Facebook developers need a vacation.
Last week you probably noticed new options to "Like" a post. The rollout is officially called Facebook Reactions, but really it's just a bunch of emojis allowing you to now "Like" "Love" "Haha", "Wow", "Sad" or "Angry" something. That's right, you can now "Angry" something. The move seems somewhat basic and an obvious move to update the patented "Thumbs up" icon. But what does this mean to you - the business owner, the marketing director, the social media strategist? It potentially means a lot more than you'd "Like" it to admit.
In the past, Facebook always catered to the businesses that fund the now $328 billion company. Labeling customers of businesses as "fans" and only giving options to "Like" something. Then it rolled out it's "star rating system" (which is more prominently displayed than most businesses care to admit) allowing for public reviews, and now emojis that allow fans to publicly (and visually) show their anger on individual posts. More and more power/voice is being given to the consumer.
Downside to the "Reactions" rollout: You can't respond directly to someone who shows they're "angry" about something.
Upside to the Reactions rollout: More data. Targeting data has always been the reason why Facebook skyrocketed in value (now the fourth most valuable company in the world, behind only Google, Apple and Microsoft). The data has allowed social media strategists to do things marketers could only dream about in decades past.
Having more data on your individual posts has been a gaping hole in Facebook's data downloads. Yes, the insights have always told you raw numbers of people reached and whole numbers of comments - but this is the first time we'll get data on emotions. Before, if a post got more "reach" it was deemed on the surface as successful and likely repurposed for a future content calendars. Now we'll be able to have data on our audiences sense of humor by tracking "Ha Ha" reactions along with knowing when a post really hits home with the "Love" reaction. All of this will be good feedback - but being able to target those individual customers in the future is where this really gets valuable.
Have an up-coming funny post? Target previous "Ha Ha" customers. Want to talk about your great customer service? Target your "Angry" and "Sad" customers. Have a new product launching? Target those who "Love" your posts. On and on and on. These targeting options are not yet available, yet being the keyword there.