Facebook’s ‘Reactions’: Over-Reaction is the Only Sure Thing

Facebook’s ‘Reactions’: Over-Reaction is the Only Sure Thing

Facebook’s ‘Reactions’: Over-Reaction is the Only Sure Thing

Every time Facebook makes a major change there’s an unavoidable avalanche of predictions from the marketing community.

The introduction of Facebook’s ‘Reactions’ is the latest change to get the crystal ball treatment, but Facebook itself doesn’t even know what impact this will have on brands yet.

That’s right, we’re all going to find out together…

Facebook ‘Reactions’ – A Quick Recap

In short, Facebook wanted to make it easier for people to express a broader set of feelings within the platform.

As Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg explained:

“Not every moment is a good moment – if you share something that’s sad, like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away, it may not be comfortable to like that post… I do think it’s important to give people more options than liking it.”

Here is the full line up of ‘Reactions’:

Facebook Reactions Full Set 2016

You’ll start to see these rolled out in the coming weeks.

Can we answer the ‘what does it mean’ question yet?

In my opinion, no.

The success of Facebook is due in part to the immense amounts of data it is able to collect from users and brands alike.

While there has been some testing of ‘Reactions’ in the last few months in selected markets, Facebook hasn’t released any data that provides us with anything concrete.

This puts marketers in a challenging position as it won’t take long until some of these questions filter through:

  • If 4 people are ‘angry’ about one of our posts should we ban talking about that subject in the future?
  • It doesn’t look like your page activity is getting enough ‘love’ should we be doing something different?
  • Why has our referral traffic from Facebook dropped so much in the last month? Does it have anything to do with ‘Reactions’?

The classic mistake is to take a very early sample, panic and rip up the existing blueprint.

Don’t do that. Let it play out a bit. Let some of the data come through and identify trends that exhibit longevity.

Even the though the ‘wait and see’ approach is advised, it doesn’t mean informed predictions carry no value. In fact, having some of this information in the back of your mind could come in very handy, especially internally.

Here’s a summary of the popular commentary we’ve spotted around the web:

  1. Nothing will change – It’s very possible that there’ll be an early surge in use of ‘Reactions’ before things settle down and go back to the way they were. ‘Likes’ will still dominate, when someone is ‘angry’ they’ll feel compelled to leave a comment and responses to ‘sad’ news will be handled privately.
  2. More headaches – Customer service is already complicated for brands within Facebook and the introduction of the ‘angry’ reaction makes it even easier for frustration to be displayed. It makes sense to assume that the overall volume of Reactions activity will influence newsfeed visibility in the way ‘likes’, ‘comments’ and ‘shares’ have done to date. This means that if hundreds of people hop on the ‘angry’ bandwagon in relation to a post, it could create a real-time fireball.
  3. Brand activity becomes ‘safer’ – The prospect of making people ‘sad’ or ‘angry’ isn’t usually at the top of the wishlist for marketers and communicators.
  4. More insights to play with – It’s an obvious one, but adding new ways for users to respond means page owners will have new ways to analyse activity. While more data usually makes marketers happy, trusting it early on will be difficult as benchmarks will be scares. Accounting for likely re-calibration post launch isn’t easy to grasp either.
  5. Facebook’s ad product increases in power – While Facebook have justified this move as user-centric, it certainly doesn’t hurt their advertising product either. While it isn’t clear how Reactions data will influence ad planning, common sense says it will help with hypertargeting. If it helps with hypertargeting, it will help sell things. If it helps sell things, advertisers will invest even more money into Facebook.

These are just a handful of potential scenarios but as mentioned throughout, we’re collectively in the dark until the roll out kicks in.

The one thing that can be predicted with certainty?

The over-reaction to ‘Reactions’ is only just beginning.

Yellow Social Media Report 2014: Facebook in Focus

Yellow Social Media Report 2014: Facebook in Focus

Yellow Social Media Report 2014: Facebook in Focus

The Yellow Social Media Report 2014 has just been released.

