Facebook’s new empathetic-dislike button: what is it and how will it impact your business?

Home / Blog Posts / Facebook’s new empathetic-dislike button: what is it and how will it impact your business?

You heard that right. Facebook is releasing a new button that aims to compliment the LIKE button.  CEO Mark Zuckerberg has indicated he doesn’t want the new button to be considered as a ‘dislike’ button.  In announcing the new development he said, “That doesn’t seem like the kind of community that we want to create: You don’t want to go through the process of sharing some moment that was important to you in your day and have someone ‘down-vote’ it.”  It appears that Facebook wants to avoid being like competing website Reddit; where users can either vote up or down on posts.

The new button has not been introduced to Facebook yet, so be sure to avoid special offer scams to get the button early like Graham Cluley explained in his post.

So, when it is rolled out, how will the new button work?

Have you ever scrolled down your News Feed, saw a status that you certainly don’t like or agree with and commented on the post?  Well, it looks like those days are not yet over. The new button for Facebook is expected to express sympathy and/or empathy.  It will most likely be used for those sensitive posts you see that seem a little inappropriate to LIKE.

Of course, we live in a society where people try and find loopholes to get what they want. It’s no secret that people have been waiting for a dislike button to become active on Facebook, so it is a strong possibility that Facebookers will use this empathetic-dislike button as just a dislike button.  It will definitely be interesting to see what transpires.

How about the new button’s impact on business?

As per usual, a change in the online environment can cause massive changes to businesses reputation if not handled effectively. Here are 5 ways your business can be affected by the new button, and how to overcome these threats.


1/ Threat: Competitors could be clicking the dislike button on your page posts.

Solution: Have one of your staff members check these dislikes to see if they are real people, fake profiles, or competitors.  Doing this can help you track the source. Also, you should make adjustments/follow your PR crisis management plan.

Businessman with binoculars spying on competitors.

2/ Threat: Being ‘too careful’ and missing out on good posts.

Solution: There is no need to be paranoid about this new button. It is good to keep doing what you have always been doing – it would be a shame to lose the essence of your corporation because of a silly button, right?  Don’t be afraid to test the waters.

Boy in a tin foil hat peeking out of a window

3/ Threat: Having an overflow of people clicking dislike on something you post.

Solution: The worst thing you can do here is to either block the people clicking the button or deleting the post itself.  Why? Even after you hide something off the internet, the people who are friends of those who clicked dislike can still see the post.  This is where your PR skills should come in handy.

Here are some of our tips from a previous post that you can use here:

  • Try not to delete negative comments
  • Keep track of everything; proof is in the pudding
  • Don’t lose your temper

Left Out

4/ Threat: Feeling disheartened when you receive dislikes on posts.

Solution: You should always expect to receive constructive criticism in anything you do in both the corporate world and your personal world. What you should do here is contact the people who have disliked your posts and learn their opinions about your post. Not only will this approach build a stronger relationship with you and your audience, but it also positively reflects your response to criticism – making the best out of an ugly situation.

Depression Daughter Hugging Her Mother With Sad Face. Closeup Po

5/ Threat: Having more dislikes than likes on a post.

Solution: Again, these things are bound to happen.  It may be tempting to delete the post if your dislikes overpower your likes, but this is a major opportunity for the future. You should understand why there are more dislikes on your post by using tactics such as comments and/or inboxing those who disliked the post. Then, use your results from this research as a checklist for future Facebook posts.

Red Mailbox

As with a lot of things in business having a plan is key.  In many situations if you develop an effective social media plan and editorial calendar too, you can advantage of this medium which reaches more people than any other social media channel.

If you would like to know more about this topic or if you want us to handle your social media, get in contact with Infodec Communications today!