions might give business owners insight into what posts work and don’t work on their business page.

“Hmm… 11 people disliked the picture I posted on my business page of my dog. Maybe they would rather see information about the services I offer.” (Personally, I would “like” that dog post.)

The Bad: Instant Negative Feedback = Lots More Feedback

Most people don’t have the time or the energy to post a well-thought-out, scathing review on a Facebook business page. The introduction of a dislike button, however, would eliminate the hassle and might encourage more users to instantly express their negative opinions.

It may be a while until we see the introduction of a dislike button or an alternative to the standard “like” button. But now is the time to prepare your business for a massive shift in a social media community as large as Facebook. This might just prevent a catastrophic customer interaction.

Does the thought of dislikes piling up on that post you worked so hard on terrify you? Our team of social media mavens can help. For help with social media management or any other marketing needs, call us at (410) 312-0081.

– Erin McMahon, Marketing Associate

IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations, LLC

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