More is Less? How Facebook emotion reactions will change marketing strategies


Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, announced the implementation of ‘reactions’ an emoticon version of the like or dislike button. It will allow us to not only click on the thumbs up button, but choose from a wide range of emoticons like: love, laughter, sadness, anger of wow. This allows users to react more in depth to news which isn’t necessarily something you like.

The question however is how these reactions will affect Facebook’s business model. Since Facebook’s biggest source of income is advertising, company pages and advertisements can profit from users liking their products. But what happens when users will be able to express other emotions towards their posts and pages as well? Zuckerberg hasn’t mentioned anything about this subject yet and how it will affect companies. But I’m sure that the reactions will change a lot.

It might be a shock for companies soon, when people start expressing how they feel about their content. What if your products make users sad or angry? Will it still be a good promoting medium for their products? However companies may also get a clearer view of what a like actually means to people. Which may in turn be helpful to produce even more personalized content for their customers and help companies analyze different types of marketing strategies.

From a more technical perspective the algorithm may also be affected by the reactions, since users can now also show their dislike to Facebook pages. Similar pages may then also not be displayed anymore and the classifications may differ. Currently if a user likes a post or page, he or she will be served up more content from that page. However, what will happen, when a person on Facebook shows anger or sadness towards a company. Will the algorithm stop showing content from that page to that user? And on the same note, how will the algorithm react to some of the more ambiguous emotions that are not that easily classified. For example the ‘wow’ emotion can be used both in very nice, shocked or sarcastic reactions. It will be interesting to see how Facebook will adapt its content afterwards. And brands may have to drastically change their ways of marketing in these situations.

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One response to “More is Less? How Facebook emotion reactions will change marketing strategies”

  1. gustavswritesforinformationstrategyorsomething says :

    Another interesting option that can happen is that users will start using a certain emoticon in a completely different sense. For instance, show angry, whenever you disagree with someone, which can basically lead for it to really be a dislike button.
    However, more likely than not it will not backfire, as these buttons are relatively precisely defined. Moreover, it currently seems that the marketers like this new button, because they will be able to analyze their customer ideas even better.

    The easiest way how I can see that as an improvement is that, it can show that for certain target segments, for instance, sadness provides better ROI and virility than for other groups.

    Overall, the whole concept that you will be able to quantify how “Sad” or “Anger inducing” the content is seems interesting.

    P.s. You can read more about marketeer reactions here: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/why-marketers-say-facebooks-new-emoji-reaction-buttons-are-long-overdue-167444

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