Facebook users have been asking for alternatives to the classic Like button for nearly a decade, and the powers that be have finally decided to answer that call. In February, Facebook launched an extension of the Like button called Reactions. This feature allows users to express how something in their News Feed makes them feel by choosing from six emojis that show different emotions.
For the average Facebook user, this means that there is now an alternative to “liking” a post in which a friend is lamenting the death of their dog. For marketers, however, it means so much more. Keep reading to find out what Facebook Reactions could mean for your business.
Richer, More Complex Data
Until now, the Like button has really been more of an “acknowledgement” button, and measuring the reach or success of a campaign based on “likes” has been considered to be an almost meaningless. Thanks to Reactions, your business can now get a more accurate picture of how your audience is receiving and responding to your posts.
How may this affect your future campaigns? Well, your Facebook page’s Insights allows you to view the complete breakdown of reactions for each of your posts. While negative reactions are not categorized as negative feedback, you may eventually be able to exclude followers who initially responded with “sad” or “angry” or target a specific ad to those who “loved” a previous post.
Changes in Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm
For now, a Reaction, even a negative Reaction, will register as though the user had simply pressed Like. However, according to Facebook’s Newsroom, different Reactions will eventually be weighted differently by News Feed. This will do a better job of showing Facebook users the stories they most want to see.
In theory, this would mean that soon your content would be able to more effectively reach those who want to see it and are more likely to engage with it. At this point in the game though, it’s hard to say whether Reactions accurately indicates accurate engagement or whether it’s another meaningless vanity metric.
Potential Concerns with Reactions
For every new feature that a major social media platform unveils, there are plenty of concerns and drawbacks. The primary concern, aside from the fact that there is still no Dislike button, is that the new Reactions feature is still restricting. Because there is no way to quantify why a user would choose to express “wow” instead of “love” or “saddened,” the data may indeed end up being useless.
Getting the Most from Facebook Reactions
While it’s still unclear as to how profound the Reaction feature’s benefits will be, there are still a couple things you can do to get the most from it.
Do you own a coffeehouse that is currently out of everyone’s favorite blend? Has your building’s air conditioner given up its ghost or are you dealing with staffing problems? Pin a post to the top of your page to let people know that while your business may not be operating at 100%, you’re doing everything you can to resolve the issue. This allows your followers to react to your post and hopefully prevents them from leaving negative feedback.
Research Your Competitor’s Content
It may be a while before there is a differentiation between Likes and specific Reactions, but until then, you can go to any Facebook page and click on a post’s reactions to see a summary of how fans responded to the post. Use this ability to see how fans of Facebook pages that are similar to yours reacted to different types of content.
Facebook Reactions could end up being a great thing for marketers, but even if it reaches its full potential, it will still have limitations. The social media experts at Ensuite Media have the training and tools your business needs in order to achieve its marketing goals and build an active and engaged community.