The news that Facebook are planning to introduce a whole host of 'Reactions' alongisde the traditional like button has recently been confirmed by the company's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox. with an official announcement expected in the next few weeks. Instead of users being presented with a single Like button to interact with posts, by hovering over it they will instead have five more options: 'Love', 'Haha', 'Wow', 'Sad' and 'Angry' ('Yay' was apparently rejected in the end because it wasn't 'universally understood). But how will this change affect the way businesses use and benefit from Facebook?
Engagement levels will increase
And of course, that's a good thing. When the like button was originally introduced all those years ago, it immediately gave you lazy internet users the ability to express support, spread the word about something or just get yourself noticed by someone at the click of a button. You no longer needed to share a piece of content with all of your friends or type out a comment to engage with a post, and subsequently engagement skyrocketed. You only have to look at the huge engagement rates on Instagram with their ❤️ button and Twitter's decision to introduce a similar feature as a measure of how influential liking has become. Now users have the ability to share a wider range of emotions than a simple like, you should expect to see overall engagement rates go through the roof. For businesses, that means your content is going to get shared more widely to more people - which only adds to the benefits of dedicating more time to your social media marketing.
Businesses will have to think about how to target each reaction
No longer will your company's posts be looking for just likes or shares. When Reactions are introduced, businesses are going to have to think not about if their followers are going to engage with the post, but how they will engage. Are they going to find it funny? Is it going to wind them up? Is the content so good that it justifies a 'love'? Perhaps a little further down the line, the true acid test of a successful post will be measured by the number of loves rather than likes that it receives. Once again, this opens up the possibility of overall engagement and reach increasing thanks to these new changes. If you're not already active on the major social networks, then now is the perfect time to catch up with the rest of the world.
They could inform future content schedules
Once Reactions have bedded into the way we use Facebook every day, it's gonna be time to start digging into the data to see how people are using Reactions on your posts. If people are clicking 'angry' more than they're clicking 'like', you might need a total rethink about your social media strategy. On the other hand, if you're picking up more loves than any other reaction then that almost means a kind of double vindication for the stuff you're posting. Facebook analytics are about to get a whole lot more detailed, but it's going to give Social Media Managers like me a lot more insight about how our posts are being received. That, in turn, will leave us much better informed about the best sort of stuff to post for each Facebook page.
The above image shows the analytics for a viral video I created for one of my clients last year. Although Reactions were just in their testing phase and only available in a few countries, this vidoe spread into those countries. You can see how Reactions are going to play out in Facebook's built-in analytics. Here, the Haha reaction seemed to perform the best, with Love following closely after. These analytics are going to give people like me the chance to really dig deep and see what content is and isn't working for businesses, and tailor future postings accordingly.
With the imminent introduction of Facebook Reactions, it's more important than ever for businesses to devote their time and resources towards having an active presence on social media. As engagement is likely to go up, so will reach, meaning there's more chance of company's posts been seen more widely and maybe even go viral. If you're thinking of going head-on into the world of social media, you're going to need an expert who understands the needs of your business to help you out with it. See how I can help you by navigating to the Contact section of my website today.
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