fb reactionsThree months on and Facebook’s Reactions haven’t quite replaced the trusted “Like” button, which still reigns supreme. Out of the new options, “Love” is the most popular, with a whopping 51% share. However, it can be argued that “Love” is ultimately “Like +” in disguise, so perhaps it just goes to show how strong the “Like” really is. Quintly recently analysed 130,000 Facebook posts and found that 76% of interactions were still “Likes”. Having said this, many brands have already tried to embrace the change by posting associated content. Chevrolet did a commercial that was driven heavily by the feature and it was even released the exact same day the feature was announced. One really interesting thing to come out of this so far was Facebook’s first ever testing of a temporary Reaction – a flower for Mother’s Day in the US (and other countries that celebrate this event in May). This shows their intentions for the future and the massive potential for customised actions on one-off days or events such as this. The fact that they disappear after one day gives a Snapchat-esque feel to the whole thing.

 

Value for Marketers

There has also been some negative press on Reactions recently, privacy-wise, which seems to be a yearly routine for Facebook now. This year’s privacy concern involves the Belgian police warning consumers that Facebook is curating data through Reactions on how to advertise to them. At this point, however, it seems more and more obvious to count this as one of Facebook’s intentions – what is more intimate than knowing someone’s emotions towards things that you could potentially sell them? This brings us to social engagement insights, which is now a great deal more data-rich. The more people start to use Reactions, the more useful they will become for marketers.

This simple change is hugely valuable to marketers because the emotion or message behind “liking” is in many ways sub-divided and finally quantifiable – which it hasn’t been in the past. Furthermore, looking deeper into the consumer behaviours on social, if Reactions grow in popularity, the “Like” could potentially become the mundane acknowledgement of a post. This should not affect the algorithm, as it’s still post engagement and Facebook has confirmed all Reactions count in the same way but receiving a “Like” compared to a “Wow”, for instance, is fairly unexciting and might lose weight.

 

In Need of Wow’s

Another point for brands is the potential to use Reactions in a customer service sense – e.g. to reach out to people who are “Angry” at a post. Or retarget your next post to everyone who “Wow’s” your content. This is significantly simpler than trawling through comments to calculate how people feel about your content. And best of all, it can all be done within Facebook Insights, eliminating the need for third-party tools, which gives a more solid sense of validation.

Over time, this could affect social engagement as a whole, as people may essentially choose to engage with content based on how many “Wow’s” it has. Whether or not our dear friend “Like” ends up being acquaintance-zoned is hard to say, but the changes in social behaviour around Likes and Reactions have only started to show at this point in time.