Facebook Reactions: Will Marketers ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike?’

January 29, 2016

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Earlier this week, Facebook announced that the days of stressing over how many ‘likes’ your selfie received may become even more stressful. Facebook will soon be replacing the original ‘like’ button with something called Facebook ‘Reactions’. The idea is that users on social media are more complex than ever before, and need the tools to express various emotions and reactions – six to be exact: ‘love,’ ‘ha-ha,’ ‘wow,’ ‘sad,’ ‘angry,’ and the original ‘like.’  Facebook Reactions will give users more power to express themselves but what does the emoji evolution mean for marketers? Here’s our take:


  • Users will now have a more specific and direct way to communicate how they feel about a brand. Marketers will have a more accurate picture of what users think of their content, which will help brands think carefully about what they write and post. Quality and connecting with users emotionally will become increasingly important, as well as making sure a brand’s content is reaching the correct audience.
  • As the marketing value of a ‘like’ has decreased over the past year, it has become harder for brands to report on how their content is truly performing. Reporting on engagements has become convoluted, but Facebook Reactions could change analytics for the better. As long as marketing and reporting tools keep up with the times, brands will be able to more accurately classify their engagements and take the appropriate action.


  • Opening up a direct channel for consumers to express their opinions has its downsides. Brands will now have even more specific engagements to sift through to figure out what exactly is important—are consumers going to respond honestly? Do users exaggerate to stir the pot on social media? Six new reactions give brands a lot more to think about.
  • The biggest potential concern to marketers – do we want these negative reactions living on our page? And do negative reactions warrant a response? Social media experts already have to think about the types of negative comments they will receive when opening up social channels, and Reactions will just add to that.

From a marketer’s perspective, we can’t wait to see how this plays out. Facebook is planning on an extremely “careful” global rollout (after learning the hard way with previous updates), so stay tuned … and be sure to react with us @Norbella!