We’ve been hearing about the new Facebook reactions for a while now. Being tested in countries with lower online population, Facebook has slowly been introducing the idea of adding reactions “beyond the like”.
For years, there have been people who want a dislike button. Not just to say “This post sucks”, but to express sympathy or grief for those who have had a rough time lately. If your best friend posts “Gram just passed </3” You’re not going to like it, and while you might comment, it would be nice to leave another form of recognition that you’re sorry she’s going through this terrible time.
Because of this need for empathetic reactions, Facebook has released “love, haha, wow, sad, and anger” that appear when you hover over the like button for more than a second.
What Does This Mean for My Business?
Your customers are now able to engage with your posts in an entirely different manner than before. There are several ways that this will affect you positively and negatively.
To start, this is not the “death of the like” or “death of comments” as some places would lead ytou to believe. If you’ve been watching your newsfeed carefully, you’ll see that likes and comments still abound in places that they didn’t before. Reactions merely provide people another outlet to express their opinions about the content you’ve put in front of them.
The most frequent reaction thus far is “love”, as Mark Zuckerberg tells us here:
Now, this doesn’t mean that “haha, wow, sad, and angry” aren’t as “loved” as love, but they’re a bit more niche perhaps.
The “Death of Comments”
Some people are afraid that being able to convey more through a button click will lead to a decrease in commenting (a more valuable metric). To this we say, probably not. Yes we are very early into the new reactions, but it’s safe to assume that if someone is engaged enough to type out a comment today, as they were a week ago, they’re going to. Commenting is personal, you do it to either open discourse, or voice an opinion that probably won’t be conveyed through a little circle with eyes or a heart.
We suspect there will be a few here and there that will use this as an oppurtunity to quickly show an expression or a feeling that they might otherwise habe hidden, but on the whole, we trust that comments metrics won’t budge too much.
The Dawn of “Sad” and “Angry”
Yes, customers now no longer have to sit down and compose a lengthy letter of disapproval to you, now they can just send you an ANGRY FACE to show you they don’t like you! Does this mean anything for you? Well… Yes and no.
Firstly, this is going to entice a few more reactions from people who might otherwise have just passed on it. There are people out there who will “angry” your ad just for having it in front of them because they don’t like ads. This is okay. In fact, this can be used to help you judge the type of content your engaged audience is looking for, and help you to put more relevant content in front of the people who want it.
Jump in There!
Don’t be afraid to react to the brand and people you follow and get used to the new system. Explore it, have fun with it, and learn about what you feel when you react the way you do, and why you use the reactions you use. You’re a user just like your customers.
Go forth and react, business owners of the internet, and let your users react with you!