What Do Facebook’s New Reactions Mean for Facebook Marketing?

Blog Post By: Airi Hosaka, Marketing Intern
About Reactions:
Facebook added a new feature called “Reactions” at the end of February. With this feature, users can express their emotions with more than just the well-known “Like” button. In addition to the traditional “Like” button, users can now choose from ‘love,’ ‘haha,’ ‘wow,’ ‘sad,’ and ‘angry’ buttons to react to Facebook posts in their News Feed.
facebook reactions
Users can see these options by holding down the ‘Like’ button on a mobile device or by hovering over the ‘Like’ button on a computer. The new feature allows a Page’s audience to share a variety of reactions easier and quicker with just one click.
So, what exactly do Reactions offer brands?

  1. A better understanding of customers’ needs

The new Reactions feature will provide richer data than the original “Like” button. Admins of a Facebook page can easily examine how a post’s Reactions measure up against the intent of the content. For example, if a business posts about a service being discontinued, and there is a long list of people reacting with anger or sadness, it’s a clear indication the service in question was valued by customers.

  1. Increased visibility

With there being a larger variety of responses available, more Fans may feel compelled to engage with a brand’s post—resulting in increased reach and brand exposure.

  1. Crisis management

A brand can reach out to people who react negatively (‘sad’ or ‘angry’) to provide appropriate customer service.

  1. Quick competitive research

Facebook’s Reactions offer an easy way for businesses to analyze their competitors’ content and strategies and how their target market is reacting to them. The competitive research can then be integrated into the development of future marketing and business strategies.
Something to Keep In Mind:
At the moment, Facebook does not distinguish between different reactions in the site’s analytics; any reaction essentially counts as a “Like” — only telling admins how many people reacted to a post. Therefore, brands need to come up with their own data analysis method to effectively digest it.
Facebook will, however, be feeding Reactions data into its algorithm, which, in turn, will determine which posts will appear in a user’s News Feed. Currently, if someone uses a Reaction, Facebook will “infer they want to see more of that type of post” regardless of the emotion they chose. After sorting through the initial data, Facebook’s Reactions will be weighted differently by the News Feed to do a more effective job of showing its users the content they want to see.
In Conclusion:
While some researchers argue that this new feature will not affect the current relationship between customers and brands, it will undoubtedly allow businesses to more accurately measure their audience’s “reaction” to their marketing strategies