‘Facebook Reactions’ are live

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After much speculation and anticipation, Facebook has rolled out its redesigned “like” button. Users can now express a number of emotions, including anger, sadness and love. Read Facebook’s full announcement here.

So what does it mean for our accounts for brands, schools or departments?

Some of us have seen this coming – literally – for the past few months. Some accounts, including Boston College, were included in global tests to see how people reacted to various emotion options. Feedback (or lack thereof, in our case) was shared with page admins. on our insights tab.

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This new option may take a while for Facebook’s historically change-averse audience to embrace, but we’ve already seen users select the various emotion options on Day 1.

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Night” – a video released this week by the Office of News & Public Affairs’ Sean Casey -has enjoyed an overwhelmingly favorable response with more than 2,300 likes, 1,340 shares and a reach of 435,000 users. It also earned our first “love” emotion two days after being posted. The announcement of BC’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship winner today also earned some emotional reactions – including “love,” “wow” and likes.

We have yet to receive an angry or sad reaction, but be sure those are coming. What can a page admin do to navigate the changing landscape?

Know where to monitor.  You can see a snapshot of each published post’s analytics under Facebook’s “publishing tools” tab. This gives you more detail on post engagement including clicks, reactions, shares and comments, and also allows you to quickly compare posts against one another.

Get comfortable with varied feedback. As page managers we’re about to get much more realistic, multidimensional feedback. That means managing positive vs. negative sentiment and paying particular attention to how you cast information. If users are angry or sad, page admins must come up with strategies to effectively react. We’ll have this as an agenda item at our next Social Media Council meeting, so stay tuned for updates.

Much more on this to come. What do you think of the change? 

Additional reading:

The Washington Post posted a quick, no-nonsense guide today, explaining the emojis.

PR Week: More than Like looked at how brands are reacting to the change.

— By Melissa Beecher, Boston College Social Media Manager

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