Facebook Reactions – What Will This Mean For Businesses?

Ever since Facebook Reactions was rolled out last week, I’ve seen multiple marketers from big and small brands alike worrying about what this can mean for business. As someone who markets on Facebook, I think it could be one of the best things to happen. The goals for Facebook Reactions are to make the platform more positive and improve the News Feed experience. Although my opinion seems to be different from most, I will explain why below.

What is Facebook Reactions?

For years and years, Facebook users have been begging for Mark Zuckerberg to implement a dislike button as “liking” things wasn’t always appropriate, so welcome – Facebook Reactions. Instead of just leaving the option for Like or Dislike, Facebook released a much wider spectrum of emotions for you to react with. These include Like, Love, Haha, Yay (which doesn’t seem to be available for everyone), Wow, Sad, Angry.

Facebook Reactions

The reason for not implementing the simple “dislike” button was fairly simple, Mark Zuckerberg did not want to induce bullying or negative interactions between users. In a public Q&A back in 2014 he stated “We need to figure out the right way to do it so it ends up being a force for good, not a force for bad and demeaning the posts that people are putting out there.”

Why Are People Worried?

Many small business owners are worried about this change due to the chance of negative reactions to their content. They are afraid that their reach will fall and that their business will look bad online if they have lots of “Angry” Reactions (which seems to be the users favourite as a “dislike” alternative).

Many small businesses are also worried that they will need to spend more time with crisis management. This is because users are no longer stuck with just a like button and a comment option (which can easily be deleted), but they can now quickly get their emotions across and have it permanently etched onto the Facebook update, unless it’s deleted of course.

There is also a fear of trolling. Trolling is basically keyboard warriors who insult for no good reason at all to make themselves look bigger/better or to tarnish a brands image. Before Facebook Reactions, trolls were stuck with just commenting on posts but now they can abuse the Reactions by putting “Angry” or “Sad” on all of a brands posts. Usually, trolls a small in number so it shouldn’t have too much of an effect, but if you are the target of multiple “trolls” you could have a problem.

Last but not least, the dishonest marketers are worried because they will not be able to remove the reactions from the page unless they delete the post. So far I have seen multiple dishonest companies (like get 90% off Pandora Jewelry, which is blatantly a copy of Pandora’s website) get called out, and even though they deleted the comments shortly after they were posted, the Angry faces still sit below their post. Hooray! Finally, other users won’t fall for their tricks.

Why Do You Think It’s A Good Thing?

I for one practice ethical marketing, and am continuously looking for feedback on Social Media to deliver an audience more relevant content. With Facebook Reactions, you can get accurate opinions from each of your posts which will help you decide what pieces of content are relevant, and which ones your audience doesn’t like. If you are rebranding or have a cool new feature coming up, Facebook Reactions gives you the platform to get quick opinions from your audience. If you have more sad/angry faces than their happier counterparts, then clearly you aren’t doing something right.

If you are rebranding or have a cool new feature coming up, Facebook Reactions gives you the platform to get quick opinions from your audience. If you have more sad/angry faces than their happier counterparts, then clearly you aren’t doing something right. Facebook Reactions makes it quick and easy for your audience to give an opinion, so the quiet ones that you usually wouldn’t have heard from can now quickly give you an opinion without writing a comment.

Reactions give you valuable metrics which so many marketers and business owners are overlooking. Providing you aren’t making your audience unhappy, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about!