What Facebook's New Reactions Mean for Marketers

Michelle Markelz
Marketing News Weekly
Current average rating    
Key Takeaways

What? Facebook launched five additional ways for users to interact with posts based on emotional reactions.

So what? The feature offers marketers a more nuanced and accurate impression of Facebook users’ feelings on content.

Now what? For now, brands are limited to analyzing the reactions left on their own content.

The feature promises a trove of customer data for brands to precisely target ads and solicit audience feedback

Facebook announced the launch of its Reactions feature, an extension of the “like” button, on February 24. The technology allows users to select from six animated emojis where formerly they could only “like,” comment or share to interact with a post. The extension, according to Facebook, is meant to provide users with more options to react to posts where “liking” doesn’t seem appropriate or doesn’t convey the right message. The feature also expands the ways that consumers can interact with brands, and opens up new possibilities for engagement and social listening.

Following 2015, the year the Oxford Dictionaries named an emoji the “Word of the Year,” it seems anyone engaging in social listening will need to interpret more than text to comprehend the complete consumer lexicon. Some are ahead of this curve, like Big Spaceship, a New York City-based analytics agency working on measuring brand sentiment with emoji tracking and quantifying technology, Ad Age reports.

On the same day Reactions were announced, Chevrolet posted an ad to YouTube for its 2016 Malibu that hinged on the new feature. The ad laments the limitations of liking and encourages viewers to start loving, particularly, the Malibu. As of March 3, the ad garnered 543 “likes,” 179 “loves,” 16 “wows,” 7 “hahas,” 6 angry reactions and 2 sad reactions.

The All-New 2016 Malibu: From Like to Love | Chevrolet

Although Facebook has said the Reactions will not be individually scored, but rather all six will be interpreted as “likes” in its newsfeed algorithm, some have speculated it’s only a matter of time before the variety of reactions are leveraged for Facebook’s gain in ad sales. The potential for application is wide. With more specific data on the way audiences react to content on Facebook, advertisers could potentially target their ads to people who respond favorably to them, or they could schedule their ads to run when reactions to other posts suggest the emotional context is right for their message.

Author Bio:

Michelle Markelz
Michelle Markelz is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. She can be reached at mmarkelz@ama.org.
Add A Comment :

Become a Member
Access our innovative members-only resources and tools to further your marketing practice.