Facebook Reaction Buttons: What Nonprofit Marketers Will Love

Let’s face it, clicking “like” doesn’t always mean that you like something.

For example, when a friend posts a picture of their departed cat, clicking “like” lets them know you saw their update, even though you’re sad about their loss.

“Not every moment you want to share is happy. Sometimes you want to share something sad or frustrating. Our community has been asking for a dislike button for years, but not because people want to tell friends they don’t like their posts. People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions.”Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook Reaction buttons takes the like button to the next level, allowing users to express feelings like “love”, “haha”, “wow”, “sad” or “angry”, in addition to “like”.

Check out the example below from my iPhone:

facebook-reactions-angry

How do you use it? Just hold down the like button and choose between like, love, haha, wow, sad and angry (as shown below).

facebook-reactions

Here’s a quick overview from WIRED:

No, you can’t disable Facebook Reaction Buttons on your Facebook Page updates

Love, sadness, and anger are three of the strongest emotions that anyone can express. The fact that your community can now express them so easily on Facebook might seem a little scary.

But it’s not:

  • Your community already shares their feelings in comments. Hopefully you’re reading them.
  • Emotions are not good or bad. For example, righteous anger about an injustice is good. But if an angry vegan punches a pig farmer in the face, it’s bad.
  • As a marketer this is a win. Facebook Insights is already reporting this data (as shown below).
    facebook reaction buttons
  • Yes this will impact the News Feed Algorithm. Users who love things like cat pictures will see more posts that receive lots of love reactions.

A framework your marketing strategy

So how does Facebook Reactions immediately impact your Facebook strategy?

In addition to making Facebook more interesting (and more addictive) for users, Facebook has essentially defined a new framework for your marketing strategy. A framework that focuses on the biggest driver of engagement: emotion.

Facebook spent months surveying users and analyzing millions of posts to distill these six universal emotions. Everyone can relate to them and, based on their research, everyone wants to express them.

Ask yourself these questions about your Facebook updates, blog posts, etc:

  • Like – What will people like about this topic?
  • Love – What do people love about your cause? Will people love this post, or just like it?
  • Ha ha – What makes your community lol? What do they find entertaining?
  • Wow – What is amazing about your cause? What stories blow people away?
  • Sad – What stories make people sad?
  • Angry – What get’s them angry? What injustices does your nonprofit fight?

Share stories intended to generate these six specific reactions. Then measure, repeat, refine.

What do you think?

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Facebook Reaction Buttons: What Nonprofit Marketers Will Love

3 Responses

  1. While the “like” button was quite limited, the replacement icons are still restrictive in the response options they offer. Why can’t FB offer enough options to reflect something approximating the wealth if nuanced human emotions? I also think that constructing a marketing campaign or posts simply to fit FB’s still-too-limited response options is insulting to our followers/readers’ intelligence and capabilities. Isn’t the motivation behind most nonprofits to serve human needs or to reach people in an authentic way instead of asking clients, friends, and supporters to cram their feelings into preselected and limited check boxes?

    Jon Spangler March 2, 2016 at 3:35 pm #
    • I’d never recommend construction a marketing campaign simply to fit in with Facebook reactions. That would be very short-sighted.

      Rather, I think marketers should make their marketing more emotionally compelling by asking the important questions mentioned above.

      John Haydon March 3, 2016 at 12:24 pm #
  2. It’s woerdnful to have you on our side, haha!

    Esther July 20, 2016 at 6:19 pm #
John Haydon