The Dislike Button: Social Nightmare or Marketing Dream

Joseph ComoWebsite Conversion, Website Traffic, Website Trends


The Facebook ‘dislike’ button has been a long time request by many fans of social media. Some think that the dislike button will be toxic to our relationships. Others fear it will be abused, leading to to bullying and fostering of further negativity.

“It seems that we have been become so fragile that any sign of negativity — even a simple thumbs down on a social media website — is something that must be avoided at all costs. All we want is a constant stream of thumbs up. The slightest sign someone might disagree with us is enough to send us into an emotional tailspin.” Andre Spicer, CNN.

So is that true? Do we not respond well to negativity?  Our Facebook and twitter data says, ”well, that depends…”

Comstar has found that people are more likely to respond to positivity than negativity and positive news or content is much more likely to be shared. Even a tragedy as September 11th, years later can bring out emotions in a positive and hopeful way. Just look at a Comstar’s “top tweet” from September 11th 2015. This year a massive rainbow appeared over the Freedom Tower in New York City on the eve of September 11th. We just had to share it!

 Twitter 2 Social media sept 11th

“top tweet”- Comstar’s Twitter account. On Sept 11th 2015..

It’s important to give people more options than just ‘like’ to help express empathy and sympathy.” And “Not every moment is a good moment.” Mark Zuckerberg said, founder and CEO of Facebook.

So how does the social platform change?

A few social media strategists view the “dislike” button will convey other emotions and that it will be a boom for Facebook and marketers. Facebook’s dislike button will affect strategies and will affect how the social media world will share and discuses positive posts. No more upbeat and “smile when your sad” posts. If the Facebook “dislike” button is used to conduct and practice empathy in the social media world, advertisers and web developers will have new data to work with- If you don’t like Microsoft computers or their products then you must like apple products (See where this is going?) Strategies will shift; sales and services will be better tailored to social media and website visitors.

Dr. Andrea Forte, a Drexel University professor who studies social media shared how Facebook users may use the ‘dislike button’.  “They may use a dislike button to express some negative emotions, like frustration with ads popping up in their feeds, but I doubt it will cause them to start wantonly disliking pictures of their friends’ babies, dogs, cats and cooking experiments,”, I suspect it will mainly be used to express mild disapproval, or to express solidarity when someone posts about a negative event like a death or a loss.”

One thing is for sure, the current positive persona of Facebook interactions with ‘likes’ is about to change. Sharing positive moments and staying upbeat is about to change. We don’t for sure know how a majority of Facebook users and campaign managers will use the ‘dislike’ However…

“facebook is very close” to having it ready for user testing.” – Mark zuckerburg, CEO