With rumours of a ‘Dislike’ button finally making its debut onto our screens, we’re looking at all the reasons this could be bad news for businesses.
Facebook has changed beyond recognition since its inception in 2004, becoming a global super-giant along the way. It has picked up and dropped many features, the most widely popular current one being the ‘Like’ button. This small button has been a friend to global business worldwide since February 2009, when we were no longer given the opportunity to ‘Become a fan’ of our favourite things.
The ‘Like’ button was so great for businesses because it carried less of an allegiance than the previous ‘Become a fan’ alternative. Indeed, most people aren’t willing to commit wholeheartedly as a ‘fan’ of many businesses, but a simple thumbs up is less of a pledge of affiliation. By giving the public the ability to show their appreciation, support and joy over the news of family, friends and their favourite public figures, Facebook hit the nail on the head.
Rumours of a ‘Dislike’ button have been circling the internet for some time now. Zuckerberg et al have given us an outlet for our positive reactions, so why can’t we express our distaste? Facebook have been reluctant to give in to calls for a ‘Dislike’ button, as naturally it encourages widespread negativity on a global scale; it’s almost guaranteed to be exploited by cyber-bullies and online trolls to cause upset.
For businesses particularly, the prospect of a potential ‘Dislike’ button is a cause for concern.
One of the primary positive aspects of the internet for businesses has been its ability to bring brands closer to their customers. Social media platforms have provided a way for customers and businesses to reach out to one another, and the means to resolve any negative feedback with minimal collateral damage.
However, with the good always comes the bad, and the internet has created an environment where a carefully placed hashtag can reach a huge audience; if someone has some negative feedback about your brand they can spread the news quickly and easily. This can all be contained and managed by your employees, provided they have the prowess to handle this ‘bashtagging’, as it is known.
The addition of a Facebook ‘Dislike’ button would simply broaden this platform for online complaints, and businesses large and small would find it harder to respond to 1,000+ ‘Dislikes’ than a few disgruntled Tweets. There will be no way of discerning why someone has hit the ‘Dislike’ button; it will only serve to show other visitors to your page just how many people have a problem with your business.
Much like its ‘Like’ counterpart, the ‘Dislike’ button would require much less effort from your page visitors. Like we said before, it’s much easier to click a button than to go to the trouble of writing out your complaint in the comment box. With both positive and negative comments your brand has the opportunity to reply directly, but businesses would find it difficult to manage their ‘Dislikes’.
So when is this button likely to appear?
Zuckerberg discussed the possibility of a ‘Dislike’ button during a live streaming Q&A session from Facebook HQ. He said: “It’s important to give people more options than just ‘Like'” to help express empathy and sympathy. Not every moment is a good moment.”. While this does point towards the development of an alternative to the thumbs up function, it is unlikely that the team will release something quite so negative. Here Zuckerberg hints at a sympathy function which could prove to be less damaging to businesses than a straight ‘Dislike’.
In the same vein as a ‘Dislike’ button, your business should beware of the .sucks domain name which has now been released to the general public. With a .sucks domain name any disgruntled customer can create a platform for your unhappy customers to share their experiences, and this can reach fever pitch in the online environment.
Register your own .sucks domain name to manage this feedback platform; you could use your .sucks website to encourage feedback and monitor any negativity or simply sit on the domain name to avoid others exploiting it. Find out if your brand’s .sucks web address is available now through our domain name search page!