What the Facebook Dislike button means for content marketing

If you haven’t heard, Facebook is adding a Dislike button to their social network. It was confirmed during a public town hall meeting earlier this week by the CEO himself:

“People have asked about the ‘Dislike’ button for many years, and probably hundreds of people have asked about this, and today is a special day because today is the day that I actually get to say we are working on it, and are very close to shipping a test of it. Not every moment is a good moment. If you share something that’s sad like a refugee crisis that touches you, or a family member passes away, it may not be comfortable to like that post. I do think it’s important to give people more options than liking it.”

– Mark Zuckerberg

The Dislike button is meant to help users express humility towards posts rather than disapproval or actual dislike. Facebook doesn’t want to create a culture of cyberbullying, they want to facilitate better communication.

It should be called the empathy button!

Although the button hasn’t gone live yet, it’s not too early to start thinking about what this means for content marketing on Facebook. We have three predictions for how it will impact brands:

1. Brands will have to put more effort into their content.

It’s already important for brands to be engaging, and this requirement will amplify with the new button.

Facebook users typically make a quick decision whether to like or comment on a post. Just think about how you scroll through your feed on your phone.

Adding an additional option for engagement will cause Facebook users to think more about how they engage, which could result in indecision. Posts will need to be exciting and punchy to get a response.

2. Brands will have the opportunity to relate on a more personal level.

Brands are limited by how their audiences can respond to the content they post. Facebook users are human beings and have the ability to express emotions other than “like”. They don’t currently express their full spectrum on Facebook as often, because it takes more effort to write a comment than it does to click a button.

We’re getting closer to brands becoming even more human. Their posts will start being more sensitive in order to connect with the hearts of their audience.

3. Brands will be able to learn more about their audiences.

There are many tools out there to measure and record the sentiment of social media activity. Now, there will be additional feedback for brands to track. If Facebook follows through with their empathetic approach to their button, the feedback of the current “Like” button might seem hollow in comparison to what the new button tells brands about their audience.

Brands can learn more about the personas of their audience, as well as the content necessary to serve them.

It’s still too early to know all the content marketing implications of the button. We suspect that it will be tested with individual user accounts first before they appear on Facebook Pages.

Our predictions are out in the open and we want to know yours! What do you think of the new Dislike button?