Facebook is testing reactions in Ireland and Spain. It’s a new range of emoticons intended to add to the existing Like (Thumbs Up) button. As a result of this innovative solution, users can now express empathy on difficult posts such as the announcement of a death, illness or disaster where ‘liking’ would seem particularly inappropriate. Reactions are an emoji version that will offer users the ability to express love (heart), laughter – Haha (laughing face), happiness – Yay (smiling face), surprise – Wow (astonished face), sadness (sad face) and anger (red, frowning face) – all with a quick click!
So far, the business world appears to be in favor of these sentiment buttons. Here’s a Digital Marketers’ Scoop on Facebook’s latest Reactions Loop!!!
As a user I am thrilled. As a marketing professional, I keep pondering the same question, over and over again: What impact will this new update have on Facebook Business Pages?
If you manage or own a Facebook page, you should be cognizant of the fact that people ‘Like’ posts to show support for brands to which they are attached, and are used as a brand impact statistic. Likes to a post or page, symbolize several things such as – an indication of popularity, engagement and social acceptance by different networks within Facebook, a positive reaction to a brand and an indication of awareness and interest. They enhance a brand’s reputation while giving it more exposure to the fan’s friends and groups.
Now, people will soon be able to easily express how they feel about your content. Do they love it? Does it shock them? Does it make them to cry? I would be lying if, I didn’t admit that as a content creator, this simply is terrifying. However, at the same time it’s exhilarating.
We will now have the opportunity to better understand what a “like” truly means and in turn, we will have more insights to develop the right type of content with which our audiences engage with; our clients actually want. And of-course it is the ‘Karma’ of every Social Media Strategist and Content Manager. Yes some content might (and probably will) publicly flop, but think about the learning’s! Copywriters will become even more important than they already are, in creating content for Facebook. Creativity will be needed!
Another interesting question that is probably being asked by every single one of us, who makes a living from managing/growing Facebook Pages is: How will Reactions affect the algorithm?
Currently, user’s Facebook News Feed organically pushes posts out to them based on engagement, with likes being a mainstay for propagation. What will happen though, when a user shows anger towards content produced by a brand/business? Will the algorithm stop showing content from that page to that user? Similarly, how will the algorithm react to the other emotions that might not easily show if a user likes or dislikes the content? Is “wow” (surprise) good or bad in the eyes of Facebook? Will the bots be able to tell if it’s a “Wow amazing, I love that!” or “Wow, that’s a piece of crap”!
Yet another question to be thought by us, who grill to widen the reach of post/page and drive engagement is: How complex will it be to analyse Facebook engagement and impact for brands?
Negative reactions like anger and sadness can impact on a brand’s reputation, and could be used maliciously. So posting is going to become more of a challenge for social media managers, who will have to be even more careful not to offend members of their target audience. Negative reactions can also be seen as valuable feedback and a sign that a company needs to do better to please their target audience. Another thing that social media marketers will have to look out for is the spread of negative influencers or trolls, who are paid by competitors to devalue or defame a brand name. It will be much easier for trolls to create angry or sad statistics against a brand name.
Very important question for all those who plan their annual marketing spend is: How will this affect Facebook Advertising? How will RoI be measured on Boost post/Promote Page? Well! I will rest all the curiosity here to invite an open discussion for you all.
There are a lot of questions around this new feature on Facebook and while it might terrify me, I have been trying to get ahead of it and start thinking on what I can do, to help the pages I manage, to be benefited from these coming changes. After all, I do work in social media and if there’s one thing we all know about this industry is that changes happen overnight and learning how to cope up with them is an absolute necessity.
Marketers are always looking for new ways to gauge the impact of their activities, and these options are not to be sniffed at. It may not be a perfect solution for some, but there is an opportunity for those willing to take it!
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