Facebook’s New Reaction Buttons: What Do They Mean For Your Business?

Facebook users can now react to updates with five additional emojis

Yesterday, Facebook’s ‘Like’ button got a bit of a facelift.

No longer are Facebook users constrained by a single reaction to a status update. After months of testing, users globally can now react to updates with five additional emojis, including ‘love,’ ‘haha,’ ‘wow,’ ‘sad,’ and ‘angry.’

On a mobile device, holding down on the like button, or on a desktop, hovering over the like button, will now display these five emoji options in addition to the traditional ‘like’ button.

Facebook users can now react to updates with five additional emojis

For Facebook, this change has been a year in the making. At a town hall Q&A last September at Facebook in Menlo Park, Mark Zuckerberg answered questions from people around the world. One of those questions was “We need to have more options than just a ‘Like’ button. Why don’t we have other options like ‘I’m Sorry’, ‘Interesting’, or ‘Dislike’? Zuckerberg responded by saying that Facebook had been testing this type of capability, and they were very close to shipping it.

But Facebook wasn’t interested in building a dislike button. They didn’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people were voting up or down on people’s posts. What people were really looking to do, Zuckerberg explained, is have the ability to express empathy toward an update.

At the time, this made perfect sense, and it still does. If someone posts a status update about a personal tragedy, it would pretty crass to ‘like’ it, but also wouldn’t make a lot of sense to simply dislike it either.

As Zuckerberg said at the same Q&A, “Not every moment is a good moment and if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events, like the refugees crisis that touches you or if a family member passed away, then it may not feel comfortable to ‘like’ that post. But your friends and people want to be able to express that they understand and that they relate to you, so I do think it’s important to give people more options.”

Given this approach, we now have these new reaction buttons.

For individuals, this update seems pretty straightforward. It will allow you to react in more versatile ways to your newsfeed posts. But given that it’s also being rolled out for business pages, what does it mean your business?

One of the first businesses to be on top of the new update was Chevrolet. After the update was made public, Chevrolet immediately released an online commercial for the new 2016 Malibu that encouraged Facebook users to not just ‘like’ their new vehicle, but ‘love’ it.

This was a solid piece of timely content marketing from Chevrolet, and it reinforced one of the focal points of Facebook’s new reaction buttons for businesses: emotional measurement.

Businesses will now be able to better determine what attitudes, opinions, and beliefs their fans hold toward a given post, without the need for a comment, providing them with a much better understanding of their audience.

This update will also allow brands to view reaction counts within Facebook’s page insights tool. These reactions are essentially new pieces of data for businesses to analyze, and any additional data businesses can gain from their potential and existing customers and fans is good data.

For instance, in the past, if you posted a blog that provided some really relevant information to your respective audience, rather than simply receiving a like, a ‘wow’ reaction may reinforce the original purpose of the article – that it was interesting, informational, and insightful. The ‘like’ button could simply not achieve this result.

Finally, because there are more options for users to react to a company’s post, there will more than likely be a decrease in comments on posts. I wouldn’t necessarily view this as a bad thing. While the new reactions feature may decrease the number of comments your page posts receive, it may actually increase the amount of engagements a post receives as users now feel that they have more options to quickly engage with a post, rather than taking the time to write a comment. This will also provide more quantitative data to analyze, whereas a comment wouldn’t provide this level of reactionary data.

Overall, I’m a fan of the new reactions options. I still think most people will defer to liking a post because that’s what people are used to. But it definitely adds a new layer of engagement for individuals and businesses alike.

Tell us what you think about the new the reactions feature in the comment section below!

Written by Luke Severn

Luke is a marketing coordinator at Kaufer DMC. He loves the Arctic Monkeys, David Fincher movies, and the Portland Trail Blazers.





Published February 25, 2016 by Luke Severn.
Categories: Social Media