Facebook introduces “Reactions”

Last week, Facebook made a very visible change that people had been requesting for a long time: they expanded their “like” functionality to encompass a broader range of emotions and feelings, expressed through caricatures known as “emoji.” In addition to the original “like,” Facebook users can now express:

  • Love, through a heart emoji
  • Laughter (officially, “haha”), through a laughing face emoji
  • Surprise (officially, “wow”), through a surprised face emoji
  • Sadness, through a sad face emoji
  • Anger, through an angry face emoji
  • Ennui, through an expressionless emoji.

Ok, that last one isn’t real. But, many of our clients are asking about what this means for their own Facebook accounts. In other words, how does this change the way people interact with businesses online?

It applies to business accounts, too

Blog Illustration QualityYes, the new reactions can be used by users to interact with business accounts. This means people can express a whole range of emotions about your posts. For your business, this means that users can engage with you on Facebook in a whole new way. You’ll get feedback on what they not only “like,” but what they love, hate, or think is humorous.

It’s important to note that the particular choice out of the new range of reactions does not impact the way that Facebook tracks your page’s overall engagement numbers; for instance, a “like” is of equal importance to a “love”, and so on.

Okay, but what if customers use the “angry” emoji on a post?

This is a potential pain point that we’re studying. However, it’s important to note that upset customers have always had the ability to submit negative feedback on your posts: namely, through comments. The new emoji just allow them to submit such feedback in short form. Whether this makes them more likely to be negative remains to be seen.

Of course, unlike comments, you can’t remove or respond to the reactions from customers. For more on this, check out this great HubSpot blog post on the subject.

What about other recent changes made by Facebook?

In early February, Facebook unveiled a new algorithm change that alters what content is seen first on users’ newsfeeds. In essence, this change makes “likes” a more significant factor in determining whether a post is relevant to someone. Facebook is simply sharing, in order of priority, posts with people that they’re most likely to engage with based on what they’ve engaged with in the past.

The major impact for your business’ pages to come out of this? Posts that explicitly attempt to solicit “likes” from customers may end up be harmful to the overall campaign, since they cause an artificial spike in reaction that eventually will balance out over time.

How can I boost my Facebook campaign?

Our suggestion? Don’t get too caught up in the new reactions. Yes, they’re a cool way to engage with customers. But, if you really want to give your campaign a lift on social media, try providing the 5 Fold team with original content. This could include photos of your employees working, information about upcoming events, or just fun stuff. Is your company sponsoring a local charity run in your community? Let us know.

Being able to share amazing, original content on Facebook will really help you engage with your customers—and maybe get a few Likes, Loves, and Wows in the process.