The Facebook Dislike button has been debated for years, requested by many users, and confused Small Business owners on what they should do about it all. As any changes are tested, here is how you should approach your marketing.
Let’s start with the facts:
- Facebook is not testing a Dislike button. As reported, they’re testing to a very select few users the ability to downvote a comment in order to report to Facebook that a particular comment is counter to Facebook’s Community Standards, including “encouraging respectful behavior.”
- In 2016, Facebook did add Reactions, which is a way for people to react via emoji to posts and comments. This is a prosocial way to respond to posts and comments, including like, love, laugh, shock, sadness, and anger.
- And, again, no Facebook Dislike button is planned.
So, what’s a business owner to do about marketing in light of these changes? As I noted in my last article, Is Facebook Really Implementing a Dislike Button?, back in September 2015, about the Facebook Dislike button:
One thing I am sure about and that I’ve counseled all my Small Business clients about is, do not use the feature as a business. This is for a couple of reasons:
1. you don’t know yet how people will come to like or dislike (pun intended) the new feature;
2. unless you really are in a business where showing empathy and invading someone’s personal life makes sense, it’s likely inappropriate for your business (and just plain creepy) to be offering condolences about, say, a family’s loved one passing away; and,
3. if you (again) really are in a business where you have that kind of relationship with your customers or clients, you should be writing a comment to show genuine concern or sending a personalized, private message to your customers or clients. If you’ve lost a loved one or something powerful has negatively impacted your life, how dismissed would you feel to get a click-of-a-button response from your favorite business? I thought so.
A community’s culture changes slowly and any release of a major feature can become an animal of its own kind. There’s no sense in getting caught up in a feature that the media will likely report on only the salacious, shocking and negative. Of course, if there’s a legitimate argument for using these tools (see nos. 2 and 3 above, or if reporting spam/abuse), go for it.
My general recommendation is to do nothing with any Dislike features. Ignore the hype and focus on creating positive, useful content with a coordinated sales strategy.