Facebook users have been asking for a Dislike button for years now. But instead of releasing a single button, Facebook launched Reactions, a multi-emotional/reactionary response.
You can access these new Reactions by hovering your mouse, or finger on mobile, over the existing Like button and choosing your desired Reaction. From a content marketing perspective, this is a smart move by Facebook.
The Power of a Like…or Rather a Reaction
Facebook’s Like model has grown so much since it’s initial installment. When someone sees a post of mine, they can tell me that they liked it with a single click. Followers can even write a comment or even share the post to their friends.
I have to admit: When I get a like/comment/share on one of my posts, I get a sense of accomplishment. (And for a few seconds a little giddy.)
Why is that?
Simply put, it’s a sense of approval in this social proofing environment. My followers are enjoying what I’m sharing and I can then create more content that my followers enjoy. Soon, they’ll begin to trust what I share with them.
Many businesses use this Like system to create content that their audience enjoys. This requires a deep understanding of your brand’s voice, your audience’s likes AND dislikes.
As a content creator, it’s sort of like:
Hey, you’re showing me something that I like.
Now show me more things like this.
Do it enough times, and I’ll start thinking about buying things from you.
(Note how I phrased that as “start thinking about buying“. As a brand, you can only influence your audience so much. In the end, they are the ones who make the decision to click ‘buy.’ Your job as a content marketer is to push them past that tipping point of not buying, to buying.)
What about these new Reactions?
Of course, likes can only take you so far. In other words, it’s only ONE type of response. If you’re looking for a more in-depth response from your audience, you would have to go through each comment and determine the user’s tone. But we all know how (in)articulate comments can get.
But with Facebook Reactions, we can get a variety of emotional responses. We can see more complex responses from users who don’t want to spend time writing a comment. Of course, that’s not to say that you SHOULDN’T discard a post’s comments. You still want to engage and respond with your followers!
So what should you do with these Reactions?
As with most new features of Facebook, businesses should just take it in and analyze the data. Even though Reactions is now available across the entire platform, it’s still new to the user. There will inevitably be some controversy to its adoption like every new Facebook feature.
So for now, keep creating quality content and continue tracking user engagement. Just make sure to pay closer attention to HOW your audience is interacting with each post.
What to look for with Facebook Reactions:
1. The Ratio of each Reaction per post – Is there a particular reaction your audience defaults to with each post?
2. The Ratio of Reactions to Comments – Is there a increase/decrease in comments, but decrease/increase in Reactions?
Ultimately, just make sure you’re listening to your audience and are tailoring your content to spark their engagement. Facebook Reactions is just another tool for your business to create engaging and meaningful content for your audience.
Have you been using the new Facebook Reactions? What’s it been like for you? Let me know in the comments below!