On April 1, there was news doing the round from TechChrunch that Facebook is introducing a ‘Hate’ Button. Some people consider it as a Fool’s Day prank while other say it may be real as TechChrunch was the one which broke the news of ‘Like’ Button also In 2010.
According to Facebook’s S-1 filing, users are now generating 2.7 billion Likes and comments per day. With the Hate button, Facebook expects to at least double that.
An internet debate has started about the positives and negatives of the ‘Hate’ button but let’s leave that aside and look at the effect for marketing people if the ‘Hate’ is introduced
You can easily segregate your current customers into three segments on your Facebook
1.Those who are your Raving Fans and thus would be hitting the ‘Like’ and ‘Comment’ on many of your posts and updates. For them the ‘Hate’ is actually of not much use. But looking at their ‘Hate” history on your competitors or other fan pages may give you some idea on what exactly attracts them to your product or services.
2.A neutral customer who is on your page to keep him/her updated on your product or services. They may switch to your competitor in case they find that others are not really happy i.e. the feedback is negative and they want to be a part of the majority. A ‘Hate’ button is something which though not directly but indirectly take this customer from you. More number of hate and the customer may perceive your product as bad and may not go for repurchase.
3.The dissatisfied customers would be the happiest lot with the new ‘Hate’ button. Till now they have shown their dissatisfaction through either comments on your updates or a separate page like in a case of Airtel. This, for some of them, would be troublesome but now they can do it easily with just one click and that poses challenge for brands. Imagine a status update from you. Till now 5 likes and 2 comments with one comment negative will not have that much impact as compared to a situation where there are five likes and seven hates
As we all know, social media including Facebook is used to nurture future customers and they are definitely looking for feedback about your company/brand. Here the ‘Hate’ can be a challenge big time. People as we all know hate things more than they like and thus a negative feedback about your brand is pretty high. Even your competitors can have fake IDS and thus can spread the ‘Hate’ culture. A negative comment can be easily traced but number of ‘Hates’ would not be that easy . Brands need to be more careful on their Fan page if the new ‘Hate’ button comes alive
The Positive Side
But we feel that there is a positive side to this development also. Companies spend a lot of money on getting genuine feedback from customers. The traditional methods of feedback like surveys have been useful but had always faced the challenge of biasness. Facebook fan page can be a good source of feedback to know which of the offerings of the company/brand are highly disliked by the consumers. This feedback is direct without intervention of any vested interest (obviously we need to be careful from fake IDS and feedback from them). As some business guru says, ‘To have the right solution, we need to know the right problem’. This new ‘Hate ‘button will definitely help you know the right problem