Over the last few years it has provided businesses with a great snapshot of key Australian social media statistics and this year is no different.

Instead of summarising the entire thing, we’ve decided to focus on what this report can tell us about Facebook from a business perspective (that we didn’t already know).

Why?

Facebook has essentially become a ‘pay to play’ platform for business which increases the overall cost of being active. These hard costs have meant many businesses, especially small to medium size ones, have begun questioning the value of Facebook in a much more vocal manner.

We also chose to focus on Facebook because its role in the contemporary social media environment is changing.

It has increasingly become a place where brand generated content is ‘promoted’, as opposed to a place where audiences are simply ‘engaged’.

Most importantly, and no matter how much noise is made about the other online destinations where users can ‘be social’, Facebook is still the one place where users of all types can be targeted and reached by business.

That’s right, Facebook is still a beast.

Yellos social media report 2014 focus on facebook all platforms

Here are some of the more interesting stats about Facebook usage in Australia we pulled out of the report:

  1. On average, Australian Facebook participants use the platform 30 times per week (this has increased from 16 times in 2011)
  2. The 20-29 age bracket are the most active, averaging 45 sessions per week
  3. Australian Facebook users spend 17 minutes on the site per session (down one minute from the 2013 data)
  4. The five most popular business types followed by users on Facebook are: Fashion / clothing (32%), sporting club (26%), work/ profession related (22%), electronics / technology (21%) and food / drinks (9%)
  5. Facebook continues to be the most popular platform for businesses of all sizes. 82% of small businesses, 89% of medium-sized businesses and 83% of large businesses are using Facebook as part of their social media marketing activity
  6. Large business owners believe Facebook advertising is a very effective part of their presence on the platform. 93% found paying to advertise worthwhile. In contrast, 66% small businesses felt the same way

What does it all mean?

These stats, in addition to the plethora of others in existence, confirm a lot of what we already knew.

Facebook is still the social media platform which can most efficiently help businesses reach the people that matter to them.

What they do there is the important bit.

And, how much budget they can allocate towards advertising to boost visibility is equally as important.

Check out the report in full here.

New Page Insights Coming to Facebook on October 8 (2013)

New Page Insights Coming to Facebook on October 8 (2013)

Facebook set to roll out another update

Facebook appears to be readying itself for a roll out an updated version of page insights from the 8th of October.

We just spotted this notification in the admin panel of one of the pages we manage and it suggests Facebook is continuing to focus on ways it can page management easier, especially for smaller businesses.

The changes that are scheduled to take place are featured in the screen grab below.

new page insights coming to Facebook on 8 October 2013

While Facebook hasn’t outlined how much information these updates will provide, we’ll all get to see them in action from the 8th of October.

It is most likely these changes are a result of customer feedback and the increasing levels of deeper analytics being provided by 3rd party tools like SocialBakers and LocoWise.

As usual, Facebook continues to change, and change, and change before our eyes at a rapid rate.

Liked this post? Head back to the blog homepage for more good stuff.

Three (real) reasons why Facebook has changed the promotion and competition rules

Three (real) reasons why Facebook has changed the promotion and competition rules

This week’s announcement from Facebook about changes made to promotion and competition rules has sent social and digital media agencies into a spin.

If you missed the news, Facebook has removed the requirement that promotions can only be administered through apps and can now be featured within the news feed using simple like and comment mechanics.

The announcement has been analysed from a bunch of different perspectives, especially what it means to businesses, large and small.

Instead of adding to that commentary, I wanted to look at the reasons why Facebook has instituted this change.

Officially, Facebook said the changes were made to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to administer promotions on pages.

But, there are other reasons too.

1. Facebook wants businesses to spend money on ads, not apps developed by 3rd parties

The old rules required brands to engage 3rd parties to develop applications to run and fulfill competitions which were often very costly.

In fact, many social and digital media agencies have built their businesses on this requirement.

But Facebook wants business to spend their marketing money on making their content and promotions more visible through Facebook ads, not on 3rd parties where they don’t see any revenue.

