We've all been there. That moment when a friend posts something in their Facebook newsfeed about a difficult situation in their life. Or a post appears about some outrageous injustice or political nonsense. We're moved to express sympathy, displeasure, anger, or annoyance. So we...
It's been an issue since the Dawn of Facebook and probably their biggest feature request from users since Day 1. And lo and behold, Facebook has now addressed it.
We are now more complete human beings on Facebook.
After a period of testing, Facebook introduced additional ways for users to react to content with one click. We can now be more fully rounded people by expressing ourselves with a complete range of emotions (well, 6 anyway).
Now we can like, love, laugh, as well as express surprise, sadness, and anger. Add self-pity and we pretty much have a Hallmark Channel movie. At @altrevolution we're still holding out for the 7 Deadly Sins indicators. Go Gluttony!
So what does this mean for your social media strategy?
Snarky fun aside, Facebook's move really is a step forward. It allows your fans and followers to interact with your social media content in more diverse ways, providing you with more insight into their reactions. This new improvement adds more depth and dimension to your understanding of your fans, followers, and potential customers: what motivates them? upsets them? what moves them to react?
And the downsides???
Those extra fun, little emoticons also translate into 5 additional data points to track, analyze, and respond to. Beware of unintended consequences, right?
To truly take advantage of any insights, you'll need to track and analyze users' various responses—especially the negative expressions. Much like negative comments, you may feel the need to respond to a cascade of angry emoticons.
Obviously, it all depends on your content strategy and your business needs. You may want to post content that stokes anger in order to compel people to take action, for example. Regardless, you're going to need to track all of this. [insert sad emoji here].
In addition, although Facebook's change has been rumored and tested for a while, they rolled it out network-wide rather unexpectedly. If you're using social media analytics solutions, it may take them some time to catch up.
Now go forth and express yourself.
All-in-all, we think Facebook's move is a positive. It seems like the right amount of options to express various emotions & reaction, too. What? no "pensive?"
Anyway, what's your take? Wow? Sad? Angry? Love? You now can tell us all about it.