Facebook's newest update that launched today lets you hover over the "like" button on a computer or hold down the "like button on a mobile device and the new emojis pop up. Facebook is calling it "Reactions." The new "reactions" include Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. A "Yay" reaction didn't quite make the cut but was considered.
Now you can let the person who posted know exactly how you feel about what they posted. It is an engagement that you're shocked about? Use the wow face. Is it a baby announcement you are excited about? Now you have options! You are no longer confined to the basic "like" button.
How The Facebook Update Affects Businesses
From a business perspective, this gives you more insight into what your fans think about your posts. It will be interesting to see how it affects engagement on your posts. If people didn't like your posts before this, they may have just ignored it. However, now they have options and can tell you more about how they feel without engaging in a conversation. My initial thoughts are that this will increase engagement. Whenever there's a new tool or feature people tend to use it a lot just to check it out and get used to it. This could spike engagement over the next week and month as people start to realize what they can do. With over a billion people on Facebook, there's going to be a lot of activity surrounding this new update.
What You Can Learn
Pay attention to the reactions on your posts. Which emojis are they using the most? Do you have more likes than loves? This will tell you what type of posts people want more of or less of. Engagement statistics previously gave you information on how engaging your post was based on number of like, comments and shares. Now you can break it down beyond just how many people were engaged. Now you can see how they felt about the post that they engaged with, beyond the comments. Even asking questions can yield great results without having to do a Facebook Poll. You can simply ask people to respond with the reaction that best suits their response to the question.
Currently, Facebook insights have not updated to include stats that break down reactions. They just updated "likes" to "reactions" in the engagement insight tool. While Facebook doesn't break it down for you yet, you can still glean valuable information by doing it yourself. Take the most engaging posts and see how people engaged.
Go play with the new feature so you understand how it works and have fun reacting!