Soon you’ll have the option to do more than simply “like” a Facebook post. Chris Cox, chief product officer, announced earlier this month that the social media company would be rolling out six reaction buttons that users can select to respond to posts. These reactions include “love,” “yay,” “haha,” “wow,” “angry” and “sad.” Facebook Reactions are currently being tested in Ireland and Spain, but the company reported that it plans to have this feature available to everyone soon.
Facebook realizes that not every post is a “likable” one (hence the popular demand for a “dislike” button). But Facebook took a potential “dislike” button a step further, because as founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the corporate town hall last month, “What [users] really want is the ability to express empathy.” As a result, Facebook consulted sociologists to help narrow down the range of human emotions when reading posts so it could implement the Reactions. The end goal was to create an easier way for people to express themselves without having to post a comment.
While it isn’t new for brands to be listening and acting on consumer conversations online, how brands are listening will always be changing. The new Facebook Reactions feature will provide brands and marketers with a new way to evaluate sentiment among their audiences.
Going beyond a mere “like” or “dislike” offers a deeper look at what consumers think, feel and want from brands. By knowing how their consumers respond emotionally to content, companies can use the data to alter products, campaigns or even the tone of their content. Read what some marketers are saying about Facebook Reactions here.
For now, each reaction will be treated the same as a “like” in the Facebook algorithm, but this could change in the future. A reaction represents a higher level of engagement from users, as it takes more time than simply liking a post, but gives options to those who may not generally take the time to type a comment.
Richard Sim, Facebook’s director of monetization product marketing, recommends that brands not create sponsored posts to try and gain certain reactions. Sim said, “At the end of the day, for a business we want you to post things that you know are going to drive business value for you, and optimizing for loves really isn’t the right business value for you.”
It will be interesting to see how brands use the Facebook Reactions data from their consumers once this feature is live.
Are you looking forward to using the Facebook Reactions buttons?