May 24, 2016
We are coming to the end of the first 3 months of Facebook Reactions, and data is rolling in on all sides.
Initially the majority of people were delighted that their ability to express their emotional range had suddenly become slightly more than that of the house hold refrigerator, but it would seem the novelty has worn off.
But let’s backtrack for a moment and remember what Reactions were supposed to be all about: Facebook and by extension brands were meant to get a deeper understanding of how content is perceived by their community.
Sentiment analysis will always be tricky, but Reactions were supposed to be a colossal leap forwards. Quintly recently produced a paper analysing 130,000 Facebook posts and the first standout statistic is that if we look at the share of interactions it is clear that 97% are likes, comments and shares, not the other five reactions.
Second to that bombshell came the much more useful information that videos receive more reactions (love, wow, haha, sad, angry).
This supports the commonly accepted view that video content can generate more emotions, positive as well as negative.
After watching a video users tend to react with a “wow” reaction significantly more often compared to those who have just seen an image. Similarly users are twice as likely to jab at the “angry” after watching a video, proving video content to be the most emotive.
Thirdly it seems the introduction of negative reactions has not made much of an impact on the overall sentiment of the site. People simply prefer to interact with content that makes them happy.
What this means for marketers is:
1) Yayyyyyy we can measure sentiment more accurately.
2) Boooooo only 3% of Facebook are using it.
The big difference Reactions were supposed to bring was variety in emotional response, however the most popular reaction has been the love emoji, which is really just another version of he like button when it comes to measuring sentiment.
It begs the question how will Facebook drive users to engage with reactions and how can we design campaigns to benefit from it when they do?
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