Facebook Gets Emotional: Five Things for Brands to Consider

For years, users haven’t been sure what to do when someone posted about a death in the family. You want to leave a heartfelt message, but should you like the post?

Facebook recently unveiled Reactions: an extension of the like button that allows users more options when they want to react to a post. But what does it mean for brands on Facebook?

Here are five things to consider with Facebook’s new Reactions:

  1. Good content is even more important. In the past, the worst that could happen to a brand that posted a bad piece of content was a negative comment. But unless readers read every comment, the overall emotional reaction to the post wasn’t easy to find. We could manage negative comments by hiding them, responding to them or deleting them (if abusive). Our ability to manage a negative response to a post is changing, because readers can now easily see if people don’t like what brands are saying.
  2. React to consumers. Managing your brand’s online reputation is more important than ever. Brands will need to keep a close watch on how consumers react to the content they produce. The positive in all of this is brand marketers can gain insight into what works and what doesn’t. Responsive brands will adapt quickly to the feedback, while brands that aren’t nimble will suffer from an increase in negativity.
  3. Know the emotional breakdown. Controversial posts on topics from all walks of life will elicit a range of emotions.Screen_Shot_2016-02-25_at_2.04.12_PM2-1.jpgClicking on the reactions yields the actual breakdown:Screen_Shot_2016-02-25_at_2.04.44_PM2.jpgThat means that 64 percent liked the post, 27 percent felt angry, 6 percent laughed and 3 percent expressed something else.
  4. The polarizing emotions will likely be used the most. Like, Anger and Love will be the most-used Reactions. We are already seeing this play out. We surveyed 20 major brands on February 25, two days after reactions debuted. Here are the most popular reactions, excluding Like.

     

    Nike

    Anger, Love

    McDonald's

    Love, Anger

    Coca-Cola

    Love, Haha

    Chick-fil-A

    Love, Wow

    Pizza Hut

    Love, Anger

    Red Bull

    Wow, Love

    Oreo

    Love, Wow

    KFC

    Anger, Love

    Taco Bell

    Love, Anger

    Disney

    Love, Wow

    MTV

    Love, Anger

    Samsung

    Love, Wow

    Starbucks

    Love, Wow

    Hillary Clinton

    Love, Anger

    Donald Trump

    Love, Anger

    White House

    Love, Wow

    Domino's

    Love, Wow

    Delta

    Love, Wow

    CrossFit

    Love, Wow

    Burger King

    Love, Wow

     

    Love is by far the dominant Reaction, but we also see Anger and Wow often on brand pages. Wow seems to occur most often in response to product features.

  5. Targeting is coming. While Facebook says brands can’t target users based on their use of Reactions, that day isn’t far off. A time will come when brands go to their competitors’ Facebook pages and target consumers who left a negative reaction.
 

Stay tuned: We just got more data.