Facebook Reactions Now More Important Than Likes
Changes is inevitable in the digital world. And one of the latest changes in Facebook is the way its algorithm ranks content. The Facebook “like” button was one of the social media website’s most popular features. But now if you Want your Facebook posts to reach more people, you will need to pay more attention to reactions rather than likes.
More Facebook Emojis
Facebook has introduced more emojis that users can click on to quickly express their feelings about a post. With the new additions of “love, haha, wow, sad and angry” as opposed to the traditional “like”, we have been interested on how they affect the way Facebook’s algorithm ranks content.
Facebook has been looking at how people commented on posts and used emojis to share their sentiments. This feature has been worked on for more than a year. After tested with some possible reaction emojis with some users, it was found that most people like the new addition. And according to their study, reactions indicate a deeper level of engagement. So far, the reactions have already been used more than 300 billion times by users.
How to Use Reactions
Reactions are made available both on the Facebook website and also on the app. At the moment, users can add reactions to posts, photos and videos but not to comments. To use reactions on Facebook, just click once (long press) on the “like” button. You will see all of the possible emojis appear. Choose one and click on it. But if you do not see any new emojis in the Facebook app, close the app and then reopen. The new emojis should appear.
The new feature helps users react more sensitively to the nature of posts. And you can view other’s reactions on each posts. Facebook shows the top three reactions people have used on a post, photo or video. Click on reactions, and you will see how many people posted them and who those people are.
It has been confirmed by Facebook that they will be weighing the importance of reactions rather than “likes” when it comes to deciding which posts to be shown to users. With the new algorithm, posts that get more reactions, regardless whether Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry, will be more rewarding with more visibility in user’s News Feeds. In other words, getting more reactions will provide you a better opportunity in the News Feed rankings. And all five reactions are weighted equally.
This may not be good news to some businesses because many brands are trapped in negative cycles of posts being shown only to a small percentage of followers (1% commonly). They will then fail to get the engagement from these 1% which in turn decreases the posts ranking as per Facebook’s algorithm. So the next post will be shown to even lesser users.
So the better strategy is obvious, which is creating content to get reactions. This includes funny content to generate “Haha”; negative content to generate “Sad” or “Angry”; and shocking content to generate “Wow”. Therefore, avoid content which is bland and generate. Instead, focus to generate emotional responses.
Facebook can potentially use data from its Reactions beyond simply better targeting. For example, with insights from Reactions, Facebook can collect more emotional data. This means, collecting a more qualified data of how its users react to advertising, which could eventually be used to better pinpoint the right consumer, device, and moment for ad content.
Reactions are an easy way for Facebook to dip its toe into sentiment analysis. So Facebook will adjust its algorithm so sentiment becomes a ranking factor. It could also provide a better user experience. A more detailed view of user responses could allow for better post optimization, as well as better data on what content is most popular by consumer. Therefore, it could help to yield better content and more visibility.
By classifying the Reactions, Facebook will have a better idea on users moods and preferences. Then users can be segmented accordingly. That means, more ideal content can be delivered to each of these user types in future moments. In other words, Facebook could decide what types of posts and ads to show in their respective News Feeds.
The social network could also take it a step further and eventually use this emotional data for ad targeting, which would allow advertisers to zero in on users based on the specific reactions they had to a type of content. Also, data from Reactions could simply be used to fine-tune the content users see in their News Feeds.
Reactions give Facebook the potential to offer its advertisers the ability to serve ads next to the posts that have generated positive reactions. Facebook could also encourage advertisers to boost their own well-liked posts to ensure the content users like most is seen by the widest possible audience. And with ads becoming more targeted and optimized, Facebook could even charge more for inventory and increase revenue through promoted posts while allowing brands to experiment with promoting posts based on audience reactions.
Reaction buttons are actually just another method for Facebook to try to demonstrate engagement value to advertisers. So business brands have the opportunity to better understand exactly how their customers are reacting to their content with something as clear as a happy or sad face.
However, Reactions have presented some difficulties for business clients. It can be challenging to interact with disgruntled customers on social media because many are choosing to simply leave a Reaction rather than a comment. It is difficult to grasp a more in depth understanding from Reactions alone. Harder to identify the reason of customers dissatisfaction, and even harder to get in touch with them to resolve the issue as you cannot reply to a Reaction as easily as you can reply to a comment.
Facebook could also use data from its Reaction buttons to inform future platform updates. By looking into videos, images, or regular statuses that generate the most diverse Reactions, those platforms can then be improved or updated accordingly.