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The Facebook dislike button - bad for business?

With Mark Zuckerberg announcing Facebook is working on a ‘dislike’ button, it makes you wonder what that could mean for small businesses.

The new ‘dislike’ button is “very close” for user testing

Zuckerberg has not released much information on the new button, except it will be a way for people to “express empathy.”

Having the choice between giving a status a thumbs up or a thumbs down, surely has its ups and downs (sorry, it had to be done) but there are some obvious concerns people have toward the appearance of a dislike button. As a social website, where people can share pictures and their latest status, there are concerns a thumbs down could be abused by online trolls. A dislike button could help fuel anti-social behaviour.  

Whilst there has been timely discussions about social implications but nobody has discussed what this could mean for small businesses.

The downside of a ‘dislike’ button for small businesses

Large businesses with large media presences will probably expect some people to abuse a ‘thumbs down’ feature. If they are a renowned brand, they will be able to survive a wave of spammed negativity whilst a brand new and growing small business could be badly affected.

Social media is an effective means of getting a business heard and Facebook is usually a primary method of communication for established and growing businesses. If you are a solo business owner, seeing dislikes on your Facebook page could shake your confidence or affect how people view your business.

As Zuckerberg has said, he hopes the new button will give people an opportunity to show if they disagree or dislike something. If the new feature is used correctly it could offer new ways for businesses to interact with their followers.

The upside of a ‘dislike’ button

Although introducing a dislike button can sound like a negative, it can also be a positive for companies who have an engaging audience on Facebook.

The easiness of clicking a dislike button is far quicker and requires less strenuous effort compared to writing a comment. New businesses who are sharing new products and services can benefit from more feedback with a thumbs up and thumbs down feature. More people are more likely to respond when you ask for customer feedback.

The new feature could also be used to spark debate and get people to engage with your company more. It is an opportunity to receive more opinions from people and the information can benefit your business’ growth and future strategy.

As long as the new function is used appropriately, the ‘dislike’ button could be a benefit for small businesses who are learning and growing online.  


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