Facebook Reactions:Use them in Your Business

As users of Facebook, we have all had a chance to use the new Facebook Reactions.  I don’t know about you, I have had fun with the opportunity to express more than “like” on the posts of friends and on the pages of businesses.  That like button was one of the most popular features on Facebook and I have little doubt that others are finding the newest release even more fun.  The newest five are love, ha ha, wow, sad and angry.


Just in case you have not been on Facebook lately, here is some basic info:

How the New ‘Reactions’ Feature Works

The new reaction buttons are already available to everyone — no need to enable their functionality. They’re also simple to use.

To react to a Facebook post, hover your cursor over the traditional Like button on any Facebook post to reveal one of six new emotive icons: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry.


To react to a Facebook post on the mobile app, hold your finger on the Like button until the six options appear. Then, choose an icon by tapping on it. 

Now that I’ve had some time to react to this new feature, I’ve done some thinking about the impact these new reactions buttons might have on both marketing and user behavior. Now that I have touched on how the reactions buttons work, let’s  walk through a few implications for marketers going forward. How can you make the most of this new feature to help your business page?

Facebook Reactions for Pages

As a Facebook page administrator, you will notice that folks are reacting to your posts instead of just “liking” them.  These will show in your notifications.


On your posts themselves, you will see the different icons that people have clicked on.  People can also go back to your older posts and now leave a reaction on those as well.

You can obviously click on the link and see specifically who liked, loved, wowed and so on your posts.


Since our pages posts are public, it is important to remember that everyone can see your breakdown of Facebook reactions.  This is going to include people who are not your admins as well as folks who are not even fans of your page.  The positive side of this is that you can also go to the page of your competition and see the breakdown of their reactions as well.

There have been questions about “reactions” for the comment section of our posts.  That is still not available and my research shows not to look for it anytime soon.


Why the change? As Facebook’s product design director , Geoff  Teehan recently wrote:

 Not everything that’s shared is meant to be liked. The death of your friend’s dog or an article about an unsavory politician won’t just elicit a single emotion in users – -so why limit them to “liking” it?

The same is true for the posts brands publish to their Facebook accounts, which is why these new reactions are opening new doors for marketers.

The act of reacting may seem simple, but there are some nuances to the feature — especially regarding how to analyze it — that are relevant to marketers. Here’s what we know so far:

Reactions are counted the same as Likes. (For now)

According to Facebook’s announcement:

If someone uses a reaction, Facebook will infer that person wants to see more of that type of post.” In other words, if you react to a post with the “angry” icon, Facebook’s algorithm will treat it as if it was Liked when deciding where to place it in a user’s News Feed

 (Learn more about Facebook’s News Feed here.)

There has been some concern stated about the angry reaction and if it will have an impact on our pages.  Facebook reactions will not have an impact on your page with negative feedback. So an angry reaction does not fall into the same category as report, spam, unlike page or block page

Why would Facebook’s algorithm treat an Angry reaction the same way they count a positive reaction like a Like or a Love? A study by Jonah Berger, author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On,” found that content that triggered an angry reaction in readers is 34% more likely to end upon the New York Times “Most Shared” page, while posts that make people anxious are 21% more likely to end up on that page.

In other words, people want to see the posts that’ll make them angry, just like they want to see the posts that’ll make them happy.


Keep an eye on this, though. In the future, Facebook may choose to rank posts differently based on their reactions. (In fact, some people are concerned Facebook’s already ranking posts differently and just aren’t telling us.)

Limited analytics are available on Facebook Insights

As of right now, you can’t see the general trends of reactions on your business Page. So if you’re an administer for a business Page and you want to see the number of people who have reacted with a “sad” icon on a post, for example, then you have to open the Insights page for that post directly. Also, that number is not currently broken down into organic versus paid, so you can’t see which reactions may be influenced when you boosted a post compared to which ones you garnered organically.

To access Facebook Insights on a post, simply click the reach number of any post. The reach number is located right above the reaction buttons on a post, as shown below:  


If you are in your insights section of your page and want to see the breakdown of a particular post in relation to the insights, you will have to click on that post You’ll be taken to a screen that breaks down the numbers of each reaction net on the post itself and on the post shared elsewhere, if applicable. These posts will still only show interactions on a per-post level. 

Another way to open Facebook Insights is by clicking “Insights” in your Page’s navigation bar, and then clicking directly into the post you’d like to analyze.


If you want to see which specific users have reacted to your posts and what their reactions were, then go to the post and click on each emotive icon for a list of names.


