After much anticipation, Facebook has brought out a set of emojis called “Reactions”, which have been introduced to supplement the longstanding “Like” button (http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/02/reactions-now-available-globally). The symbols were narrowed down to a set of five (Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad, Angry) after extensive testing by Facebook users in Spain and Ireland. To date, Facebook Reactions are in Beta, and are slowly being rolled out to Facebook’s users across the globe.
How will Facebook Reactions impact the way consumers interact with brands?
The simple answer? It gives consumer more power.
Why? The ability to differentiate what you say, and what a business hears, gives the customer the ability to pinpoint a company’s weaknesses and strengths. On the flip-side, this also means businesses have more power because they are able to gather data on exactly what their target market wants, and shape their offering accordingly.
We have yet to see exactly how these relationships will play out, but one thing’s for sure, this will definitely shift the marketing landscape.
Reactions as a positive for brands
For brands and marketers, this could be a powerful tool to get immediate insight into one’s audience without holding any polls or doing much research – all they need to do is look at their Facebook stats!
Chevrolet is one of the first brands to jump on the bandwagon with their advert for the 2016 Malibu. The advert encourages people to show their ‘love’ for the new car. This helps create more engagement for the brand, forming a better relationship between brand and consumer.
Negative concerns on the rise
Despite popular approval, some negative concerns have been raised. For example, how does this affect Facebook’s algorithm?
Currently, Facebook tracks the information you look at and ‘like’, in order to tailor your news feed and give you more content that’ll interest you. Facebook has stated that, “in the beginning, it won’t matter if someone likes, “wows” or “sads” a post — we will initially use any Reactions similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content.”
However, an issue could arise when people are more inclined to ‘like’ negative or positive stories on their feed, thereby receiving more of only one kind of news. This could be an issue when some people use Facebook as their source of news, and see social media as a way to stay current.
As a marketer, this could pose some problems too. If your brand and its content don’t fit into the ‘likes’ of your audience, it will become increasingly difficult to reach your audience.
This means that marketers will have to use alternate methods such as boosting their content to a specified audience. As a consumer, if this is something you don’t want to see, there’s not much you can do to avoid it.
However, Facebook Reactions can also be rewarding for marketers. Reactions give them an insight into their audience’s needs that could be difficult to attain otherwise. As a consumer, they allow interaction with a brand which could make them feel more valued.
If you are willing to spend extra time on Facebook, you’lll be able to obtain useful information. This can help you in future campaigns to more successfully engage consumers. Don’t be shy to use these reactions to your advantage to maximise your business’ potential.