This Is Why Facebook Should Never Release A ‘Dislike’ Button

I told people the ‘dislike button’ would never exist… fb-facebook-dislike
And with that, now Facebook releases this… (see video below).

The psychological influence Facebook has on us is tremendous. Allowing a ‘dislike’ button would create unintended + associated animosity towards their platform.

Subconsciously, people return to Facebook so frequently for hope, entertainment, and encouragement. A dislike button would unleash a new conscious dynamic, not good for FB. I believe users would be ‘shy’ to post content (out of fear of rejection) and ultimately, return visits/active users would decrease …and worst of all, FB would have a deep and dark new cultural norm …a negative dynamic that doesn’t exist in mass today, only in pockets.

Sure, you can be negative on Facebook today …but the platform doesn’t enable it, or encourage it through its UX. The words ‘DISLIKE’ aren’t staring anyone in the face to easily click. Imagine seeing, ‘You have 5 dislikes’ on your photo you posted’ (from your vacation to the beach. Today, these subtle emoticons they are asking users to use are spot on. Given FB’s colossal influence, I think this is the right thing for them to do.

How To… Think About The ROI Of Social Media.

Ingram’s Magazine reached out to me to write a column for their latest issue. Specifically they asked me to tackle the infamous question, “What’s the ROI of Social Media.” Here is what was published in the May 2015 Issue.

I often have conversations with marketing pros and members of the C-suite who say the world of technology is moving so fast, that they are struggling to keep up. Many are attracted by the newest shiny object (e.g. Apps like Snapchat, Periscope). They are constantly reading headlines and stories of businesses seeing great success with social media. But when it comes to running their own business, these same people struggle in answering the question, “How should we measure success with our social media efforts? What is the ROI?” And they hesitate in enabling their teams with the things they need to be successful. It’s one of the most frequent questions I hear.

Marketers often look in the wrong places for the right answers to give back to the C-Suite. They obsess over with the tools and the technology. Getting Likes, Followers, Views—the ROI in social media is not about the tools. It’s about how you’re using the tools to achieve real business objectives. Business outcomes that matter to the organization. Your goal isn’t to be good at Facebook; it’s to be better at business because of social media.

Here are some things to consider in order to ensure social media is aligned and successful for your business:

1) Educate the business. Do this frequently, not just once. I advise clients to conduct quarterly meetings (at minimum) that are cross-functional “Social Media Education Sessions.” This establishes a baseline of knowledge about the tools. The key is to make it a safe place for all to ask questions about how the tools work. Furthermore, these sessions should highlight specific social media efforts that have helped other businesses augment their sales, products, service, marketing and communications. Do not focus on your own business in these meetings. It’s easy to get derailed and focus on yourself, so set aside different meetings/sessions to discuss these topics.

2) Commit for the long-term. Far too often do I see episodic or sporadic approaches with social media. Businesses try and shortcut their efforts, making them seasonal, and expect immediate results. This couldn’t be more wrong. Social media is not a fad. And it’s more than just running a campaign. It’s an everyday expectation in the world we live in now. Much like you have processes that you’re constantly refining around customers who walk through the doors of your business, or workflows for customer-service calls received—the same is true for social media. It should be a part of how the business flows.

3) Define your persona(s) and their customer journey(s). The golden rule applies here; know the audience(s) you are trying to affect. Don’t stop short by only defining demographic information. Bucket groups based on their shared psychographics, emotional and practical needs. With each audience, map out all the steps in their customer journey from awareness to conversion. Take it a step further and define the loyalty stages post-purchase. Knowing this information will help you understand the strategies and tactics that are more effective for making them a customer and retaining them.

4) Set social media goals that ladder up through marketing objectives and business outcomes. To be successful, your social team needs to have a clear understanding of how the business operates. If they have a clear understanding of these objectives and outcomes desired, it sets the stage for them to put social strategies and tactics in place that support these efforts and achieve these goals (and more importantly, you can set measurements if this was achieved). When your social team presents results, they should take time to correlate how specific tactics are aligned to business outcomes or objectives that have been set and how to refine them.

5) Create quarterly and yearly budgets for your paid, earned and owned efforts on social. It’s a common misconception that because social media is free to use, large budgets are not needed. This couldn’t be more wrong. As with other traditional channels, when well-integrated in to your overall marketing efforts online and offline, supplementing your social tactics with paid spends can make a big impact.

Learn the rules- then break them. A lesson from Casey Ligon.

I was fascinated listening to Casey Ligon speak and teach about design + lettering. Let’s be real, I have no business being at an event like this (i’m not a graphic artist). However, I find it fascinating to hear creatives tell their stories and talk about their process. If you really look at what she did- she wasn’t privileged in any way. She hustled her way into working as an intern at Hallmark. And put her head down in learning all the basics and standards to lettering against her will (she wanted to do more creative experimental work). And it was in her ‘free time’ outside of work, she really crafted her talents doing what she does now. She didn’t say this specifically- but her formula is simple. Study up on the standards and the basics. Know them in and out. And then learn to break those rules carefully and develop your own style + creativity. There’s something to be said about this approach- works in many industries. There are many prerequisites and table stakes in life that people often don’t want to put the work in doing first. For Casey, it all came full circle when she really started developing as an artist- the things she hated learning about and perfecting, then became the foundation for how she makes her work unique. Check out her stuff on Insta:

We should teach kids how to use social media.

