Villing & Company

Reacting to the New "Reactions" on Facebook: 5 Key Takeaways

You may have noticed that Facebook recently rolled out some brand new “reaction” options. It’s not just “like” anymore. If this feels like déjà vu, maybe it’s because we just finished talking about Twitter’s new changes.

So how do you navigate a world where people can “love” or be “sad” about your posts on Facebook? Let me answer that by using the new Facebook vernacular. Here are 5 key takeaways to keep in mind:


What I “love” about these new options is the wealth of social listening opportunities that they afford brands. Your followers will tell you what type of content resonates most. Now, they have a simple vehicle by which to accomplish this.

Take notice of what posts people “love” as opposed to “like.” If you can, follow up on users who react with “sad” or “angry” to see why there was a negative reaction. Make sure you don’t overlook the feedback that comes in, though.


Humor has always been a great way for brands to connect with audiences. However, you must proceed with caution. The Internet is also riddled with brands who attempted humor and failed – much to their detriment.

As with any marketing initiative, you need to have a strategy and it needs to fit your brand. If humor works for you, go ahead! But don’t try to fit a round peg into a square hole. If humor isn’t a big part of your brand, that’s ok too. Just because there’s a “Haha” reaction on Facebook now doesn’t mean you have to rush to create content targeted towards it.


I’ve got to give it to Facebook. I feel like, in terms of functionality, they knocked this one out of the park. We’ve been hearing about the possibility of reactions for a while now, but I was never really sure how it would fit.

If all of these reactions showed up on every post in the same way “like” has for years, it would feel cumbersome. However, the hover function that brings up all the new reactions feels seamless and simple. “Like” is still featured, because that’s what everyone is used to.

Brands can learn from this. When you’re launching a new product or feature, make it simple for your audience to use and understand. It may be the best thing since sliced bread to you but if users aren't convinced it's worth the effort, they'll likely ignore it.


Don’t be quick to dismiss reactions as another passing fad. They might be just that. But what makes me sad is seeing people write off new things as opposed to learning from and considering them.

Maybe that’s just me being a millennial.

What I’m getting at is this – the newness of Facebook's "reactions" is not reason enough to overlook factoring them into your brand marketing.  If you test content and realize that "reactions" aren't particularly helpful or useful, THEN you can dismiss them.

We’re humans. We have visceral reactions. If Facebook reactions help brands create content that resonates with users on a human level, then it’s completely worth it.


Earlier I mentioned that it would not be wise to dismiss reactions without seeing whether they can be of use to your brand. Equally concerning is a brand that dives into reactions without a strategy.

Maybe you will use reactions as a tool for competitor research. SocialMediaExaminer highlights this as a great way to use them. So, develop a strategy and rock it out!

Maybe you will begin reacting to influencer posts to get some more visibility for your brand. So, develop a strategy and rock it out!

Anything less would just make me angry…and you won’t like me when I’m angry.


So with that, let us know what you think. Reach out to us on Facebook and tell us your thoughts on the new Facebook reactions. We’d love to hear from you!

Wishing you more “Wow” and “Love” than “Sad” and “Angry.”

Filed Under: Social Media

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