Three Things You Need to Know About Facebook Reactions

March 9, 2016
Posted by: Matthew Hammer, VP- Marketing

Facebook recently released five new ways that people can interact with content beyond the traditional like, comment, and share buttons by introducing Reactions, which include: love, haha, wow, sad and angry.

Facebook Reactions Emojis

The new Facebook Reactions emoji

While there are many articles that describe how Facebook Reactions will affect social content marketing strategies, today we’re taking a peek at the nuts and bolts of tracking and deriving insights from this new feature.

As a prelude, however, it’s worth noting that Facebook spent nearly a year testing the new emoji prior to the official release, and users can access the additional reactions by hovering over the Like button, which triggers the additional Reactions to display. Their intention is to give users more nuanced forms of expression beyond just ‘liking’ content.

For example, if a Facebook friend posts a moving tribute and news of a beloved pet dying, ‘liking’ that post seems to be an inappropriate response to that news, whereas showing love for the tribute, or sadness for the pet’s passing would constitute a more appropriate response.

For brands, these new Reactions will pose some opportunities and challenges, while also encouraging a shift to a more nuanced, emotion-based approach to content marketing on Facebook.

That being said here are three things to know about Facebook Reactions:

1. Reporting on Reactions is currently available only on an individual post level via the Facebook Insights web interface; they are not yet found in your downloadable reports.

An example of Facebook Reactions data

An example of Facebook Reactions data

Historically, it takes Facebook one to three months after launching a new feature to include it in the Insights reports, sometimes longer. In the meantime, you will have to create your own spreadsheet to track the Reactions you get from users from individual posts.
To do this, simply go to your Insights Page > Posts and click on any post to see expanded reactions data. Your final screen will look like this:
From here, you would manually copy and paste the data in a spreadsheet to gain content insights.
2. Negative Reactions like ‘angry’ and ‘sad’ don’t officially count in your Negative Feedback as reported in Facebook Insights. However, it will be good to track the use of the ‘angry’ Reaction and compare it to your Negative Feedback to learn how your content is upsetting your readers.
While most social media marketers tend to focus on positive engagement, we’ve always found that there is significant opportunity in examining the negative reactions to your brand or content in order to find specific areas for improvement to delight your readers and customers.
An example of negative feedback

An example of negative feedback

3. Reaction counts are publicly viewable on any post and on any account, so you can do some light competitive analysis by checking out reactions to posts by other brands in your industry. Just click on the ‘like’ button on a post and the total Reactions will display, along with a list of the people who liked the content and the Reaction they chose.
Analyzing Reactions is complex, and will require additional time from your team to gain the right insights from the Reactions data.
Currently, it’s pretty easy to grade your engagement and call a post successful by counting the comments, likes and shares. But with Reactions, people are able to express opinions on both the theme and substance of your content, so you might not be sure which of these they are reacting to precisely. Facebook Reactions Exercise
An emoji like “wow”, “haha” and “angry” can have multiple meanings in this context. Just for exercise, how would you analyze the Reactions to this particular post? Please let us know what you think on the channels below and let’s talk about it.
You can also download Three Things You Need To Know About Facebook Reactions.