Facebook: The epicentre of scandalous gossip, cute dog videos and shameless selfies.
Facebook’s 1.4 billion monthly users spend hours trawling through blue and white news feeds, liking, sharing or commenting on videos, statuses and images. But now, finally, there will be another option – the ubiquitous dislike button is finally here.
So what will Mark Zuckerberg’s decision mean for users, and most significantly, for brands?
Facebook has stated that the button will not take the form of counter-positive ‘dislike’ but would be a way for people to express empathy. However, this still does not prevent users from negatively interacting with brands online when given the chance.
As a handler of clients’ social media accounts, we know that Facebook all too easily offers brands up to criticism, negative comments and the constant threat of a ruined reputation. Luckily, we are equipped will the skills to respond, maintain and diminish negative brand / user interactions. But with no way to respond to a dislike, how will brands control these negative responses?
Most concerning is the effect that trolls could have upon manipulating the ‘dislike’ button against not only brands but also users. Trolls thrive on causing emotional distress by posting controversial comments, provoking arguments and virally attacking individuals. The presence of a button that gives users the ability to negatively react to a post significantly increases the options for trolling to take place.
So how should brands prepare for, and implement strategies to prevent, negative reactions to Facebook posts? Content creators need to begin thinking carefully about how they approach and interact with their users and to prepare for any pitfalls where their content could be negatively received.
Because, as the world both offline and online knows, everyone loves having a rant on Facebook.