Will Facebook Reactions Drive Content Creation?

By: Gary J. Nix | Reading Time: 4 min

Big Blue 2.0, as I tend to call it, set the world aflame with its answer to a call for a Dislike Button when they debuted Reactions. People, In general, reacted in many favorable ways and brands had a shakier level of sentiment and more questions to ask. With that being said, a BRANDarchist looks for the opportunity when change appears and I, in particular, see this as an opportunity for creators to shape or frame their content more effectively.

∞ BRAND AIM: Create and Cultivate Community

Often enough, especially on Facebook, we are dealing with changes – either expected or unexpected – that we cannot control. However, in the world of social media, strategic thinking leads us to not put the onus of your content on the channel, but put it on your objective(s). A regular objective of content, notably in the social space, is the building of community… you know, because that’s an active way to be social.

Furthermore, the creation and cultivation of community is one of the ways that your company ultimately receives revenues long term. Community, when their needs and desires are sustained, stay loyal and come to your brand’s aid whenever necessary. An effective way to keep your community pleased is to provide quality, relevant and authentic content that your community can consume, curate, share and interact with: the latter being the best when done correctly.

Feelings, whoa whoa whoa…

As a strategist, one of the first things about Reactions I wondered was, “How will Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry affect the Facebook experience?”

Well, according to Product Manager at Facebook, Sammi Krug, “…it won’t matter if someone likes, “wows” or “sads” a post — we will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content. Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want to see.”

Additionally, when it comes to businesses, Krug professes that while Page owners will be able to all post Reactions in Page insights, all Reactions will be weighed the same, for now. Please feel free to take those assertions with a grain of salt, or ask BB 2.0 whether they will affect organic reach.

The key though, as I see it, is that these reactions, albeit limited to many including me at this point, can direct the emotion(s) that you are looking to evoke through the communication of your content. Better yet, even with the peril of promoting more vanity metrics, empirically targeting a certain reaction when crafting your content can be beneficial. Should a certain number of Hahas be the goal? No, but knowing that comedic content relevant to your brand can now be more than ‘Liked,’ is helpful for your content in terms of creation and consumption.

Made to Measure

The manner by which Facebook itself measures Reactions is not the only concern. Measuring the reactions as a brand is just as interesting, if not more. Yes, there is importance in how Facebook measures their Reactions because it is likely to have some sort of influence on reach, even in ads; just give it time. Nevertheless, for your brand and its community, it is important to identify and understand what Reactions mean for you. At the very least, Reactions are likely to help you define the type of content you need to publish on Facebook and, for that matter, other social media platforms.

Granted, more things are going to change on Facebook, but do not let this opportunity pass you by. Reactions can surely be of some help when it comes to your content strategy, content creation and content marketing as a whole. Too bad they got rid of the Yay reaction after testing. This would have been the perfect place for it.