2. Facebook is now a mobile-first platform

One of the biggest problems with Facebook applications is that that many didn’t work on mobile devices.

To get around this, mobile versions were hosted outside of Facebook, taking users away from the platform.

By moving more competitions to the main news feed, more time will be spent within Facebook which increases its value to advertisers.

3. Facebook wants brands and businesses to develop more content that works within the news feed

One of the biggest reactions from industry commentators and agency land to the rule change news was a fear that news feeds would be clogged up with competitions.

While we might see a bit of this initially, it will calm down as promotions tend to attract a certain type of fan and may potentially water down the quality of communities.

Facebook, like Google, has recognised that the consistent flow of content is what makes the platform relevant and the removal of the promotion rules barrier increases the volume of news feed content.

The big lesson for businesses and brands

This change from Facebook is just another example of the blessing and the curse that is Facebook.

Brands and business do not own their Facebook presence, they are paying rent.

When you pay rent, your landlord can make changes that you may be forced to live with.

The focus must shift from creating content for Facebook, to creating content that adds value no matter where it is published.

About Kamber

Kamber is a specialist content marketing and social media agency based in Australia.

We help clients behave in ways that make them valued online participants which is the best way to tie content marketing and social media into your operational and commercial objectives.

You can follow Kamber on Twitter via @KamberCo or join our Facebook community to access more analysis and insights from our team.

Why Facebook is Cracking Down on Low Quality Content

Why Facebook is Cracking Down on Low Quality Content

Facebook has made its intentions very clear with the recent changes to the news feed algorithm.

The new Facebook news feed algorithm aims to reward quality content at the expense of ‘engagement rate’ content.

‘Engagement rate’ content is the term I use to describe content that attempts to clock up likes, comments and shares to help make it more visible in the Facebook news feed.

This tactic will be less lucrative under the new system.

A classic example of ‘engagement rate’ content is the low-quality meme (like the one below) accompanied by a ‘like if you agree’ type caption.

The reasons why these types of posts became so prevalent is because people were made to believe that stats like engagement rate and levels of ‘soft’ interaction meant something.

Page managers also felt if they got their content to be featured in the news feed for longer, they’d increase the chances they had to organically grow their fan base.

However, this approach probably caused more harm than good, especially from a credibility perspective.

Facebook will now assesses more than 1,000 factors to determine what visibility it should be given and the old like-baiting tactics will have less influence.

This is a REALLY good thing.

memes

Why is Facebook cracking down on low quality content?

Facebook wants to reward quality content for the same reason Google is attempting to do the same: credibility.

If Facebook can’t provide a credible and relevant experience for its users, they may be less inclined to spend as much time on the platform.

Facebook featured some advice on a blog post that announced the changes which are worth keeping in mind. These are great questions to ask when developing content for any platform:

  • Is this timely and relevant content?
  • Is this content from a source you would trust?
  • Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
  • Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g., asking for people to like the content)
  • Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
  • Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?

What does this mean for brands and business who are active on Facebook?

This move by Facebook is part of the long overdue maturation of the social web.

It’s not enough to be just be active, you have to bring something unique to the table.

You must identify the themes and topics your communities value the most and then serve up compelling and unique content that lives beyond a simple ‘like’.

This change from Facebook, and the continued updates to Google’s algorithm are another nail in the coffin of  content ‘gaming’ and another big reason to take genuine content marketing more seriously.

Some of the other stories from around the web that covered the changes to Facebook’s algorithm can be found below.

TechCrunch: Facebook Feed Change Punishes Pages for Posting Crappy Memes

ReadWrite: Facebook Aims to Cut Down on Your Newsfeed Clutter

Cnet: Facebook Fudges With News Feed to Feature Top Notch Page Posts

About Kamber

Kamber is a specialist content marketing and social media agency based in Australia.

We help clients behave in ways that make them valued online participants which is the best way to tie content marketing and social media into your operational and commercial objectives.

You can follow Kamber on Twitter via @KamberCo or join our Facebook community to access more analysis and insights from our team.

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