- By Katie Patterson, Founder and CEO of Happy Medium
It’s been just over two months since Facebook altered its platform beyond the traditional thumbs up “Like” option to now include an array of emotions via emoticons on posts: Like, Love, Haha (Laughter), Angry, Wow and Sad. This shift allowed for users to react more appropriately to content rather than just being allowed to “Like” a post or comment if they wanted to share more thoughts, but the introduction had many brands wondering how this will impact social strategy.
In this short time, the reviews have largely been positive from in-house social departments and agencies alike. The new reactions allow the opportunity to understand an audience even more and tailor content for heightened engagement.
In particular, companies should pay close attention to the “Love” reactions because it might lend some insight to where you should dedicate a full ongoing campaign rather than just a post here and there. It also could lend insight into potential social media advocates for your brand if you have repeat “Love” reactions from particular users that start to stand out. These individuals could serve a greater purpose for getting your message out to the masses as they’re proven fans of your service or message.
Initially there was a lot of fear of the “Angry” reaction but fret not. As stated in my previous blogs, social media is a great opportunity to extend your customer service. If something is off or falling short, make sure to engage with your audience to show concern and offer a solution to the issue. Your fans will see that your brand cares about their experience and will have more confidence moving forward with your business or organization.
Facebook recently introduced the “Thankful” reaction in some markets for Mother’s Day which includes a flower animation across your screen when selecting. They have cited this will only be available temporarily, but it opens the door for future reaction appearances as Facebook finds interest.
From an analytics standpoint, all reactions are currently weighted equally so your strategist will need to dig a little deeper to research trends on your page rather than having it easily pulled from insights reports as “Likes” have been tallied previously, but the time investment could be worth it to catapult future campaigns to success.
Discussion among social media experts and pros include hopes that Facebook will allow for specific targeting based on reactions in the future. For example, if a politician posted details on an issue they were hoping to change, they could then target everyone who responded with “Angry” with a call to action such as signing a petition, showing up for an event or even writing other political leaders in hopes of change. Facebook isn’t there yet, but the future could present amazing opportunities for brands in this realm.
Stay tuned to see what other changes come about and how you can best utilize them for your own business or cause.