social media how toHave you seen the new Facebook reactions?

Wondering how they’ll affect your Facebook page?

Facebook reactions let Facebook users go beyond liking a post by allowing them to choose from six emojis that show different emotions.

In this article I’ll explore how Facebook reactions work, and how your Facebook page can get the most from them.

facebook reactions

Find out what marketers need to know about Facebook Reactions.

Listen to this article:

Facebook Reactions for Fans

The new Facebook reactions work pretty easily for users. When users hover over a post’s Like button in the Facebook news feed, a personal profile timeline, or a Facebook page timeline, they will be able to choose from one of the new six Facebook reactions.

facebook reactions emoji

Facebook reactions on desktop.

Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that Facebook reactions do not include a Dislike button. Hence, people cannot dislike your latest post (product, service, content, etc.). These reactions will simply allow expressions of like, love, laugh, wowed, saddened, or angered by your post.

The feature will work similarly for mobile users, but users will hold down the Like button instead of hovering over it.

facebook reactions emoji

Facebook reactions on mobile.

Some mobile app users have noted that you must restart or update your app to get the new feature to work. Others have had to log out of their account and log back in again.

Facebook Reactions for Pages

From a Facebook page admin perspective, a few things will change. For starters, you’ll see in your notifications that people are reacting to your posts instead of just liking them.

facebook reactions in notifications

Facebook reactions shown in notifications.

On the posts themselves, you’ll see an array of icons representing the different reactions that people have left on the post. On older posts, you’ll see the new icon that represents likes, and on newer posts, you’ll see all of the newer icons representing the different reactions that people have. People can also go back to older posts and add new reactions.

facebook reactions on a post

Facebook reactions shown on a post.

You can click on the link to see the breakdown of which fans had specific reactions so you can see who likes, loves, and has other feelings about your post.

facebook reactions details from a post

Facebook reactions details shown on a post.

Since page posts are public, it’s important to understand that everyone can see the breakdowns of Facebook reactions, including people who are not admins and not even fans of the page. This means that you can go to other pages and see the breakdowns of reactions on their posts as well.

This can be useful for competitor research as you can get a good feel for how people will react to specific types of content, status updates, and announcements – especially since you can get a quick summary of the reactions right at the top without having to scroll through the entire list.

facebook reactions details from a competitor post

Facebook reactions details shown on a competitor’s post.

Note that only Facebook page admins will see the Liked / Invite buttons. If you are not a page admin, you only see Add Friend / Follow buttons next to people’s names.

So far, Facebook reactions only work on the Like button for the main posts themselves, but not on comments. So don’t expect to react to comments anytime soon.

facebook comment with no reactions

Facebook reactions aren’t available on comments.

In terms of your Facebook page’s Insights, you can see the full breakdown of reactions for each of your posts by finding the post and clicking on it.

facebook reactions post engagement in insights

Facebook post engagement shown in Insights.

There, you can see the full post details, including the new Facebook reactions counts.

facebook reactions engagement from post

Facebook reactions post engagement shown in Insights.

From an Insights perspective, Facebook reactions do not count as negative feedback. In other words, an angry reaction isn’t categorized in the same area as a Hide Post, Report as Spam, Hide All Post, or Unlike Page. Hence, any reaction can be considered a good one.

Now that you know how Facebook reactions work for your fans and for your page, here are some ways to get the most from them.

#1: Encourage Fans to Use Reactions

People love trying new things. Simply invite your fans to test out the new reactions on your page today. Not only will it teach your fans how to use this feature, but it will also boost your page’s overall engagement and organic reach.

facebook page post inviting users to use reactions

Ask your fans to use reactions on your posts.

For example, I initially planned to boost my post to test Facebook reactions, but I ended up canceling the promotion. The post itself ended up getting high engagement because I asked fans to test the feature and cross-promoted the post on my Facebook personal profile, Twitter profile, Google+ profile, and LinkedIn profile.

facebook page post organic engagement

Organic engagement from a reactions post was high.

#2: Combine Reactions With Contest Entries

This post is a great example because it not only asks for a specific reaction, it also teaches fans how to use reactions AND throws in a giveaway!

facebook page post combining reactions with a contest

Use reactions to let people enter a contest.

Of course, if you take this approach, be sure to follow Facebook’s guidelines about contests.

#3: Circumvent Negative Reviews

This example is actually a story from a local ABC news station, but it could be a great example for local businesses or companies that offer services AND have a Facebook page that is open to reviews.

facebook page post about a service outage

Give customers a way to vent without leaving negative reviews on your page.

Instead of letting people come to your page and leave negative reviews when your service goes down, pin a post to the top of your page letting people know that your service is down, and you’re working to resolve it as fast as possible. With the new angry reactions, people will hopefully react to the post angrily instead of leaving negative reviews.

#4: Research Your Competitor’s Content

It might be a while before third-party tools have the ability to differentiate between likes and specific Facebook reactions. Until then, as mentioned earlier in this post, you can go to any Facebook page, click on a post’s reactions, and see the summary of how fans have reacted to that post.

reactions on a competitor facebook page post

Now you can find out how people feel about your competitor’s content.

Use this to gauge how fans of Facebook pages similar to yours react to specific types of posts. For example, if you’re thinking about sharing quotes, pictures of funny cats, product announcements, or something similar, you can now go one step further than just finding out if those types of posts will get engagement. You can see exactly how fans feel about those posts!

#5: Share Facebook Reactions as Your Page

If you’re using Facebook as your page to comment on other pages to get more visibility for your Facebook page and your business, you can use your Facebook page to leave reactions on other Facebook page posts. Be sure to also leave a comment, as the comment will bring more visibility for your page than the reaction will.

reactions left as a facebook page

You can also leave reactions on other posts as your Facebook page.

