How Facebook Reactions will Affect Your Digital Marketing Strategies


In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last couple weeks, Facebook Reactions have arrived. The idea of adding new Facebook reaction buttons is one that’s been floating around for a long time. Since people first started wanting a “dislike” button, we’re sure Facebook has been investigating the possibilities. Reactions became that possibility.

They say that the mission to bring Facebook Reactions to reality began just over a year ago. Facebook spent a long time determining which reactions were best to use, and then months testing their Reaction prototypes in a handful of countries across the world.

Today, Facebook Reactions is here to stay.

How did Facebook decide the right Reactions?

Deciding the right reactions to use from hundreds of possible human emotions can be a challenge. Wired explains that “distilling the vast range of human emotions into a single row of emoji is no simple design problem.” So Facebook enlisted the help from an expert in social psychology.

They discovered that it will take 20 to 25 different reaction emoji to effectively capture the complexity of human emotions. But that number is just too much. Facebook decided to focus on the emotions its users express the most often. They analyzed users across the world and looked at the most frequently used emoji emotions in posts, comments, etc. They narrowed down the main emotions people express on Facebook, and eliminated redundancies. The Facebook team finalized six emotions and started testing with users. The rest is, as they say, history.

Image of Facebook Reactions for Digital Marketing.

How does this affect your digital marketing campaigns?

First things first, are Facebook Reactions rated the same in the Facebook algorithm as “likes?” The answer is yes, for now.

For example, if you react to a Facebook post with an angry face, Facebook will rank this the same as they would if you liked the post before. Why? According to HubSpot, people want to see posts that make them angry, just like they want to see posts that make them happy. This may change in the future, though, as Facebook Reactions become more absorbed in our daily Facebook lives.

As a marketer, you know as well as we do that the data matters. As of right now, you can see limited analytics on Facebook Insights. When we say limited, we mean limited. You can’t see general trends for the reactions on your posts, but you can see the number of people who reacted (and how they reacted) by looking at the insights for that post specifically.

Here are some tips/tricks to keep in mind moving forward with your Facebook marketing strategies:

– Only the first three reactions are shown. When you post to your Facebook, only the first three reactions from users will show on the bottom of the post. So if people are feeling angry, sad and wow about your post, these three reaction faces will show. But if someone loved the same post, this reaction won’t show unless it was one of the first reactions selected.

– You can’t remove a reaction. Just like you can’t remove the likes on your posts from other users, you cannot delete reactions either. If you posted something positive, but someone reacted angrily, you cannot delete that angry reaction. Take it as a learning experience; a post that was positive to you may not be positive to your audience. These instances could easily lead to accessible insights about your marketing campaign.

– You now have a deeper understanding of how your audience is reacting to your content/social posts. Take advantage of this opportunity and apply the insights you picked up from looking at your audience’s reactions.

– Test to see if posts with certain types of reactions perform better. Take the time to develop posts specifically designed to invoke certain reactions. Check to see if posts that made people angry will perform better or worse than posts that people “loved.” Did the posts that received “love” reactions perform the best? Then create more loveable content.

– Test the power of love. You know how people say that people tend to talk more about the things they love? Use this new reaction platform to test this theory for your business. Do your users respond better to the loveable content?

– Find your best advocates. Take note of the people who love your posts often, as they could be potential advocates for your business. Although Facebook does not categorize your best followers, you can start doing that by simply tracking who is “loving” your posts the most.

 Don’t let the negative emotions get you down. As mentioned above, Facebook ranks all reactions like “likes” as of right now. The negative reactions will still help with your post reach, and they are a clever new form of feedback for your business. Keep an eye out for changes in negative comments now that Facebook Reactions are here. The angry face is a faster, simpler way to express unhappiness. Watch for these “angry” face trends as the new form of customer feedback for your business.

Whether you are a Facebook expert or new to the social media game, this is a Facebook change everyone should pay adequate attention. Take advantage of the new Facebook Reactions today by applying some of the tips laid out above.

If you need help on your social media marketing strategies, reach out to a local Las Vegas digital marketing company for advice. Post Launch offers free consultations, giving you the tips and tricks you’ll need for a Facebook marketing campaign.

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