Only the first three reactions people take are shown.

You can click on the number of reactions to see all reactions and the number of each reaction per post, but the first three reactions are the ones that’ll show up to users first, unless they click into the reactions on the post.


Ways Pages can use reactions:

A deeper insight on how your audience reacts

Facebook’s reactions feature gives marketers a brand new feedback loop from their audience. Users who may not have previously wanted to “Like” your content (maybe because they didn’t enjoy it, or didn’t feel it was appropriate) are now able to send more specific signals about how your content makes them feel.


Since any reaction currently counts as a Like in Facebook’s algorithm, people who weren’t previously inclined to touch a brand’s content may now react to it, ultimately increasing the signal to Facebook that the content is worth serving to other audiences. This is going to become extremely important for brands as mobile becomes a bigger deal

Although Facebook has said the Reactions will not be individually scored, but rather all six will be interpreted as “likes” in its newsfeed algorithm, some have speculated it’s only a matter of time before the variety of reactions are leveraged for Facebook’s gain in ad sales. The potential for application is wide. With more specific data on the way, audience reaction to content on Facebook, advertisers could potentially target their ads to people who respond favorably to them, or they could schedule their ads to run when reactions to other posts suggest the emotional context is right for their message. – See more here 

Users who may not have wanted to use their phones to comment can now use them to “react” much easier.

Encourage fans to use it

People love new things.  In your call to action in your posts  ask your fans to heart (love) the post, or ask them to show that you are angry about something. This is a great strategy to increase your engagement as well as your reach.   


Eventually, companies may be able to execute even more advanced outreach through Facebook, such as ad targeting based on past Reactions to other posts. For now though, social media marketers need to be proactive about Reactions to get the “love” later on.

That is the end goal of brands’ content strategies. Despite the enhanced engagement and analytics that these new buttons offer, brands shouldn’t overreact to Reactions and shift their marketing objectives. Although it could be tempting to produce content strictly to accrue “Loves” and “Wows,” brands should continue to produce content that aims to convert — by increasing users’ brand sentiment and ultimately leading them to purchase your goods or services. Because to marketers, that’s what real “Love” looks like. (a purchase)

Use reactions in your contests

In my previous blog, I wrote about having a contest to improve your engagement.  You could ask for a very specific reaction that ties with your give-a-way.  At the same time you are increasing engagement and reach and possibly teaching how to use those reactions.  Always be careful to follow Facebook guidelines about contests. 

Get in front of problems

If you have a problem within your business, and know you might be getting negative comments or reviews, let your fans know about the problem.  Let them know you are angry about the situation and ask for their reactions to the problem.  Do not forget to go back and let them know when the issue is resolved and have a love comment with it. It is much better for folks to give the angry reaction than a negative review.  Remember, according to Facebook’s announcement,“if someone uses a reaction, Facebook will infer that person wants to see more of that type of post.” In other words, if you react to a post with the “angry” icon, Facebook’s algorithm will treat it as if it was Liked when deciding where to place it in a user’s News Feed. (Learn more about Facebook’s News Feed here.) 


As surprising as it may be, folks want to see things that make them angry the same as they want to see things that make them happy, so Facebook will respond accordingly.

Haters are your most important customers because when they complain, they provide free market research about what you can improve.     Jay Baer 

See more here.  

Research your competition

You can go to any Facebook page, click on the posts reactions and see how the fans have responded or “reacted” to that particular post.  Of course it goes without saying, if you are trying to research the competition you want to go to pages that are similar to yours to do that comparison

If you are thinking of adding inspirational quotes or maybe even a day of religious posts, you can go to your competition’s page and see what type of posts get the best reactions and use that as a base from which to plan your strategy.

Example at Boom Social

Example at Boom Social


At the end of the day, you want your users to feel moved by your content. 


Share reactions as your page

Have you ever seen someone leave a comment as their page and it was really a great comment?  Did you then go to their page and check it out?

In my research, I had honestly missed using this feature.  I am in my own profile so often that I forgot how powerful it is to share, comment and now react as your page.  This is a great way to show yourself as a thought leader and draw interest to your page.


It is your job as an administrator and business owner to find ways to use this new experience to create new and exciting ways to attract your fans to “react “in the ways that you are guiding them. 


Get creative and find ways to attract and interact with those fans in a unique way that is enjoyable to your ideal customer.  It is also a great way to check out your competition.

What do you think? How do you like Facebook reactions so far? Let me know in the comments!


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