In a recent blog post, we discussed the possibility of a ‘dislike’ button on Facebook. Then Facebook threw a curveball and announced they would in fact be rolling out six new emojis rather than a ‘dislike’ button, giving us social marketers a whole lot more to think about. The ‘Reactions’ emojis are already being tested in Ireland and Spain, and will be rolled out elsewhere towards the end of the year, depending on their initial success. We will be able to not just ‘like’ posts but ‘love’, ‘haha’, ‘yay’, ‘wow’, ‘sad’, and ‘angry’ them. Will this have a major effect on business-customer interaction?
Keeping it positive
“Everyone feels like they can just push the Like button, and that’s an important way to sympathize or empathize with someone,” said Mark Zuckerberg during a Q&A last December. “Giving people the power to do that in more ways with more emotions would be powerful, but we need to figure out the right way to do it so it ends up being a force for good, not a force for bad.”
The new Reactions deliberately don’t reflect the full range of the human emotional spectrum, keeping Facebook focussed on the bright side of life. This is certainly better news for businesses than the introduction of a ‘dislike’ button, and a great way to gauge customer opinions. Facebook product manager, Chris Tosswill, says “We see this as an opportunity for businesses and publishers to better understand how people are responding to their content on Facebook. Page owners will be able to see Reactions to all of their posts on Page insights. Reactions will have the same impact on ad delivery as Likes do. We will spend time learning from this initial test and use that feedback to improve. Overall, Pages should continue to post things that their audience finds meaningful and continue using our Page post best practices.”
Keep an eye on your audience
Businesses will now need to pay even more attention to what people are saying about them on Facebook and respond accordingly. Monitoring and engaging with customers, and understanding what they want will be even more crucial. It may be a bit of extra work when it comes to social marketing, but it will ultimately help businesses shift towards more positive engagement on their Facebook page, as they will be able to analyse their customers’ wants and opinions in greater depth. Facebook is providing businesses with the incentive to reassess social marketing strategies and modify them where necessary.
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On February 24th 2016, Facebook rolled out its Reactions worldwide. For now, Reactions will be considered the same as ‘likes’ in page insights and ad metrics.
Facebook Product manager Sammi Krug explains that with News Feed, Facebook wants to “show you the stories that matter most to you. Initially, just as we do when someone likes a post, if someone uses a Reaction, we will infer they want to see more of that type of post. In the beginning, it won’t matter if someone likes, ‘wows’ or ‘sads’ a post — we will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content.”
Over time, Facebook aims to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed in order to show everyone the stories they most want to see.
What do you think of the changes? Tweet us your thoughts @digitalglueuk