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What Facebook?s dislike button means for marketers and their data

Revelations last week about the impending arrival of a dislike button on Facebook may have users excited, but the news also has the potential to aid brands? advertising efforts through the collection of consumer data that can be used to improve targeting efforts.

While plenty of people have taken to the social sphere to vent their opinions on what role the dislike button will play in day-to-day Facebook usage, marketers may find a lucrative marketing aid as consumers receive a way to negatively express themselves while corresponding with branded posts or pages. Brands that choose to target Facebook users with ads may be able to glean valuable data from disliked posts and better serve users with relevant content.

?It?s a way for Facebook to enrich its user graph, by knowing what users don?t like, enabling it to improve its targeting (or negative targeting) capacities,? said Maor Sadra, managing director of AppLift, Berlin. ?Then, like all other major advertising companies, Facebook wants to get a big share of the increasing market for ?real-time advertising.?

?Real-time advertising is the ability to offer ads based on real-time events and, importantly, immediate user sentiment,? he said. ?In this regard, Twitter has an advantage, as it is a platform where users tend to immediately voice their positive or negative opinion around a piece of news, or an event.

?Adding the dislike button will enable Facebook to make it easier to collect data around immediate user sentiment and ramp up its game against Twitter in this regard."

Becoming a better platform
Facebook?s dislike button may actually transform the social network into a better advertising platform for brands. The social conglomerate has recently been ramping up its mobile focus and rolling out features designed to help business better reach consumers.

Last week, Facebook updated its Pages feature to aid businesses in bolstering their mobile presence and sales via more prominent call-to-action buttons, improved layout and new sections for showcasing relevant information to users (see story).

While users may be focused on the emotion behind the dislike button, marketers will be able to reap significant benefits from the data it will offer. For example, if a particular individual dislikes several posts from a brand on his or her newsfeed, that brand may not want to target him or her with a customized ad.

However, a competing brand may want to advertise to that user. Competitive data on what consumers like and do not like will be available in more abundant form.

?Facebook has been the pioneer in revolutionizing social media, often integrating frowned-upon features that caused disruption and changed the way users share data and consume content,? said Galia Reichenstein, chief operating officer at Taptica, Israel. ?Facebook?s addition of a dislike button is another leap forward in our data-driven world, allowing users to voluntary share additional valuable data in return for the experience. 

?This continues to make Facebook one of the strongest data giants and advertising platforms.?

Personalized experiences
More marketers may flock to Facebook in favor of Twitter after the dislike button sees a widespread rollout. Facebook will now be able to grab additional important information from consumers, which it can offer its advertisers in a bid to make users? newsfeeds more personalized to their preferences and interests.

For example, a user who has pressed the dislike button on Coca-Cola?s ads may be served with units from Pepsi instead.

Additionally, brands can leverage the dislike button to have more open conversations with customers on their official pages. If consumers express distaste for an announcement or new post made on the branded page, the marketer can rectify the mistake or apologize to individuals in the hopes of salvaging some loyalty.

Brands such as Target use Facebook to personally respond to guests' concerns

?An option to dislike would enable brands and advertisers a way to identify customers not happy with them and take corrective measures to change that,? said Deep Katyal, senior director of product innovation at Opera Mediaworks, San Mateo, CA. ?It will also allow their competitors to target users based on their behavioral and emotional input.

?If anything, a dislike button provides more information about the user and can be correctly leveraged for better targeting. For example, if a user doesn?t like the service and products of a leading telecom brand, a competitor can leverage that data to target those users and make them switch brands.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York