Beyond the ‘Like’: Facebook's New ‘Reactions’ Add a Powerful Tool for Marketers
While Facebook's users are getting their first taste of the new "Reactions" emojis that recently rolled out, marketers are already working to better understand the impact they will have on their social media efforts.
Facebook Reactions, in case you missed it, are a collection of six emoji that can be clicked on all posts and pictures. They include: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.
I've written many times about how in the social media age a company had better make sure its products and customer experience are 100 percent in line with its brand promise. Otherwise, the company risks getting skewered on social media.
Positive or negative, these new Facebook Reactions are going to provide many moments of truth to the posts we make to our business pages (and to personal posts, which sometimes are more controversial.) I'm sure many businesses are going to stand up and take notice when they get laughed at or the angry face shows up as a reply to their posts, videos and pictures. This will create many learning possibilities.
For example, with Facebook now a paid reach medium, business pages must pay to "boost" their posts if they want them to be seen by their fans. Previously, the best way to know if a post was “working” was via comments, shares or likes. Page posts now can be “voted on,” providing feedback that's easily understandable.
With improved feedback, business page owners will be able to better determine what (and what not) to post. This is invaluable feedback that if harnessed correctly can help a company be more efficient in its approach to content creation and curation. And, of course, with better understanding of posts via reaction feedback, costs can be lowered by only posting things that are meaningful to your audience.
On a slightly different note, you can bet that Facebook will be using Reactions to better serve up content. The social network's never-ending obsession with making users’ feeds better — sometimes to its detriment — will use the reactions to serve up a better customer experience. This is another reason to do the analysis and make sure your posts resonate with your audience.
One last point: As users adopt the new Facebook Reactions, I anticipate there will be a jump in the amount of clicks that posts get. I don’t know if this will be permanent, but for now its my guess that since Facebook Reactions are new, many people will try them out. And since they provide additional ways to comment on a post, people who were frustrated with the previous mechanism (liking and commenting) will use this feature to better express themselves.
Lastly, keep in mind that some people will just click on an icon, well, just because they can or to confuse or annoy page managers (c’mon, you thought of that, didn’t you?).
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.