Why We ❤ Facebook Reactions

Published on February 24, 2016

Today, Facebook announced the broad release of Facebook “Reactions” on the Facebook App in both iOS and Android.  RIESTER feels this is an excellent step forward by Facebook in helping brands understand consumer sentiment towards their Facebook content at a more granular level.


An extension of the “Like” button, these new “Reactions” will allow consumers to more accurately express how a brand’s Facebook post makes them feel.  Besides “Liking,” consumers can now choose from a range of new emotions including “Love,” “Haha,” “Sad,” and “Angry.”

Today, when a consumer “Likes” a brand’s content, Facebook’s algorithm makes that brand’s content show up more often in the consumer’s Facebook News Feed. During the initial rollout of “Reactions,”  Facebook’s algorithm will remain unchanged and treat all “Reactions” identically, meaning that a “Love” or an “Angry” will have the same effect and cause your brand’s content to show up in equal measure in the consumer’s Facebook News Feed.  Over time, however, Facebook has stated they intend to modify their algorithm and begin weighting different reactions accordingly, although they have provided no further details. Logic suggests that “negative” reactions like “Angry” or “Sad” will ultimately be weighted less positively and consumers who anoint content with these “Reactions” will find that content showing up less often in their News Feeds.


While this change has no immediate implications for brands, clearly changes are afoot.  Most importantly, it is a strong indicator for brands to refocus their attention on following Facebook Best Practices to ensure their content has the best chance of performing. That includes:

  1. Employing a Content Calendar to ensure you are publishing consistently and with purpose.
  2. Using Facebook’s powerful Audience Insights to make sure you’re reaching the audience you seek.
  3. Telling a story using evocative imagery and content that paints a positive picture in the minds of your consumer.
  4. Closely monitoring your content daily and looking for opportunities to boost succeeding content real-time.
  5. Regularly evaluating your content’s performance, paying close attention to what doesn’t work and trying to understand why it failed – adjusting and trying again.

As with any new revelatory change in social media, Facebook’s announcement promises to unearth unforeseen social interactions and consumer responses.   The winners will be those who test and push the content envelope early and craft a content strategy that both energizes their audience and actively prepares to embrace both the “Love” and the “Anger.”

How can RIESTER help you prepare?