Do Marketers “Love” or "Angry" Facebook's New Reactions?

Mar 3, 2016

It seems like people have been clamoring for the ability to “dislike” a Facebook post for years, and last week the social network finally rolled out not 1, but 5 additional “reactions” that are available for use on individual social posts.

While these are certainly fun for the average user, these new emotions have the ability to capture the imagination of marketers, and there are a variety of ways that these reactions can be used to learn from and engage with your Facebook audience. Let’s look at a few of the possible ways that these can affect the way that you use and post.

Offer opportunities to reach out to people directly with negative impressions

In the past, we have worked with with big brands and actively engaged with negative comments on their pages and posts to help turn irate customers into satisfied customers, and often new evangelists for the brand. However, most people have to be extremely dissatisfied with a brand to leave a comment, and many would simply fly under the radar without having their concerns or “dislikes” about the brand addressed.

The “reactions” offer brands a proactive way to directly reach out to any customers who may interact with a post with a “Sad” or “Angry” emoji, and find out exactly what issues that they may be having to take such an action. By paying close attention and coming up with a defined process, it may be possible to proactively reach out to dissatisfied customers before they marinate in their “bad experience”. Plus, by reaching out it can also help to build goodwill even if they aren’t an extremely dissatisfied customer.

Get creative with new types of engaging social posts

Let’s face it. Facebook posts have gotten a little bit stale over the past few years. Once of the biggest uses of “reactions” may simply be to reenergize marketer’s creative juices and uses these in a variety of fun new ways to engage with their audience.

We have already seen Chevrolet launch an advertising campaign centered on the topic “From Like to Love” in which they utilize the new features in a unique way to promote their brand. You can watch the video below.

Brands can also use this strategy to tap into their audience and gain more of a constant “super focus group” for testing new products and features, either before or after their launch. You could easily utilize a sponsored post to a targeted audience to get feedback that could provide invaluable data on the direction that needs to be taken to have a successful product lifecycle.

For example, if a designer was looking to roll out a summer clothing line for young professionals, they could sponsor a series of posts targeting women between the ages of 22-30, who are interested in fashion. These posts would contain photographs of the clothing, and solicit direct feedback about the looks and styles that people “love” not just “like”. Based on this feedback, you could eliminate particular styles without having to go through the entire production process to find out that a particular dress is a bust.

Learn what people really think of your post, product or brand

Finally, you can really use “reactions” to learn what people think about your brand. Are you consistently feeling the “love” or are you seeing much more negative feedback on your products and posts? Do you need to take a close look at your social media strategy, or is your organization facing larger problems as a whole?

By giving people the ability to subtly give their feedback without having to resort to more visible comments, you are truly gaining the insight you need to use your audience in more creative and useful ways.