Showing your true emotions with Facebook

Remember when Facebook introduced the ‘Like’ button back in 2009 giving us the power to show our appreciation for status updates, photos and other content? Well the social media giant is set to revolutionise the way we express our true emotions as it rolls out ‘Reactions’.

What was once simply meant to make interactions on Facebook easier has become a crucial part of the way Facebook technology decides what to show its users. In fact, Facebook’s 1.6 billion users click ‘like’ more than 6 billion times a day.

No doubt you have noticed that if you like a post a friend has shared about the latest health fad you suddenly start to see ads and articles featuring similar products? Facebook’s software calculates what you might want to see based on the things you ‘like’. Who’d have thought that a simple thumbs up could have generated such big value for Facebook?

Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has said that the new emoji-style faces will add “a little bit of complexity” to a user’s reaction allowing them to convey the appropriate emotion when they read content. The ‘love’, ‘haha’, ‘wow’, ‘sad’ and ‘angry’ buttons have been tested in several countries and will soon appear underneath users’ posts in the UK.

Adding more complexity to our choice of emotions may seem like a minor change, especially as people already use a wealth of emojis in their comments on Facebook but it will be good news for advertisers.  ‘Reactions’ will provide the social media giant with more useful information to put into the News Feed algorithm which will make content more relevant not just to users, but to advertisers too.

But is it all good news?

Facebook ‘Reactions’ will give consumers the power to express their love for brands, but it will also give them the opportunity to disagree with them using one quick click so, while ‘Reactions’ are likely to lead to increased engagement, they won’t necessarily always be positive. And what if ‘Reactions’ are used to rank pages or what if reach and ‘Reactions’ are linked?

If Facebook is a part of your social strategy, you need to prepare for ‘Reactions’ by understanding why you use Facebook in the first place and defining the business goals you want to achieve through Facebook.

As ‘Reactions’ will give consumers a bigger voice on Facebook, businesses should start to adapt their strategy now in preparation. After all, having the ability to find out how customers really feel about brands in real time will be less time consuming and less complex than using analytics programmes which can be confusing and difficult to interpret.

Will you use ‘Reactions’ to tell businesses how you feel about them and their products? How do you think ‘Reactions’ will change the way Facebook works for your business?  Tweet us your thoughts.

Tags: Social Media

Posted by Frankie Boyle
on February 19, 2016