How to Take Advantage of Facebook Reactions for Your Content Marketing Campaign


Social Media Week

These new reactions allow users to select from a pool of five different emotional responses to posts, including “haha,” “sad,” “angry,” “wow,” and the one-up on the traditional “like:” “love.”

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Facebook is inarguably one of the most adaptive social media platforms around today—and it’s one of biggest reasons why it’s been able to survive for so long.

One of its latest features, emoji-like “reactions,” are transforming a function that existed as a quintessential element of the Facebook experience from the beginning—the “like.”

These new reactions allow users to select from a pool of five different emotional responses to posts, including “haha,” “sad,” “angry,” “wow,” and the one-up on the traditional “like:” “love.” While user reactions to these reactions have been somewhat mixed, they’re popular enough to remain in circulation—and with the right strategy, you can use them to increase the power of your content marketing campaign.

The Goals

Taking advantage of emoji reactions could mean a number of things, so let’s take a look at the specific paths you can use to bolster your content strategy:

  • Greater visibility. Visibility is always a good thing—it means more people are going to see your brand and read your material. As long as your material is strong, that means you’ll enjoy higher traffic, a better recurring readership, and more conversions. If your post attracts more emoji reactions (or better ones), it will stand out in users’ News Feeds.
  • Higher engagement. Will emoji reactions lead to more thought-out, longer user comments? Of course not. But micro-engagements, which are more passive or temporary than macro-engagements, are important too. According to Kyle Sanders at Complete Web Resources, “micro-engagements are just as valuable as macro-engagements in a large scale. They don’t require users to spend as much effort, so what they lack in depth, they make up for in breadth.”
  • A reputation as a leader. Emoji reactions are a new and increasingly popular form of online social interaction. If you’re one of the first brands in your industry to adopt these, you’ll be seen as a thought leader, which is invaluable in building a reputation.

The Strategies

With those goals in mind, there are five specific strategies you can use to incorporate Facebook reactions into your content marketing campaign:

  • Try to elicit a specific reaction, rather than a “like.” Emojis aren’t a perfect form of self-expression, but they do exhibit more specific and more powerful feelings than a simple “like.” Accordingly, you can write new materials that specifically call users to react using one emoji. Getting lots of people to react in the same way—such as with “haha” can start a chain reaction, and make your piece even stronger in terms of visibility and engagement.
  • Split your audience in two. Rather than seeking one emoji reaction, consider dividing your audience in half. Controversy is always a powerful means of achieving greater visibility, so see if you can get your users to polarize themselves even further by use of opposite emoji, such as “love” and “wow.” Do this, and you’ll stir the pot to earn more engagement in addition to getting more visibility.
  • Use a competition or poll to encourage reaction use. Instead of using specific content types and angles to earn emoji reactions, ask for them directly through the use of a contest or a poll. For example, you could ask your users to use one emoji to indicate one stance, and a different to indicate the other, much as “like or comment” competitions used to be a highly viable means of spreading an image or post virally.
  • Diversify your offerings. Facebook has essentially created five archetypes of posts, each with a ruling emoji reaction corresponding to it. If you diversify your content campaign by creating more posts that fall in each of these categories, you could serve a wider spread of possible readers and eventually figure out which vertical is most appropriate or most rewarding for your business.
  • Leverage reactions as a form of objective feedback. Emojis can also be a means of collecting user feedback. For example, if you make a joke but nobody responds with a “haha,” you may need to rethink your sense of humor or whether your target audience is even into it. Monitoring reaction patterns over time should also give you a clear indication of your content’s overall performance—the more reactions you earn, and the stronger they are, the better (as a general rule).

It’s not entirely clear what Facebook’s ultimate purpose in introducing emoji reactions is, but for now it looks like they’re here to stay. With that in mind, it’s in your best interest to adapt to the new feature as quickly and as creatively as possible. It’s a new feature, so your strategy isn’t going to be perfect.

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Larry Alton

Writer, Freelancer

Larry is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.



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