What Will Facebook’s “Dislike” Option Mean For Law Firms?

For years, Facebook users have complained about Facebook’s limited options to interact with posts. After all, none of us feel comfortable “liking” posts about tragedies or difficult situations in our friends’ lives.

Last week, Facebook’s CEO revealed that the social media giant has been listening, and that they’ll be unveiling a new post response option in the near future. Many have dubbed this mystery feature a “dislike” button, generating plenty of Internet buzz and striking fear into the hearts of business owners everywhere.

Well, I’m going out on a limb and predicting that Facebook’s new feature will be far more sophisticated than a simple “thumbs down” and that it will have very little impact on law firms and other businesses.

Let’s talk for a moment about what Mark Zuckerberg actually said last week. The Facebook CEO described the new feature as a better way for people to “express empathy.” He explicitly said that the company is not looking to “turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts.”

So what does this mean for law firms?

Very likely, it means that your audience will be able to better interact with your authentic social posts. For example, if you posted something like this: “We are devastated by the recent storm’s destruction.” Facebook users are currently torn between wanting to support your emotion and not feeling that a “like” is an appropriate way to do so. In the future, those users may be able to sympathize with your post without seeming to callously support the tragedy you’re referencing.

But what about more business-related posts? Perhaps a post such as, “We’re looking forward to the big game this weekend. Remember to designate a driver and if you need legal help after hours, call us at 123-456-7890.”

It’s unlikely that this new Facebook response mechanism will have much impact on those posts at all. The users who would have liked or commented on the post previously will almost certainly still have those options. And just like now, the way your law firm uses social media – including your response to positive and negative comments on Facebook – will do a lot to influence your firm’s brand perception among social users.

So how does this impact your law firm’s marketing?

It’s always worth keeping an eye on these kinds of changes. However, as with many of Facebook’s user-focused changes, brands that post authentic messages that are useful for readers will continue to be successful even after Facebook unveils its new emotional response button.

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