Last week saw one of the more substantive changes to Facebook in recent memory: Facebook Reactions. For the first time in Facebook history you now have more options than the typical “like” button providing more data about the way others feel about what you have said or shared. Sure, Facebook is now learning the nuances of the way you emotionally react to your feed, insomuch as emojis communicate nuance, but YOU and your business can also use the emotional engagement as a marketing tool.

No Longer Afraid To Go Negative?

Is almost always a marketing necessity to know how your customers feel about you, your business and your product.  As Facebook realizes that negative feelings are feelings, too, many brands will likely want to steer users away from using the angry emoji in reaction to a post. More commercial brands like, say, Bosch or the new Publix opening on Glenburnie, probably don’t want their audience to associate their content with anger. But the addition of the angry emoji, as well as the sad emoji, can prove useful for purpose-driven organizations.

When your marketing plan hinges on a divisive issue, your content often requires the audience to feel outrage. However, there hasn’t been a way, up until now, for users on Facebook to react without taking time and energy for a comment.

Before the launch of Facebook Reactions, there was no quick way for a user to respond to an upsetting post and if that user didn’t want to leave a comment, there was no way for the purpose-driven organization to know if they were inciting an emotional reaction. Now, it is easy to quickly mark outrage for a post. This in and of itself makes potentially more opportunity for purpose-driven organizations to know whether or not their content is effective.

Take a look at the Facebook page for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which raises awareness and funds for environmental causes. This week’s post detailed the devastating Peruvian oil spills, mentioning the oil company behind it. Of the 27,000 reactions on the post, 1,600 of those were angry, and 2,000 were sad.


More Data is More Data

Regardless of whether or not negative emotions are immediately useful for your brand, Facebook Reactions now provides YOU with more data. And more data is always more data. This can be useful in generally learning about your audience: Do they engage more with a certain kind of content? Do they engage in a particular way more frequently?  One way to use the new information is to measure Facebook Reactions on a post against your goals. Was your goal to get engagement via making your audience laugh, and did Reactions prove that? Or did you hope to surprise and delight with your content, and are the Reactions a mix of “love” and “wow” emoji?

You can also use Facebook Reactions to inspire goals you might not have had before. Perhaps your content always skewed positive, aiming for likes and comments. Now you might diversify—try out different content forms or tones, aiming for users who are itching to use the new Reactions. Whatever you end up using Reactions for, it’s clear that it’s a boon for purpose-driven organizations, or those with divisive missions. It’s also going to be interesting to see what kind of data is collected by brands in a post-Reactions world.

If you would like to learn more about Facebook Reactions and your business reach out. I look forward to hearing from you!