What Facebook’s new reactions mean for brands?

Facebook launched its new reactions yesterday. It’s great news for people who no longer have to wonder whether it’s okay to ‘like’ a sad message. Hovering over the ‘like’ button opens up 5 new options for quickly expressing how you feel. But what does it mean for brands?

Like, love, haha, wow, sad or angry

Despite pleas and petitions by users to add a ‘dislike’ button, Facebook decided to add more reactions. Having six reactions to choose from is smart and will benefit brands much more than a ‘thumbs down’ button.

Most brands probably want to elicit positive emotions in their followers, which is why it makes sense that most of the reactions are positive. But having the possibility to easily say you’re sad or angry about something is why reaction GIFs are so popular. It all comes down to the old adage that pictures are worth a thousand words. Emojis being so small could go for 10 words, which in social networks means scrolling through another five cute cat memes.

Now you can quantify people’s sentiment without analyzing comments

But back to brands. Instead of just begging for a like or share, brands can now ask people whether they ‘like’ or ‘love’ the newest product line of internet-connected socks. That’s an opportunity to increase your engagement numbers.

Every once in a while your brand might have bad news to share and now you’ll know exactly how sad or angry your followers are. It’s much easier to hit that ‘angry’ reaction button than to write a ranting comment.

And that’s good for brands for two reasons: the sentiment of these reactions can be quantified without going through each comment and comments will more likely be valuable feedback instead of emotional ranting. As a result, you will have more time to respond to thoughtful comments.

For now, Facebook Insights reports all of the reactions as likes. Odds are that’s going to change in the near future to include a detailed breakdown. To get ahead of the curve, you can already see the number of individual reactions by clicking on the number next to the reactions under each post.

 Which reaction does your brand want to be? Are you a ‘haha’ or a ‘love’ brand?