For so long, Facebook has been a mostly positive place.
Oh, sure, people can launch rant after rant, post scathing reviews, publish unflattering photos, curse, and do a million other things that one wouldn’t do in front of their grandmother. But when it comes to what Facebook allows you to do in order to show your displeasure or disapproval for a post, you don’t really have any option.
You can either ignore it – or you can like it. That is it.
We’ve all been in a position where a company or a friend (or stranger) posts something completely disagreeable and wrong and negative, and we want so badly to tell the world, in one click, what we think of it. But we can’t. Because Facebook, for so long, has only had a ‘like’ button.
Oh, how the times have changed.
Now, we’re about to enter into a period I like to call ‘Dislikeageddon’. It is a period spoken of in the Bible (somewhere in Revelation, or one of the gloomy minor prophets in the Old Testament). It is a period marked by negativity, hate, and revulsion.
Facebook is getting a dislike button. And it will. Change. Everything.
Assessing Facebook’s New Option
Okay, I have a flair for the dramatic and am probably exaggerating slightly.
The news is true, though. Facebook is getting a dislike button – at least, they’re testing one. This news, straight from Zuckerberg himself, comes after years and years of people constantly asking Facebook about a dislike button. After untold numbers of comments and questions, Facebook eventually decided, “Why not? Let the hate flow!” and is now in the process of testing and releasing the button.
Does this dramatically change things for brands that use Facebook for social media marketing? It doesn’t dramatically change them (there’s that drama again) but it does add a new dimension and a new consideration for brands that are active socially.
For starters, you will get disliked. It’s inevitable. A brand should be prepared for that eventuality and understand how to respond to negativity. It’s harder, actually, because there’s no actual comment to respond to – just a number next to a very negative button.
It also provides a new piece of data to evaluate for metrics and analysis. It’s not enough to just consider how many likes you get. You also have to consider how many non-likes you get. Maybe we switch to ‘net likes’ as a metric. Regardless, you’ll have to evaluate a piece of content by how much negative – not just positive – attention it gets.
Not that this is a bad thing, necessarily. Controversy works, and sometimes, controversial pieces will get a high number of likes and dislikes. That’s okay – if that’s what you’re going for. Sometimes, it is.
If anything, a dislike button allows you to further refine and evaluate your content. If you get a high number of dislikes, that piece of content didn’t resonate with your audience, and thus you should avoid posting future content like it. Seeing as how you should constantly refine your content strategy, a dislike button could be a blessing in disguise (if you can stomach the hate).
Moving Forward with Dislike
There’s a more-than-slight chance that everyone will turn into Emperor Palpatine and lead us all on the path toward the Dark Side once the dislike button is released.
It’s probably a bit more likely, though, that the dislike button won’t dramatically change Facebook. It may not even be available on brand pages; we don’t know yet and won’t know for some time.
In case it is, though, prepare yourself for the Era of Dislike on Facebook. It should be fun.