Recently, I was interviewed for an article (by @LJWorld) about the Facebook privacy mess. During our discussion, I mentioned the acclimation process of using the tools (social media). On my drive home that night, I started thinking more about the education process and the learning curve into using social media. There’s something to be said about what it’s like to “jump-in” and start using the tools, learning the basics, then evolving to more advanced aspects of online communication like understanding how relationships are established online, common behaviors, how connections are made and communities are formed.

Social media is self-taught for most. Your friends do it. So you just start doing it. And the idea of being “classically” trained of understanding online communication is foreign. In an age in which Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address live on YouTube, and a Twitpic posted to Twitter about the plane crashing into the Hudson River gets 100,000+ views in minutes, there’s no denying that social media has become an intregal part of our daily lives.

I think we should teach kids about social media and online communication in school. And not just in college, I think it should be taught in grade school.

Think about it- we teach kids how to structure essay papers in school. How often do you find yourself writing essay papers? When’s the last time you cranked out a 5-page essay?

Now compare that to how many times you’ve written a status update in the past week. Or commented on a blog. Or posted a review for a product on a website. These shortened forms of communication (limited # of characters) exist everywhere; Facebook, Twitter, commenting on blogs, internal company intranets. Status updates are ubiquitous, everyone knows what they are and what to do when they see one.

Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for kids to be using tools like Facebook and Twitter at a young age. Shouldn’t we be teaching them communication techniques for these “shortened” form of communications? There are effective ways to communication in limited words. We should practice this in school, we should be teaching this.

Now, I’m not saying we should teach kids how to Twitpic photos on an iPhone, or how to write happy birthday on their friend’s Facebook walls. What I am saying, is that we should teach kids about online communication.

For example, everyone should understand what “flaming” or “flamebait” is. It’s a basic online social interaction (just check most YouTube comments). Understanding how anonymity and context make all the difference in online communication. It’s fundamental. There are many other online social behaviors like trolling, sockpuppetry and leechers that people should know and understand.

  • We should be teaching kids and college students email communication techniques.
  • We should be teaching kids and college students how to blog.
  • We should be teaching everyone the basics of online privacy and intellectual property.

So what do you think? I think I’m right. Do you think I’m wrong? Should schools be teaching this? What is your take on this? Make a comment.

Article: “Your life is an open Facebook”

Last month I blogged about my feelings regarding the Facebook privacy settings updates mess. Recently, I was interviewed by Phil Cauthon, of the Lawrence Journal World (local newspaper in the area), and was asked to expand on my thoughts. The article is a good read highlighting different perspectives, in addition to my own regarding this topic. Check it out if you’re interested (photo credit: Dave Loewenstein).

>> You can read the full article here, on the LJWorld website

The New York Times is smart for doing this 1 thing.

It’s easy to criticize traditional media and tell them how bad they’re doing things (i’m guilty of that). But for a change of pace, I’d like to give a compliment to the New York Times. They’re doing something really smart on their website and I think you should take note.

Every page is your homepage.

This basic design principle I believe in (so does the company I work for). And that quote couldn’t be more dead-on. Why? More and more customers are going straight to specific pages of your website than your homepage. Just think of this real-world scenario:

1.) What’s the first thing most people do when they open their web browser? They search. Which means they go to Google or Bing.

2.) Then, they type and search for what they are looking for. And they get really specific. They don’t type things like just “BP”. They’re smart enough to search things like “BP oil spill“, because that’s what they’re looking for.

3.) Where do they land after they click-through on Google? If it’s a well designed website, they’re likely looking at the exact page they wanted, but it may not be your homepage.

So what happens next?

This is where the principle, “Every page is your homepage” comes in. And this is what I’ve recently noticed the New York Times does so well on its website. Take a look at the screenshot I took (below). This is an article I read after searching for something on Google. When you take your mouse and scroll down to the bottom of the page, a box with a link to a related article in that category appears (but only when you’re on the bottom).

What they’re doing here is simple, easy, and it’s smart.

The NYT design team has done a great job in designing a feature that takes into account the users behavior and effectively positions the related link at the bottom of the page to keep the user engaged, in hopes they continue to browse for more articles on the website (if you want to see this in action for yourself, click on this article and scroll-down).

Designing every page of your website to work just as hard as your homepage isn’t easy. But make sure you don’t overlook your interior pages. It’s arguable more important than your homepage. Does your website work this hard? How are you making every page your homepage? Share your tips in the comments if you got ‘em 🙂