In Conclusion

As you can see, the new Facebook reactions can be a fun way for Facebook fans to interact with pages, a great way for businesses to encourage specific emotional responses from fans, and a new way for businesses to learn from their competitors.

As a Facebook page owner, it’s time to get creative with your updates to ensure that your fans engage with you using Facebook reactions in the best way possible!

What do you think? How do you like Facebook reactions so far? Let us know in the comments!

facebook reactions

Discover what marketers need to know about Facebook Reactions.

Tags: , , , , ,

Get Social Media Examiner’s Future Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 465,000+ of your peers! Get our latest articles delivered to your email inbox and get the FREE Social Media Marketing Industry Report (56 pages, 90 charts)!

More info...
  • Great Post Kristi, I have a doubt why did not Facebook has given a dislike icon with this update, will they provide one in future? what’s your thought on it?

  • I feel like their advertisers would have been in an uproar if their ads suddenly started getting dislikes. 🙂

  • Thanks Kristi, do you feel this will be something that catches on or just a gimmick that people will soon forget about?

  • Great Post Kristi Hines ! Thanks for sharing this valuable information with us.

  • Nice Work Kristi! Now advertisers can eventually be able to use the reactions to target audiences.

  • Eunice O’Rourke

    When the FAcebook Reactions first appeared – there was a reaction named ” yay”, I loved this reaction and used it often – now it has disappeared and wondered if you knew why ? I posted I had lost my “” yay” and has anyone seen it and the comments and reach went crazy ( in a good way 🙂

  • I think it’s catching on already. My feeling is that it shows that your fans / friends have taken an extra moment to express something more than a like, and that’s a good thing.

  • I’m not sure if they’ll add reactions into audience targeting, but that would be interesting.

  • Disappeared?

  • Eunice O’Rourke

    Yes Kristi . The “Yay” reaction was there for a couple of weeks and then disappeared ! 🙂

  • Great stuff, thanks for sharing, very useful tips.

  • Thanks Kristi, I think advertisers will be using the new reactions to get a better feel of how their customers are reacting. It’s been almost a week now so it will be interesting to see how it shakes out. I personally like them and use them quite a bit. However I noticed that when I’m just skimming through posts on my personal account I just hit “Like” because it’s quicker.

  • It appears as though the billions of dollars in advertising money being wasted on Facebook is funding brilliant technological breakthroughs in the form omni-directional smiley faces – how impressive

    My definition of taking an extra moment to express something more than a like is to send a card, hand write a letter, plant a tree in Israel or pick up the phone – but I’m old

  • I find the same, although sometimes I’m compelled to go the extra step with some posts. If they are posts from pages, I pay extra attention to what made me feel more compelled to do more than just like. 🙂

  • I’m sure that Facebook didn’t invest a lot into extra smileys without good reason that will translate into advertising dollars somewhere down the line. 🙂

  • You’re welcome! 🙂

  • Unfortunately I am still waiting for this to roll out for me. My fans are talking about it showing on my page for them, but I don’t see it – not on the web or mobile.

  • That’s odd, it was supposed to be global. I thought at least. 🙁

  • That is the impression given, but some Googling shows that I am not alone in not having it available.

  • Zuckerberg has said unequivocally that he would not provide a dislike icon.

  • Anuradha Agarwal

    Don’t think we ought to read too much into it. Sure, it’s a fun way to express what one feels about the content. But on an analytical level it doesn’t matter much except make our readers’ intentions for hitting ‘like’ on a news piece clearer. Hitting the angry face at an enraging piece of news just gives way to a better classification of emotions than simply liking it in the past. Doubt it will be much more insightful than that.

  • I can see how the analytics From Facebook reactions could be so a much better way to target audiences.

    If you could after a period of time predict how the majority would react to certain types of posts… You can tailor your message to talk directly to your audience in ways only maybe an experienced speaker in front of a live audience could.

    Very interesting to see the future of all this. ?

    Thanks for your great post Kristi

  • I have been trying out the Reactions over the last week and am really into them. I have seen some other than likes on my page’s posts as well and enjoyed the variety of feedback than just a like. Its going to be very interesting how businesses use Reactions moving forward. Thanks for this great post Kristi and have a fun Friday! I’ll be sharing this with my network today. 🙂

  • You’re welcome Eli! 🙂

  • Thanks Steve! I hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

  • I’m sure that Facebook has plenty of plans for analyzing these Reactions. They are heavy into psychological analysis, and I’m sure these reactions are going to play a pretty big role in researching their users.

  • Anuradha Agarwal

    But at this point it doesn’t translate to much for brands. Like you mentioned, there is still no ‘dislike’ button. So readers are still simply liking a post. Just that their emotions reflect the nature of the content – enraging, shocking, funny, and so on. Guess time & creativity will reveal if there can be more to it than that.

  • Matt

    With regards to #2, isn’t that against Facebook rules? I.e. Asking for likes or comments in exchange for the chance of winning something.

  • It might be. The TOS specifically says in regards to contests and sweepstakes: “Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).”

  • Matt

    Yeah, might want to revise the article or add a disclaimer before people get in trouble.

  • Excellent overview of Reactions, Kristi.

    Per your point #4, the data is available on 3rd party tools, and my company just introduced these metrics into our analytics tool. While the majority of Reactions at this point are Likes, I think the other Reactions will continue to get more usage as people become more familiar with them, and see more people using them. It will be interesting to see how each of the Reactions trends with social content goals that brands have.

    Thanks for the post on this.

  • There is a disclaimer right below the example to refer to TOS when creating your own contest. 🙂

  • What is your tool?