Facebook Reactions

Only a few days ago, Facebook finally started to roll out it’s long-awaited ‘Reactions‘, followed shortly by the below post from founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Many people have asked for a dislike button on Facebook, but the reasons why they have kept the idea at arm’s length for so long are fairly clear – Facebook has had plenty of bad press for it’s failures in preventing bullying and harassment among users and it’s lack of tools to stop this from happening. (Since I drafted this blog – multiple news sites have covered famous model Cara Delevingne speaking out on exactly this topic.)

But however much Zuckerburg might be discussing this on a personal level, I have the feeling that this feature is really for the large companies using Facebook. As someone who manages several commercial Facebook pages, despite experience and knowledge it can sometimes to frustrating to try and figure out why certain posts do well organically. Why do certain posts resonate with people, why are they sharing it in particular, how are they engaging with it? The sterile figures of reach/view/share/comment often don’t really help.

With reactions, you can have a much better idea of what is motivating people. If I were to post a political piece about arts cuts, is it making people sad, or is it making them angry? Does news about a long-awaited theatre revival just make people happy (“like”) or are they amazed (“wow”)? Knowing what your audience’s emotional response, knowing what drives them, instead of just looking at raw numbers and then guessing, is an incredibly useful thing to be able to report on, and to be able to build on with future campaigns.

Massive thank you and shout-out to @bethmwells for discussing this with me and suggesting ideas.