Trump said something controversial. The fan favorite was sent home on the “Bachelor.” Storm devastation hit the South. Beyoncé dropped a new music video. Peyton Manning is considering retirement. Your ex’s sister had a baby. Find out which “Friends” character you should date.
This is what fills our newsfeeds on a daily basis. Whether your reaction to said content is excitement or an eye roll, it still makes you feel something.
It’s been a whole 48 hours since Facebook rolled out their new “Reactions” feature, and we have a few reactions of our own, from the agency perspective.
Users can now respond to a post in five additional ways to the traditional “Like.” They’ve officially introduced “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad” and “Angry,” with corresponding interactive emojis.
As social media strategists, we think these reactions could change the whole game of ad campaign targeting and reporting.
So, what are the pros and cons?
It’s already possible to target ads based on geography, gender, industry, website history, interests and even fans of a specific Facebook page. Based on how users respond to the content, we, as advertisers, can gauge the effectiveness of our ads and how to adjust them for the future. Before, there was only one reaction; or if someone felt strongly (in either a positive or negative way), they may have *gasp* commented on it.
Now there’s a chance for a more in-depth analysis of how users are responding to content. A “Love” obviously means that it was received with more affection than a “Like.” A “Haha” indicates that the user thought something was funny. An “Angry” reaction could mean that the user doesn’t like your message.
But the question remains: How accurate are all of these new layers, and how can they help brands understand their audiences? Say, for example, a car manufacturer was to launch an ad campaign aimed to prevent texting and driving. It features a destructive car accident to make its point. Users could easily respond to it with a myriad (okay, six) emotions ranging from “Sad,” “Wow,” “Angry,” or even “Like.” How do we know that the “Sad” or “Angry” is good? What if they dislike it so much that they decide not to associate with your brand anymore?
Not only is it hard to know what exactly users are feeling when selecting a specific emoji, Facebook’s analytics algorithm still shows all six of the reactions as a “Like” in reports. So really, has much changed?
Not really. But in the future, hopefully, it will. Once they are reported separately and advertisers can target based on those separate reactions, it could make a huge impact.
But for now, the reactions are just an added, somewhat incomplete, fun feature that allows the Facebook community to show how they really feel. That’s what Facebook is all about anyway, right? Feelings.
As users learn how to use this new-found emotional freedom, so will Facebook developers and then, in turn, advertisers. So go on and express yourself!