Facebook Reactions | What it means for brands

If you haven’t heard of Facebook’s new reaction button by now, then you need to crawl out of that cave you’ve been living in!
Back in September 2015, we had an announcement that Facebook will be creating some form of ’empathy’ button, and now six months later their new and improved like button is here for all Facebook users to enjoy.
What exactly is this new button then? Well, after announcing that a dislike button would not be happening (much to many users disappointment), Facebook have released ‘reactions’, which consist of ‘wow’, ‘sad’, ‘love’, ‘haha’, ‘angry’ and of course the trusted ‘like’. To access the reactions, all you need to do is hold down the like button (easy as pie).
Facebook claimed they undertook some extensive research which included focus groups and surveys to determine exactly what reactions would be used most when interacting with content on Facebook. Having tested reactions since last year, Facebook have said the feedback received was positive, and they spent a lot of time and effort creating the perfect emoticons to showcase the reactions.
Where do brands fit into all of this then? To be honest, these new reactions won’t have a huge or immediate impact on brands. What they do allow brands to do though is qualitatively analyse the sentiments of users interacting with their posts through Facebook insights. The majority of brands analyse comments more than they take notice of how many likes they may have received, however with users now able to express emotion, their analysis’ may change.
FB Reaction
As Facebook develop their algorithms in line with their new button, it may be that how users react to certain ads can be used to inform future campaigns. With nothing set in stone, Facebook have said that the new reactions could affect the way ads display in your newsfeed in future, as a weighted system may be set in place to ensure users are seeing ads they want to see. An example given by Wired was that if an individual reacted by clicking ‘sad’, a brand can reach out to that user, similar to how customer service reach out to complainants on Twitter.
What do you make of Facebook’s new ‘reaction’ button? Have you been reacting to much, or are you happy sticking to the ‘like’ button?

Written by Shannon May