Oh wow! Surprise! Facebook has finally released the new Reactions globally across the platform and the reactions have varied from like to love. Some have used them haha’ing their way through crazy memes, crying while watching/sharing Lorde’s powerful David Bowie tribute, then getting angry at a variety of things that I won’t share for fear of driving more anger.
Sentiment Possibilities – Not Realities
While the implications for marketers will lie in the eventual sentiment analysis, Facebook analytics does not yet differentiate between the emotions users are expressing when they choose something other than like on a post. We believe eventually that will become a part of reporting in page analytics and that will help gauge readers reaction to content a little better – if we can trust they’ll care beyond pressing a simple like and moving on.
This also means that monitoring posts on Facebook is a must. Until 3rd party tools that monitor social media (Hootsuite for example) catch up and have been updated, keeping a close eye on your Facebook page throughout the day is again the way to monitor reactions to content being shared. Especially on controversial topics.
In the data export for Facebook analytics, any reaction is still simply a like.
At the end of the day, the new Facebook Reactions are just that: reactions, new emoticons for Facebook users to enjoy. We do want to caution against “reaction-baiting” – posting content that takes advantage of these new expressions. It’s up to you, Facebook friends, to wield your reaction powers responsibly.
Account Manager, Integrated Services
Marketing Tech Strategist