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Facebook Reactions – Situation Complication Question Resolution

The arrival of Facebook Reactions has hit the social media world like a typhoon. Despite being predicted for some months it has hit landfall with a vengeance. The world as we know it just became more complicated.

Facebook reactions mentions volume over time

Situation – life’s more complicated

Whether you are using Facebook personally or professionally life just became more complicated.

On the personal front, you may think that you can ignore the new Facebook “Like” options and simply go on “Liking” as before. That’s certainly an option. However you might just want to be prepared for some awkward looks if you continue to Like your friend’s lost dog, or their kid being banged up in hospital with a broken arm, or a friend achieving a lifelong ambition. Clearly, “Like” is hardly fitting. Life has become more complicated.

On the business front, continuing to “just” Like a customer’s complaint, or compliment, might not generate the kind of feedback and engagement hoped for by the customer. And what’s your Social Media Policy say about using “Angry”? Life has become more complicated.

And that’s just the beginning. With the need for measuring interactions and engagement and for gathering metrics to compare trends and to compare competitors the muddy waters of social media monitoring have just become a whole lot more muddy.

Complication – a Like is a HaHa with a twist

We intuitively understand that a Love is worth more than a Like, and a HaHa is a Like with a twist.

The question is – what kind of twist?

Is HaHa a Like with a pinch of good humour, or is it sarcastic humour? Is it laughing with the Post or at the Post?

Facebook have very deliberately, and analytically, chosen these specific response emotions. They had a choice of thousands, including “Dislike”. They knew that their choices would literally affect a billion people and billions of interactions each day, and that whatever they chose would be held up to intense scrutiny.

The final set of emotions that Facebook has chosen to embrace are powerful. While not exhaustive they cover key human emotions and at the same time the “heart” of each of them is relatively unique and only the edges overlap.

Therefore, by design, these different reactions are aimed at firing different emotions and different forms of engagement and each needs to measured, reported and analysed, and related to each other, systematically.

That is the new massive complication for social media monitoring and brand / content measurement platforms.

Question – what Reactions are important?

The key questions today are:

  1. How to report on Sensations in social media monitoring?
  2. How to measure the value of your Facebook posts?

Response – hold tight

Social media monitoring platforms are caught in a no-man’s land, because Facebook has not announced plans to make Reactions details available to social media monitoring companies. Facebook Insights for your Page has the details, but these are not available to 3rd parties through APIs.

So right now, there is no way to integrate data about Reactions into social media monitoring reporting.

If and when it does happen it will raise a whole lot of questions.

Will different reactions be rated differently, in what terms, will “Angry” send “Like” into the red, or match a “Love”?

How will you score the content engagement of a post?

Will you be able to search by Reaction type?

Will reactions feed into the sentiment analysis of a post – will Love indicate a post with positive sentiment and Angry one with negative sentiment?

How will Net Promoter Score be calculated? And most importantly, will it take more than free pies and tickets to the football to get our NPS over the line for our bonuses this year??

 

Facebook Reactions Net Promoter Score

For now, Facebook has only committed to continue to provide “reaction” counts – any type of Like is a single reaction count. There is no timeline on when this might change.

However this leaves you in limbo if you are seriously grading or scoring the quality of your content on Facebook. Think about this, Facebook’s Product Manager, Sammi Krug, noted that if someone uses a Reaction, Facebook will infer that the person want to see more of that type of content, not less. So Angry and Sad will deliver more similar content, which will boost the viewing for that content, making it “more popular”. Will you then produce more sad and angry content?

For now, you need to come up with your own rating system and then apply the rating system manually using Facebook Insights.

Hopefully in the future social media and content measurement platforms will resume their ability to provide such data and comparisons. And hold onto your hat if Twitter decides to do something similar, as life would become even more complicated.

Facebook reactions word cloud

Walter Adamson

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