What’s Your Reaction?

Gone are the days that you can merely like a post on Facebook. The social media giant brought out a whole new collection of Facebook Reactions this week allowing its users to stamp posts with a like, love, haha, wow, sad or angry emoticon. Don’t be fooled by their comical appearance, these reactions will dramatically change the way your use Facebook.


Facebook used to be the go to advertising space for businesses. Their audiences spent huge amounts of time on the platform, they could interact directly with them in a less advertising-esque manner and it was free. Now? Not so much.

Facebook has essentially evolved into an advertising channel. Organisations now have to pay for any posts to reach a significant amount of their audience with organic reach rapidly approaching 0. Advertisements are now marked ‘Sponsored’ and must meet strict advertising guidelines. And these adverts are popping up in new places around the website. (Although it is still an incredibly cost effective advertising option).

So what do these new Facebook Reactions have to do with online advertising?

The easy answer is nothing . . . yet. This extended catalogue of reactions came about due to demand to show a range of emotions through the click of a button rather than simply liking a post or leaving a comment. It is always awkward when someone posts about a death in the family or a traumatic incident and the only option is to like it. So now there is plenty of choice. You can express your anger. You can leave a laughable response. Or you can even grade how much you like a post against liking, loving or sheer surprise and excitement!

But this newest addition serves a greater purpose than simply meeting this customer need. It allows Facebook to get a better idea of why people are responding to the post. Is it angering a lot of their audience? Does this person post incredibly hilarious updates? Do Facebook users truly love their content? The answers to each of these questions provide an extra level of data about their followers and will – in the future – assist with ad targeting, identifying influential pages and possibly even penalising pages which constantly create content which makes its followers angry.

As far as we know, Facebook hasn’t implemented any additional features against these reactions yet. But there is no question that they are coming. So how do you respond?

Now is your time to do a bit more research into your audience. Do you want to capture them with hilarious content? Do you want to post controversial articles which make them angry? Do you want them to fall in love with your content? These are questions which you need to answer and you can now actually test these theories amongst your audience. Maybe you are followed by a lot of people who love funny content – well start targeting them. Maybe they love to connect on an emotional level with the sad or haha reactions – well start targeting them.

It is only a matter of time before Facebook starts assigning cause and effect relationships between these reactions and your page – so take advantage of it while it lasts!