10 reasons why marketers need to ‘dislike’ Facebook

This post is by Stephan Argent – a member of the Marketing FIRST Forum, the global consulting collective co-founded by TrinityP3

As a marketer, do you ‘like’ Facebook?

Or do you ‘dislike’ Facebook?

In the Facebook world, you do not really have a choice.

You can ‘like’ it. Or lump it.

And that is not as useful for marketers as it seems.

Facebook Like and Dislike buttons

You see, when Facebook reached a billion active users back in September, the announcement was accompanied by a fact sheet stating that since Facebook launched it has seen 1.13 trillion likes.

Yes, seriously impressive.  But considering the top five countries where people connected from were Australia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the US of A (all democracies last time I looked) surprising that nobody can “dislike”.  Anything.

And the more I think about it, the more it irks me nobody can give a thumbs down to a statement, comment, friend, company, ad, picture or thing.  Whether you’re an individual or a marketer, I think a “dislike” is a huge omission in our ability to truly socialize who we are or what we have to offer.  Here are my top ten reasons why I think a “dislike” is long overdue:

1.     As human beings it’s natural to be able to choose to like, or dislike:  I like coffee – I don’t like tea…

2.     At the very least, the 250 + million of us on Facebook in the top five connecting countries deserve a democratic choice.  Don’t we?

3.     Generally, there are two sides to everything.  I’m not asking for a “meh” or “maybe” button – but most of us would prefer a choice – even if it’s a binary one.

4.     Wouldn’t you (as an individual) prefer to know if one of your friends didn’t like your new [thing] rather than just not tell you?

5.     It’s honest.

6.     Disliking something is an opportunity for the recipient to turn the dislike into a like.

7.     With a billion people on Facebook, wouldn’t the world be just a tiny bit better with knowledge that stuff (whatever it is) isn’t liked here and there?

8.     Marketers would get a much clearer picture (and message) on what works and what doesn’t.

9.     A dislike button would theoretically drive deeper conversations and engagement rather than apathy because you’d have a choice.

10.  My bet is Facebook would be a way more interesting place to visit!

I’ll add one more thought:  Facebook’s population is now three times the size of the United States and if it were indeed a country, it would be the third most populated country in the world behind China and India.   Doesn’t its’ population deserve a choice?

I’d like to think so.

What do you think? Should Facebook have a dislike button? Leave your thoughts with a comment.

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About Stephan Argent

Stephan Argent is a former agency planner from England, and has held senior roles in agencies in both Canada and the United States. Most recently he was Vice President of Digital Media at CTV, and is now President of The Argedia Group, helping clients find “agencies for the digital age.” Visit Argedia here
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5 Responses to 10 reasons why marketers need to ‘dislike’ Facebook

  1. Rick Allen says:

    I completely agree- A bit like having a one party democracy! Although I guess you can comment and thereby express some views that may be negative. Of course they wouldn’t come up as a simply reported stat!
    Feel free to dislike this comment if you wish!

  2. Stephan says:

    I wouldn't shy away from negative comments. Look no further than Gap when it was deluged with negative comments and was able to turn those comments into a "we've listened and we're acting on your feedback…" message that ultimately showed the company in a favorable light.

  3. Nathanael says:

    I think they should have four buttons:
    1. YES : The current like
    2. YESBUT (YB) : I like, but I think this part is wrong and here's why (add comment as a sub-tree)
    3. YESAND (YA): I like, and there's more to this that I want to share (add comment as a sub-tree)
    4. NO : I dislike, and here's why (add comment as a sub-tree)
    A little more complex, but i suspect would promote far more meaningful sharing.

  4. Perhaps a thumb up, thumb down, or a thumb horizontal (for maybe) might be simpler? Whatever the solution, pleased you concur we need something more than "like"!

  5. Paul Cunningham says:

    If you don't like something, you can say so. And if people don't like what you don't like, then they can like it – simple.

Comments are closed.