A “like” just isn’t enough according to Facebook. The social media marketing platform’s most recent algorithm change gives more weight to reactions – Love, Angry, Sad, etc. – than the more common counterpart, the “like.” While this change is reportedly designed to deepen user engagement with brands, it requires companies and causes to refine their social media marketing strategy and content calendars to focus on generating reactions.
Moving beyond “likes”
Why do people “like” content on Facebook? Beyond one’s affinity for a brand or connection to the person who is sharing the content, there is an ease of use component to the infamous “like” – one click and you’re done. There isn’t a “dislike” button on Facebook so it’s also one of a limited number of options as to what to do with the content and by far the one that requires the least amount of effort.
Reactions, on the other hand, require people to consider how they truly feel about a piece of content and form an opinion. When you are talking about an audience that is largely consuming content on smartphones – with 90 percent of daily users viewing the platform on mobile in 2016 – and reportedly has an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish, asking for deeper engagement can seem like a lot.
Here are a few easy ways to help generate reactions from your Facebook fan base:
- Focus on a trending topic – as East Coast residents saw last week, when media outlets took to their Facebook pages asking for people’s reactions to a looming blizzard, their audiences were more than willing to share their opinions.
- Use “Insights” to inform your asks – the Insights for your Facebook page let you know which posts receive the highest levels of engagement. Use this data to hone a short list of the topics where you are most likely to be successful in generating reactions from your audience.
- Test various reactions – is your audience more likely to share their love, sadness or anger? Experiment with posts that ask for different reactions and see which generate the highest levels of response.
- Build a campaign around your most common reaction – whether it’s 30 reasons to love your brand or the top five reasons your team is angry about the results of March Madness, seek to group your content into logical, thematic groupings that will give you a stronger foundation for soliciting reactions.
- Don’t ask for a reaction to everything you post – your Facebook fans will quickly tire of being asked on a daily if not more frequent basis to share their reaction. No matter how “happy” they truly are about your newest product or upcoming signature event, there is a limit to how often they will want to react.
Other changes rolled out by Facebook during the course of 2017 include the addition of a video completion rate metric, prioritizing popular topics in users’ news feeds and filtering authentic content in an effort to combat fake news.
How is your company or cause adapting its social media marketing efforts to capitalize on Facebook placing greater value on reactions?