Haters rejoice? How brands should prep for Facebook's incoming "Dislike" button.
Senior Account Executive
Surprised by the announcement? You’d be justified. Facebook has endeavored to stay positive since its inception (well, other than its inception) by keeping user sentiment expression limited to Likes. It’s a public relations move that helped keep an already troll-rich social environment from descending into a negative pit rivaling Mordor, but Facebook leadership surely saw the inclusion of such a requested feature as the shot in the arm the brand needed.
The larger question to be posed here what this will mean for brands—suddenly, fans and digital passersby are going to have a new megaphone to tell you that your brand promotion is weak. That your insight on a blog is vapid. That your culture-post of the dog wearing a sweater in the office is lame.
Of course, Facebook users have always had a voice to tell us these things, but never by way of a visible statistic that lingers atop every post you make as if to mathematically impart dissatisfaction.
There’s safety but also danger in numbers—a critical mass the right way means a spike of activity and a larger following. But should sentiment tilt the wrong way it can spell certain doom for brands that ignite consumer ire with spam, inauthentic or just plain unpopular content.
So what are we to do, oh brand managers?
Use this as an opportunity to make content stronger. Don’t take your content calendar back to the drawing board in a panic, just double check to make sure content is on point. There will be less room for mistakes on Facebook now. A poorly worded post, bland promotion or repetitive message can rack up Dislikes far faster than good content racks up Likes, so make sure each post is authentic to your brand and compelling. Think of it as an opportunity to pitch your boss for more time and resources to make content sharper.