Have you started using Facebook’s latest emoticons in place of ‘Likes’? With the latest roll out, Facebook is again leading the charge on social media by more accurately displaying general feeling towards the posts. You can choose from 6 basic emotions, “Like”, “Love”, “Haha”, “Wow”, “Sad” and “Angry”.
The Evolution of Social Media Reactions
It actually started with people asking, instead of “Liking” posts, can we “Dislike” them? And then there were updates like a passing of a friend’s relative, where it wouldn’t make sense to “Like” or “Dislike”. So most people would add comments, expressing sadness and sympathy. Of course, the issue for Facebook is that, it is almost impossible to figure out how people actually felt as there are millions of ways people can use words to express their emotions.
In my personal opinion, this is a great step, as opposed to having “Dislike” buttons, as disliking would have very negative connotation associated with the post. Take for example, Youtube’s Thumbs Down button, it really doesn’t serve any real purpose for the person who uploaded their video. In fact, it encourages trolls and keyboard warriors who turn the whole social media experience into a negative one and discourage people from posting more about themselves. There are even hackers that make use of it to discredit videos.
So fast forward to today, Facebook is the first mass social media platform to allow people to express emotions. Other than being an upgrade for user experience and adding freshness to the platform, these emoticons will serve a larger purpose, which is the truth behind these emoticons.
The Truth Behind Facebook’s Latest Emoticons
Make no mistake about it, Facebook is about the generate a whole lot of social data on how we interact and feel, which is the first of it’s kind. For marketers, it can be a huge game changer. As you know, the marketing game largely plays on the emotions of consumers and Facebook is about to create a massive amount of quantifiable data. It’s a matter of time before Facebook figures out how to make advertising and data mining tools out of all this. However, before Facebook allows for targeting using emotions, there are already ways you can tap on the potential.
Have a new Marketing Campaign? Figure out How People Feel About It
Many marketing campaigns, especially viral ones get plenty of likes. However, if you actually take time to read the comments, you will notice very mixed feelings. Take for example, the latest Nikon competition where the prize winner actually submitted a photoshopped image of a plane within the picture.
The reactions are actually very varied, with some thinking its funny, with some being shocked and some even being angry that Nikon actually did not discover the obvious flaws. Although the PR team tried to counter the negative effects by turning into a joke, imagine if they had the data that “85% of the people were sad or angry”, then they might have dealt with the scenario very differently. Instead, because they wasted time and their competitor Canon took advantage by making a joke out of Nikon.
Try it out and express your feeling towards posts rather than just being lazy and clicking the “Like” button. Encourage your readers and fans to express their feelings towards your posts so you know how they feel. The feedback you receive will be so much more interesting than the old generic “Likes”.