Facebook Page Negative Feedback: Does it Matter?

Don’t allow negative Feedback to paralyze you.

We all want to be “liked.” And on Facebook, we take that literally. People lie, cheat and steal in an effort to gain more Likes for their Facebook Pages.

So it’s no surprise that we’re a little sensitive when we dig into our Facebook Insights and fumble through the Negative Feedback columns.

Listen to me: Don’t lose any sleep over it.

I’m not going to say that it doesn’t matter at all. It matters some. But you need to have context.

Time for an example…

Negative Feedback vs. Consumptions

I pulled Insights for a 93-day period. On August 15, I had the most negative feedback of any day. I received 22 bits of negative feedback that day, seven more than the day with the next highest total. I also received eight Unlikes, tied for most during the period.

That’s the day when I went for the trifecta. I posted pictures of dead puppies, ranted about politics with no concern for accuracy and posted 874 times in a single day. I was on a mission to break a record.

Not really. There was nothing out of the ordinary that day. But for whatever reason, my negative feedback was comparatively high.

You know what else was really high that day? Reach. I reached the second most people of any day measured.

What else? Both Consumers and Consumptions, which were at the third highest level of any day. These measure the amount of clicks and people who made clicks on a given day.

You get where I’m going here? It’s all relative. My negative feedback was higher because I was reaching more people. And the fact that I got an incredibly high amount of engagement tells me that I may have been on the right path.

But let’s look a little deeper…

Of the 12 days that received the most negative feedback of the 93 measured, all had above average Reach, Consumers and Consumptions. All of them.

In fact, all were in the top 25%. It shouldn’t be surprising that the post that received the most Reach, Consumers and Consumptions was also in this Top 12 of Negativity.

Now, let’s turn it around. People must really like the content that receives the least negative feedback, right? Eh…

I had 24 days on which I received either no negative feedback or one piece of negative feedback. Number of those days with above average Reach: 0. Number of days with above average Consumers or Consumption: 2.

In the majority of those 24 days, the lack of negative feedback was a symptom that my posts weren’t reaching anyone and no one was engaging with my content.

Facebook Page Negative Feedback Chart

Wanna know how to get less negative feedback? Don’t post anything. Or create boring posts that barely anyone sees.

You can’t evaluate this type of information in a vacuum. I’d be more concerned if I received a high amount of negativity for a post that reached fewer people. That would be a high level of hate.

But in the end, I have a hard time saying these numbers mean much of anything. First of all, negative feedback and Unlikes are okay. If you are running your business and your life appropriately, not everyone will like you. Some people will hate you.

Others just like to complain. Let it go.

Are you controversial or voice your opinions? You’re going to get a lot of negative feedback. Do you reach a lot of people? Expect negative feedback. Do you post every day and sometimes multiple times in a day? It’s gonna happen, my friend.

If you don’t get any negative feedback, you aren’t doing your job.

Focus on one thing: The consumer.

Sound stupid? It’s not. If you’re always sharing content with your consumer in mind, screw the people who don’t want it. They aren’t your target audience anyway.

Know what your Fans like and want. Ask them. Get their feedback. Cater content directly to those people.

If you posted something without their best interests in mind, you know it. You shouldn’t need a metric to tell you that. If you have a conscience, that’s all the negative feedback you’ll need.

How do you deal with negative feedback? Let me know in the comments below!

  • http://www.FarrukhNaeem.com/ Farrukh Naeem

    Wow – that’s a fresh new way to look at this Jon – this is one post I would like to show to clients who are so afraid of negative feedback – it stops them from even having a Facebook page. Thanks for taking the time to document and share the research :-)

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Farrukh! The main lesson here is that negative feedback happens, and context is necessary to understand whether getting that negative feedback is important.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507607406 Emeric Ernoult

      Hey @farrukhnaeem:disqus, long time no see :-) Hope you are well! Happy to see that you like Jon’s content, he is good!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507607406 Emeric Ernoult

    Hey Jon! For once, I don’t agree with your finding. I use negative feedback percentages (so comparing apple to apple) and found out that some subject had a higher percentage of negative feedback than others and stopped posting about them.

