6 Ways PR Pros Can Prepare For Facebook’s “Dislike” Button

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Facebook’s recent announcement that a “Dislike” button is imminent has undoubtedly left many social media marketers feeling slightly panicked at the thought of how the button could disrupt their carefully constructed online marketing strategies. Luckily for them, and for anyone else managing a business’ social media presence, there’s still time to prepare for the new feature before Facebook rolls it out.

Matt Certo

To get ready for the potentially rocky digital road ahead, take a look at these six ways to prepare yourself - and your clients - for Facebook’s “Dislike” button.

  • Put more effort into your content. Adding this new option to interact with audiences might encourage brands to think twice about how they engage with followers. View this new option as a way to step-up your content marketing game. Remember, it will now be much easier for a Facebook user to react negatively to a post, since he or she won’t need to go to the “comments” section to do it.
  • Don’t take it personally. Remember what mom said, “Not everyone is going to like you.” Knowing how people feel about your product or service (like or dislike) is valuable information that shouldn't lead to defensive behavior. The last thing you (or your brand!) needs is to spark an online war with a customer over a simple “thumbs down.”
  • Use a "Dislike" as an opportunity to learn. If something isn’t perceived as popular, try to find out why and decide if it’s a chance to improve and better serve your target audiences.
  • Consider that a "Dislike" might be a "Like" in disguise. Depending on the context of your post, a "Dislike" might actually be a good thing. For instance, if you post that your brand is discontinuing a product, consider any "Dislikes" to mean that users will miss that product in the marketplace. In this case, Facebook users aren't reacting negatively to your content, but are instead acting as a sort of focus group that is providing feedback.
  • Watch, learn and test. Often, these new feature rollouts are initially tested with select users and don’t immediately affect brand pages. Take the time to observe how this form of engagement evolves.
  • Relax. Facebook isn’t interested in making its platform a place for hate. Facebook is built on the concept of sharing (and building advertising revenue), so there are a lot of reasons why Mr. Zuckerberg & co. will tread carefully here.

As any social media marketer knows, Facebook is constantly finding ways to update its platform, subsequently shaking-up the brand communications world when it does. A “Dislike” button is just one more update that marketers should take in stride. After all, only time will tell how much the feature will change the way brands communicate on Facebook.

Matt Certo, author of FOUND: Connecting with Customers in the Digital Age and CEO & Principal of digital marketing firm Findsome & Winmore. Follow @findsomewinmore