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Posted on 04.18.2016

New Data Behind Facebook's Expanded Reactions


Rosemary Plorin social media post image

A look at what Facebook’s new Reaction choices mean for your social analytics


If you’ve been on a long vacation for the last few months, here are a few things you’ve missed: it’s an election year and Facebook has unveiled Reactions to keep the Like button company.

That means when you are moved to interact with a post on Facebook, you have new options to let you better express how that post makes you feel: love, laughter, surprise, sadness and anger.

Here’s why Facebook said it added the additional reactions: “We’ve been listening to people and know that there should be more ways to easily and quickly express how something you see in News Feed makes you feel. That’s why today we are launching Reactions, an extension of the Like button, to give you more ways to share your reaction to a post in a quick and easy way.”  

It probably won’t surprise you that there’s another reason for the addition and, like so much at Facebook, that reason is data. I think we realize Facebook not only works hard to implement data that controls what you see in your News Feed, but it also tracks a lot of data that doesn’t happen within its platform and wants to be an even bigger part of your online experience.

So what do these changes mean for your social media analytics?

It means things just got more complicated.

Right now, Reactions are only available on posts, not replies to posts (those are still Like only). When you check your page’s notifications, you’ll see the emoticons for how people feel about the post.

Remember, on a public page, every interaction is available to the world and everyone can see how the majority of people interacted with your post.

For example, this post received 86 interactions:

Anyone can see how those 86 interactions break down by hovering over the emoticons. There were 73 Likes, four Angry, three Hahas, three Sads, two Loves and two Wows. If this post was about your businesses and not perfume, the chance of a predominance of angry faces might be a risk. When there was only a Like option, there really wasn’t the same potential for quick and easy negative interactions on each post.

You can learn more about how people are interacting with each post on your insights page, under the posts view. Click on the link for the post you are interested in analyzing, and it will give you a full breakdown on responses and interactions:

As you are analyzing the impact your Facebook strategy is having, remember to keep in mind context, and adjust your reporting appropriately. Angry isn’t always bad. If the above data showed 904 people were angry and 972 people were sad about a post expressing your organization’s righteous indignation over an article describing animal injustice, all those angry and sad faces would be data points that prove you have a targeted and engaged social media community that has your back.

Let us know how you feel, take our quiz on Twitter (Here), or Like (or get Angry, Haha, Sad, Wow or Love) this post on Facebook.

Melissa Wyllie is a Senior Account Supervisor at Lovell Communications. Connect with Melissa at Melissa@Lovell.com or @MSWyllie. 

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