Facebook Reactions Are Here, but That Doesn’t Mean You Should Measure Them

Facebook Reactions Are Here, but That Doesn’t Mean You Should Measure Them Kevin Shively Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

Today, Facebook unleashed the much-anticipated replacement of the one-size-fits-all “Like” button: Reactions.

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 12.35.47 PM

While “Like” will still be the default, Facebook users can now hold down on the “Like” button to display the other reaction options.

These Reaction metrics (other than Likes) aren’t available through Facebook’s API yet, but can be found in your native Facebook Insights Dashboard.

The Social Marketer’s Guide to Social Media ROI

To be honest, when I read the news, I was planning on writing a post about how Reaction emojis could be really valuable to marketers (now I can tell when someone is sad about my post!), but as I read through other blogs saying the same thing, I realized it’s not necessarily true.

It’s easy to get caught up and think, “Oh, sweet! Something new to measure!” But that’s exactly the thinking we’re all trying to get away from as social marketers, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that Facebook added this feature. As a user (read: a human person), I like the option to quickly express a variety of emotions. But as a marketer, this may be a distraction. How do they really help me?

Reactions Are Not a Success Metric

It’s something new to measure, and definitely more diverse than a tally of Likes, but I’d like you to strongly consider how you’ll actually use the insight you get from spending time and energy analyzing the types of reactions used. Will this help you drive more business from social? Will it help you gain a better understanding of your audience?

As our co-founder and CPO Adam Schoenfeld wrote over a year ago:

Focusing exclusively on Likes, replies, and basic engagement metrics won’t tell the whole story.

And while emoji responses are fun, as a marketer, you should be focusing on something much more impactful than the type of smiley face someone uses on your post.

Measure What Matters

Your CMO has likely never said, “We need to increase our Facebook Likes by 10% this month in order to hit our Q1 revenue goals.”

TrustRadius’s 2015 Social Marketing Trends Report found that measuring ROI is the top challenge for social marketers.
TrustRadius: ROI Is the Biggest Challenge

In addition to measuring ROI, the second biggest challenge was “tying social activities to business results.”

The biggest challenges we face are about attribution, and in lieu of that, we grasp for anything we can find that has the off-chance of showing value. Instead of measuring more, focus on measuring the things that map to your goals as a marketing team.

Social Metrics Map

When you map your measurement directly to the buyer’s journey,  the metrics you need to focus on become clear, saving you time that you can use to ensure your customers do respond with more emojis…but they do it because of the awesome experience they have with your product or service.

Why Reactions Are Good

Reactions are something you should be wary of measuring. They won’t help you with ROI, and they won’t give you any ground-breaking insight into your audience, but they’re still a good thing, because they give your audience the ability to easily engage with you in a unique way. Regardless of the measurement implications, this is always a good thing. Inspiring and activating your audience to thoughtfully interact with your brand’s content is a central focus of social marketing.

As for ROI and social attribution, Simply Measured is continuing our push to solve this problem. It just may not involve emojis.

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Kevin Shively

As the head of content marketing at Simply Measured, cohost of the #SimplySocial podcast, and generally delightful person, my job is to tell stories to the internet...You're welcome internet.