For years Facebook has been pressured to add a 'dislike' like button to their popular Facebook platform, and for years they've declined to do so, until recently... Facebook recently announced that they're working on adding more buttons other than a simple 'like'. These buttons are being created to express a range of emotions currently not available, such as empathy. Why would you want to 'like' images of a car crash or a natural disaster? Instead, you will be able to convey other expressions, and this is where buttons such as the sad face come into play. Alternatively, if you want to do more than simply 'like', then you'll be able to 'love' a post instead. The possibilities are almost endless! This new tool is currently still being tested, but at the moment the faces seem to be based on the highly popular emojis used by millions, which originated in Japan (but that's a story for another blog).
The big question is, what does this mean for businesses who use Facebook for marketing, like us? As the feature is yet to be officially released, we don't know but there is much speculation from businesses already. Users may use these new Facebook emotions to be negative towards those posts which they find 'spammy', but they may also simply continue to ignore these posts. Some brands are worried that this new feature could encourage negativity towards their brand and this may be a rational fear, however, we've had the review system for some time now, which could've caused very similar issues. Even now people could damage a brand by reviewing a page as one star, bringing down a company's ratings and possibly spoiling its image. Luckily, for most business pages this hasn't happened.
Another way to look at this situation is as a new metric; a way to measure the success of your social media campaigns and work out what engages fans and what doesn't. This could provide a much deeper analysis than Facebook's 'Insights' tool already offers, allowing marketers to create posts which truly interest and engage fans.
Alternatively, pages could use emotions such as the angry expression to interact with their fans and other pages. Why not 'love' that a fan's had a baby, get angry at bad news or laugh at a funny video. Interaction with content other than your own is a great way to get your name out there and be recognised as part of the Facebook community. Interacting with people this way can make your brand more personable, human, and trustworthy.
At Total Merchandise, we see this new feature as an asset to our social media campaigns, and we are hopeful they won't affect us negatively. We're looking forward to seeing what they're like. Let us know what you think about this feature by tweeting us or posting on our Facebook page, we'd love to hear from you!