4 Ways (Good and Bad) Facebook's Dislike Button Might Affect Your Business

Well, it's official: Facebook is getting a "dislike" button.

If you run a branded Facebook Page, this might seem terrifying. That might be the right reaction. But it might not be all bad, either. How so? We'll walk you through that in a sec. 

First, a disclaimer: No one knows what this button is going to look like, where it's going to live, how it's going to function, or if it will even be called the "dislike" button. For the purposes of this post, we're going to assume that it becomes as universal as the ubiquitous Like button that we all know.

Anyway: What might Facebook's new dislike button mean for your business?

1. People might dislike all your stuff

I would imagine this is what a lot of brands and brand managers are afraid of. And if you're BP or something, that's probably a legitimate feeling. A few things, though:

  1. Do people have a reason to dislike all your stuff?
  2. If so, maybe don't do things/make products that cause people to dislike you.
  3. If causing people to dislike you is a natural byproduct of the sweet, sweet cashflow your brand produces, maybe reconsider social media as a space where you need to be.

Nothing anyone posts on your page hasn't been thought or spoken at some point. In a way, those people are doing you a favor. They're serving as a focus group to tell you what's good and bad about your brand.

On the other hand...

2. You might find the dislike button to be really useful

As long as we're talking focus groups, let's talk about putting your audience to use. Let's say your business designs sponges, and you're trying to decide on whether to roll out orange or purple as your next color. 

With the addition of a dislike button, there's no weird "click like on this photo to vote for this one, and click like on that photo to vote for that one." It's one or the other, plain and simple.

3. More options for posts!

Now, instead of just publishing content that people like, you can actively publish content that people dislike.

Why would anyone do that? Outrage can be really effective. Let's say you're the page manager for an environmental organization. That emaciated polar bear photo isn't very likable—without some verbal gymnastics, at least—but it's definitely un-likable. A dislike button makes it that much easier to say "ugh" without having to type "ugh" in the comments.

4. Engagement could go up

If you're a news organization, you've probably published a fair share of posts that are:

  • Not likable;
  • But not so offensive as to move people to comment;
  • Just kind of "ugh."

Great example: Here's the weather forecast; it's raining for the next week. In the past, you'd maybe get a few likes and a couple comments, sure. With a dislike button, though, you have a piece of content that people can almost compete on. Like rain? Don't like rain? There's a button for you!

Before, it would be easy to just think "meh," and scroll past; now, there's a built-in Facebook function for you to use, that doesn't require that much effort.

Don't dislike it just yet

This is a big change for Facebook, and it's natural to have a gut reaction about it. Wait. It's not a good or a bad thing yet. All it is right now is the promise of an expanded feature that will probably have more creative applications than we know.