Facebook Reactions

Wow! Wow-Button_Tiny The like Like_Tiny buttons has been replaced with a whole new set of hilarious Haha-button_Tiny reaction symbols. Whether you love Love-button_Tiny these new symbols or they make you angry Angry-button_Tiny, they will likely have an impact on your practice’s Facebook Page. But don’t be sad! Sad-button_Tiny There’s hope that these symbols may mean positive things for your practice yet.

What are Reactions?

If you haven’t logged onto Facebook in the past week, then you might have missed the tiny little emoticons that popped up under people’s statuses. Otherwise, they’re pretty hard to overlook. These buttons each represent a different emotion, or reaction, to a status.
There are 6 Reactions in total: like, love, wow, haha, sad, and angry.
Facebook Reactions
Each Reaction is accompanied by a tiny emoticon, and the top 3 emoticons for each post are displayed where the like button used to be.

How do I use Reactions?

While the Reactions may be easy to spot, using them is a little less obvious. Fortunately, once you’ve figured them out, they’re not too difficult. On desktop, click and hold the like button for a couple of seconds, until the Reactions menu pops up, displaying each of the emoticons.
Similarly, on mobile, press and hold the like button with your finger for a few seconds, until the menu appears. If you are not seeing Reactions on mobile, you may need to close your Facebook app completely and restart it. When you do, the Reactions should start appearing.

What do Reactions mean for my practice?

As they’re so new, it’s hard to say with any certainty what impact Reactions will have on your practice’s Facebook Page. But based on what we know, here are some possible implications of the new Reactions:

They could make determining the success of content easier.

Facebook doesn’t currently rank Reactions differently. To them, all Reactions are a sign that a post was successful. However, for your practice, different Reactions could mean different things about your content. The trick is to suss out exactly what the Reactions are saying about your posts.
For example, if an off-color joke in a post elicits a lot of angry Reactions, that could be a sign that you need to avoid that kind of humor in the future. But a lot of angry Reactions could also just mean that the content of the post made readers angry.
Determining what an negative Reaction means exactly will also be important. It could be indication that the viewers don’t like the post (e.g., they find it offensive or annoying), don’t like the content of the post (e.g., this new law your post is about makes me so angry), or more abstractly, just don’t like your practice. It will be up to you to determine which category the majority of your negative reactions fall into. The good news is, we suspect it will usually be content-related.

They could help you anticipate potential crises.

Tying into what we said above about gauging what angry reactions mean, a large number of angry or sad reactions could indicate that a social media crisis is brewing. Negative reactions could help you determine if a post is too controversial and anticipate any potential problems on your Page, which in turn, could give you a chance to respond before the situation turns ugly. Unfortunately, negative Reactions may potentially be fodder for cyberbullies, so be vigilant about noticing any unexpected negative Reactions early on.

They could offer a voice to more of your followers.

When your followers’ immediate reaction to a post isn’t “I like that,” they may be inclined to just scroll on without engaging at all. With a range of Reactions to choose from, you may get more followers engaging with posts that don’t elicit just a “like” reaction. For example, missing pets posts may now see an increase in the amount of engagement generated with the sad Reaction.

They could result in fewer comments.

Conversely, while more of your followers may be enticed into reacting to your posts, you may also find that the number of comments you get on posts goes down a bit. When readers have the opportunity to select a love Reaction instead of commenting when they really agree with a post, they may take the option that requires the least effort. So prepare for a possible decrease in the number of comments your posts receive, and understand why that’s happening.

Your advertising metrics will be less clear.

For the time being, Facebook hasn’t changed the way metrics are presented for Facebook advertising. So if your practice advertises on Facebook, this could have an impact on your metrics. Likes will be shown as Reactions now, but they won’t be broken down according to which Reactions. So getting 22 Reactions could mean that they were all likes and loves, or it could mean that 19 of those were angry Reactions. In order to determine that, you will have to refer back to your Facebook Insights. The good news is, Facebook will likely change this in the future, but for the time being, it’s something to keep in mind when you are measuring your advertising efforts.Ultimately, until Facebook Reactions have been around for a while, we won’t fully understand what their implications could be. It’s hard to predict whether Reactions will become a staple of interaction on Facebook, or if they will fade into obscurity, like notes or poking did. But it doesn’t hurt to consider the possible effects of Reactions, and to be aware of their implications for your Facebook Page  and ultimately, your practice.
 
Do you agree or disagree with this blog post? Sadly, we don’t have Reaction buttons, but you can still “react” to this post in the comment section below.


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