Facebook made five huge steps forward yesterday when they officially launched Reactions, a new feature that allows you to better express how you feel about others’ posts. Included in the new feature are the standard Like, but also Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry.
While some people are commenting that this new feature offers “too much choice,” and that a simple “dislike” button would have sufficed, I feel like Facebook simply skipped a step… If they had introduced a dislike button, it would have done well for a few years, but we would have ended up here eventually.
If you’re interested, there are a ton of sources that give a lot of information about the feature, from the original rumours, to the official release, and even a great exposé on the feature’s development from Geoff Teehan, the Product Design Director at Facebook.
The only thing on my mind, though, is how this new feature will revolutionize engagement between brands and their followers. Every social platform currently has some sort of Like, Comment, and Share, so adding something different is a unique tool to take advantage of on Facebook.
Marketing, above all else, is about communication between a business and its customers. It’s not just advertising, it’s two-way communication. Businesses relay information about their products and services to their (potential) customers, customers provide feedback, then the business either continues or adapts. In a world where brands can interact directly with their customers, there is no way that a new method of express opinions is a bad thing.
The various ways that a customer reacts or interacts with content you post online is called “engagement.” The level engagement is much higher when customers feel involved, which can be achieved through actions like Liking, Sharing, Commenting on posts. The new Reactions feature will have people even more involved, and therefore more engaged with your content and your brand.
Don’t forget, businesses can use these reactions with customers, as well. Too many brands wait for a customer to start a conversation with them, when what they should be doing is being the ones who start the conversation. You now have more ways to express yourselves to you customers!
One of the reasons marketers love Facebook is because of the data it has as its disposal. Geography, age, sex, likes, shares, activities… all data that can be used to better market a product or service to customers. Reactions is another data point, that businesses and brands can use to gauge how people are reacting to their messages, and help guide them to make more appropriate content decisions in the future.
Facebook Reactions is an amazing new feature, available now online and on mobile. Check it out, and share your own reactions in the comments!