Facebook Reactions: Friend or Foe?

 
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Many of us use reactions to express how we feel about a certain post or ad in our Facebook feed, when texting our friends, posting on Instagram, or even when we send a Snap to our friends. Since Facebook Reactions were first introduced eight years ago with the thumbs up ‘Like’ button that later expanded with the ‘Haha’, ‘Love’, ‘Sad’, ‘Wow’ and ‘Angry’ buttons, these little icons have fast become a permanent fixture in the way we communicate on social media. In fact, it seems we have so many bottled up emotions to share that since Facebook first launched Reactions, we have used them over 300 billion times, totaling a whopping 800 million uses each day! 

The Facebook algorithm determines what content users see in their feeds at any given time. However, understanding Facebook’s algorithm is a bit of a science. Fortunately, in the last few years, Facebook has begun sharing more about how their news feed algorithm works, what it favors over what it doesn’t, and what it means for brands. Speculation by users finally got Facebook to admit that using Reactions impacts the way a user’s news feed looks. Furthermore, Facebook’s algorithm seems to focus more on the ‘Love’, ‘Sad’, ‘Angry’ and ‘Haha’ Reactions over the ‘Like’ button, allowing these little icons to decide what will appear in a user’s feed.

Over the past year we’ve found that if people leave a Reaction on a post, it is an even stronger signal that they’d want to see that type of post than if they left a Like on the post. So we are updating News Feed to weigh reactions a little more than Likes when taking into account how relevant the story is to each person.
— Facebook quote via mashable.com

Although Facebook says all Reactions are currently looked upon equally, the ‘Love’ Reaction makes up more than half the Reactions shared. So how can brands use Reactions to their advantage? Through Facebook’s Reactions algorithm we have learned that women use Reactions more often than men, Wednesday is the most popular day for sending reactions, and that people are more likely to use 'Wow' for GIFs, shares, images and videos.

While Facebook continues to work on its algorithm, one way for a brand to ensure social success is to listen and respond to users’ reactions. After all, Reactions on Facebook are probably the best way to analyze your users’ sentiment. Good luck harvesting success using Facebook Reactions, and don’t forget we are only a call away should you require help managing your social community.