By Ryan McBurney
Feb 24, 2016

Do We "Haha," "Wow," or "Love" Facebook's New Like Reactions?

No, unfortunately this is not a #DamnDaniel investigative piece.  But I do have some interesting news - Facebook has officially added “Reactions” to its user experience.

Facebook Reactions is essentially a steroid injection to the bicep of the “like” button. Instead of one “like” option, Facebook will now allow you to select the default ‘thumbs-up’ emoticon that you’re familiar with, or an emoticon that offers some nuance to your wordless response.

I’m mostly a fan of the update. I actually wasn’t even aware that this exact update was going to happen today, but I generally assumed the Like button would eventually get a facelift. Heck, it’s been in existence since 2010, which is a long time in Silicon Valley. Think about it - Vine had yet to be created and Snapchat was still being conceived in Keystone Light-fueled brainstorming sessions. 

The Like button also just seemed inappropriate at times.

This is especially true with posts or articles sharing sad or disappointing news.  Pressing the Like button just seems wrong in those situations. And writing a comment, at times, is often a little too much of a commitment.

Well, problem solved. Thanks to some geniuses at Facebook – or maybe we should credit the geniuses at Path - we now we have a fitting response to any and all Facebook posts from friends, brands, media outlets, etc. 

Aside from wondering about how this will play out for a dude whose name rhymes with Ronald Frump, I’m also wondering about how this affects my professional world of social media marketing.

First and foremost, content. This update (should) have significant effects when creating new content for fans, customers and audience groups. Brands and organizations will need to create content with these six emotions in mind. Each content piece MUST be written with a desired emotion in mind. Without this mindset, posts will miss the mark and miss out on additional engagement, which is still the driving factor for all content types, including for conversion-focused content.

Secondly, I think this will increase the number of “likes” and engagements across all of Facebook and Fan Pages. Hooray Facebook performance metrics! Will I take credit for this platform-wide boost in overall engagement? You’re darn-tootin’ right I will.

Lastly, reporting. This is something John Hotka and I, our awesome Campaign Coordinator, talked about almost immediately. It will be interesting to see how reporting changes. My guess is that Facebook will lump all Reactions into one metric, with the option to report on specific reactions on each post. If true, I won’t mind this at all.

In fact, I look forward to saying, “We received 338 ‘Hahas’ this week. That’s a 230% increase in laughs!”


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