    It had a positive effect! If you look at the negative feedback as a percentage of the number of people reached, it won’t be biased by the fact that you have reach more or less people.

    More importantly, it helped me spot and eliminate content types I thought were a smart idea but my audience did not react positively to! So, now I know I should trust fact and numbers and not my guts ;-)
    And of course, AgoraPulse helps me a lot to do that :-)

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Emeric! You are not allowed to disagree! Thanks for your fresh perspective, my friend.

      Okay, for everyone else — Emeric was kind enough to step me through a screen share of exactly what he’s seeing. And in most cases, he’s seeing the most viral content is not getting negative feedback, while the posts receiving the most negative feedback are not going viral.

      In other words, we first need to keep in mind that not everyone’s data will be the same.

      Something that I didn’t cover enough in this blog post (one sentence, actually) is that one time when it’s virtually indisputable that negative feedback matters is regarding a post that doesn’t go viral and receives a high percentage of negative feedback. Such posts should be looked at closely.

      Now, we (or at least I, I can’t vouch for Emeric!) also learned a couple of things…

      1) Facebook does not separate negative feedback from non-fans and current fans. Obviously, this matters. Let’s say you received 10 pieces of negative feedback. Did some/most/all of that come from non-Fans? Such people should have much less weight on whether negative feedback matters. The problem is that you can’t separate it.

      2) Promoted Posts are a potentially very big factor (related to #1). Unless a post is promoted, a non-Fan would only provide negative feedback in their Ticker. This is possible, but much less likely. However, if you target Fans + Friends of Fans for a Promoted Post, you are going to reach a lot of people who don’t like your Page IN THEIR NEWS FEEDS. Because of this, two things happen. First, you have people who have no connection to your brand seeing your content. They, then, would be much more likely to provide negative feedback. Second, they actually may be (check that — many people ARE) put off by seeing your content in their News Feed because they don’t like your Page. Many people still have not gotten used to this and think it’s a bug or are simply advertising averse.

      So those are some important factors that I didn’t address above, and I may need to write another blog post on this topic to cover it completely.

      Thanks for the insight, Emeric!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507607406 Emeric Ernoult

        You’re welcome Jon. I like to challenge you because I know you will always come up with more great additional thoughts on the subject :-)

  • efrat

    love your posts, always straight to the point, no nonsense, you have a fan in Israel now, at least one :)

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Woo hoo! Thanks, Efrat!

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  • http://about.me/bradreason Brad Reason

    While in theory, white hat is the best way… And buying fans or gathering non-quality profiles is looked down upon….. However, quite simply put, there are reasons to try to quickly accrue fans and followers that arent quality on Facebook. Example: I post a quality post on my page. Then I add 50 likes to it. The post will travel on facebook much further, because it wins over edgerank, and Facebook thinks its a viral/buzzing post..,, and so my real actual quality fans on my page are more likely to naturally see the post without me paying for a boost.

    To me, buying fans or participating in collective bumping and helping is the same as buying ads and giving money to Facebook

  • KetevanNatsvlichvili

    Jon, thank you for this! I was looking for some insights after receiving a negative comment. I know that negative comments are very normal and even beneficial, but it still doesn’t feel good when you get one. Your post reiterated what I believed in and cheered me up. Thanks again!

  • http://www.kimberlyannjimenez.com/ Kim Jimenez

    Hey Jon, I know this post is a bit old but I’m SO happy I found it. I remember reading it a while back but it was nice to have someone put things into perspective for me. Very refreshing! As always, thank you for all you do.

  • http://www.mgtow.com Anonymousrants

    Improving Facebook: Never ask for a personal govt ID, allow people to use any name they want, stop blocking users, allow people to have as many friends as they want, protect privacy, listen to your users.