Facebook Reactions have begun to be rolled out across the social media platform in what could be one of the greatest shake-ups the site has seen in years. For those who have missed the announcement, the new reactions are additional responses you can give to social media updates other than just 'like'. The reactions include ‘love’, ‘angry’, ‘sad’, ‘funny’ and ‘wow’. They appear when you hover over the 'like' button on a PC, or hold it down on a mobile device.
How Can Facebook Reactions Be Used?
The social network experimented with their response system last October with a pilot in three countries: Ireland, Japan and Spain. Facebook Reactions work similarly to the 'like' system, with users providing indications of what content they would like to see more of.
The difference arises with the range of emotions that can be displayed. When users didn’t like a piece of content previously, they were limited in their response. They could either:
- 'Like' the piece to highlight it to friends, but this can sometimes lead to misunderstandings (i.e. you agreed with the message of the content when you wanted to highlight your opposition to it).
- Ignore the content, in which case others didn’t know that they were unhappy about it.
- Comment on the content, which could result in conflict on the social network.
The new Facebook Reactions allows users to demonstrate more precisely how an update makes them feel. For instance, if you hated that your friend wrote a bad joke, instead of ignoring it, you can just display your displeasure with an ‘angry’ reaction.
How Will Facebook Reactions Determine Update Placement?
One of the concerns of many users is that particular content will be placed lower because other users rate it poorly. At the time of writing, this is not the case. However, the company has stated that in future system updates it is hoped that they can determine a way to weight reactions to uniquely rank updates in the Facebook News Feed.
Why No ‘Dislike’ Button
One of the most frequent requests from Facebook users was for a dislike button. Facebook rejected this because it was thought to be too negative for the platform. The ones chosen were carefully selected based on user comments and emoji-like stickers that seem to be in use most frequently. These choices are also considered to be universal.
Is The ‘Like’ Dead?
Facebook Reactions is not killing off the 'like' button. In fact, 'like' is still the most important emotion of all on Facebook. Statistics show that there are more than 11,500 'likes' every second on the platform. However, the pilot tests found that people started to use the different reactions more frequently over time.
What Does Facebook Reactions Mean For Your Business?
The new Facebook Reactions will scare some business owners, especially the ‘sad’ and ‘angry’ emotions. Facebook has stated that organisations can’t block any Facebook Reactions. If you want to post an update; you’ll have to accept the responses of Facebook users.
However, the new options for interactions could be a great asset for organisations. Now you can see what content is resonating most with audiences and how their responses on Facebook correlate with actions on your website.
It might be that 'angry' limits sales but increases email signups, or 'happy' responses have an adverse impact on site traffic. The simple answer is that business leaders will not know how Facebook Reactions will affect the success of their social media marketing for a while but with the right analytics, it could help organisations tailor campaigns to incite reaction and encourage particular actions. With the right analytics, you can avoid social media mistakes and gain more measurable results on the social media platform.
Do see a benefit of Facebook Reactions? Are you worried about the impact it will have on your social media campaigns?
Let us know in the comments below.