Facebook Reactions Coming to The U.S. “In The Next Few Weeks”

Facebook Reactions was teased by Mark Zuckerberg late last year, though it was in testing for quite awhile before he decided the feature was worth casually mentioning in the press. You may recall hearing that there “wouldn’t be a ‘dislike’ button,” but that there would be an expanding of available reactions other than “Like.”

Facebook Reactions

Image courtesy of Facebook

Afterward, Facebook rolled out Reactions to only a handful of countries for testing:

  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Japan
  • Ireland
  • Chile
  • Phillipines

Most of them have had this feature since October, with Japan coming on board just a couple of weeks ago in 2016. The U.S. hasn’t yet been added to this list, though Chris Cox, the chief product officer for Facebook, said in an interview with Bloomberg that the feature would be introduced to the U.S. and the rest of the world “in the next few weeks.”

What Facebook Reactions Will Look Like

The first thing you should know is that the Facebook “Like” button isn’t going away any time soon. Facebook Reactions will be an extension of the popular like. To use one of the Reactions, you’ll simply hover over the like and the other reaction icons will pop-up. They’re each based on the most-common sentiments that have been expressed in comments on Facebook:

  • angry
  • sad
  • wow
  • haha
  • yay* (may be done away with, as it is not “universally understood”)
  • love

In addition to now seeing how many times a post has been liked, Facebook will also break it out into how many wows, hahas, loves, and so on.

What Facebook Reactions Mean For Pages

It feels like we’re all so used to talking about “likes,” that adding more into the mix is going to feel a bit cumbersome at first. But like anything on Facebook, it won’t be long before these new pieces mean for you and your brand.

This change will certainly mean some tweaks and changes to the algorithm we already love to hate. Any time there is a Facebook Reactions Emojichange in the Facebook algorithm organically, it usually means little tweaks for how much you pay when you advertise your photography business.

How Facebook will incorporate reactions to content like “angry” or “sad” in terms of the algorithm still remains to be seen – until now, negative sentiment has been only based upon reactions like reporting a post as spam or unliking your page. It’s simply a guess, at best, that prompting a reaction like “angry” or “sad” would be better than no reaction whatsoever, but that is just a guess.

The goal with the new ways to express the way a post feels for a user was to create a universal vocabulary that can be used as people scroll their News Feed. Especially popular in Asia, emoji and “stickers” are used constantly in messaging apps like Like and WeChat, and they are increasingly popular in the United States, as well.

Knowing that Facebook reactions are heading our way in a few weeks’ time, I encourage you to create a benchmark of your Insights now. Download the last couple of months worth of data and see what those Insights say about your organic picture. We all watch the day-to-day, but having everything laid out in a month-over-month or year-over-year is helpful to see what’s been happening with your strategy. Then you can effectively gauge how these new Reaction interactions have been affecting your Page performance once they’ve been out to everyone for around a month or so.

Facebook Quietly Testing Yelp Rival

Facebook has long had “Places” functionality in place, allowing people to check-in to locations, review businesses, and search for businesses that are near to a user’s specific location. However, the social network has quietly launched (is testing) a new feature that helps users find reviewed and rated businesses in their city.

FaceboThe site, which is available only through browser searching and not through the mobile app (for now), has all the categories you might come to expect – salons and spas, restaurants, child care, pet services, and photographers. 

 

It isn’t yet clear whether or not the new Services feature will integrate with the existing Facebook Places feature, but my hypothesis is that it will; Facebook aims to create a unified user experience and this is a natural tie-in, especially for advertisers on the platform.

I tested Facebook Services both logged into my personal account, and logged out. The results were slightly different for me, as they seem to have been when Marketing Land tested the feature, as well. In a statement to Marketing Land, Facebook confirmed, “We’re in the early stages of testing a way for people to easily find more Pages for the services they’re interested in.”

So what does this mean for photographers?

wedding couple kissing

Three Photo Mistakes Photographers Make with Facebook Ads

As photographers, our esthetic is one of the things not only defines who we are, it distinguishes us from others. But when it comes to Facebook marketing, the images we love most aren’t always the right images for capturing the attention of potential clients. When you’re creating Facebook Ads, it’s important to think marketer first, photographer second.

Image Colors Make a Huge Difference

Facebook is blue and white. Mobile or desktop browser, the site’s color scheme is pretty much the same. Sobride and groom on bridge here’s an almost-too-obvious tip – don’t post images that are heavy with blue and white, or very cool in temperature. They blend into the Facebook color scheme and are easy to scroll past. Instead, focus on images that are rich with colors like greens and golds, or any colors along the warm spectrum so they stand out in the News Feed.

Also? Don’t be afraid to bump the saturation and crank up that contrast just a little with ad imagery. I know you think I’m crazy for suggesting it, but I’m not saying you should amp it up 50 stops or anything. Even a slight (say, 3-5 on a slider) bump can make an image POP next to all the boring status updates and link shares on Facebook.

Photography Blogging Tips

Understanding the Facebook Algorithm

One of the biggest areas of confusion I witness throughout photography communities surrounds Facebook and the way its algorithm works. At least three times a week, I read assertions that Facebook “is just trying to get you to pay.”  Well, yes and no.

First, remember that Facebook is, for all intents and purposes, free. In other words, YOU are the product that keeps it in business. For years, businesses have used it as an almost-free way to promote and grow their own businesses. Secondly, has Facebook had 1.1 billion active daily users. When you take into account that the average American has 350 Facebook “friends” (that number in the age group of 18-24 jumps to 649!), and “likes” close to 80 pages (not to mention groups!), there is a LOT of content to prioritize.

In 2015, Facebook took even more steps to help its users filter and find the content they actually care about. In the early part of the year, they started penalizing sites that were overly-promoting clickbait and spammy posts. Later, they introduced a “Notifications” options so fans could opt-in to receiving notifications any time their favorite pages posted specific types of content. Ultimately? User behavior is what determines the News Feed results.

Affinity – Weight – Time

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to keep it simple. Facebook’s algorithm has always been centered around user behavior, and there are three cornerstone components to that behavior – affinity, weight, and time.

Affinity is the relationship between the user and other users, pages, groups, events, and so forth. For example, if my sister (whom I interact with often on Facebook) and three of my best friends (whom I also interact with often on Facebook), all like a Page, the affinity score between me and that Page is higher than if I was the only person in my circle who likes the Page.

Weight is factored in two ways. The first is the “weight” given to the type of post. Video is Facebook’s priority right now, so the weight given to videos posted on Facebook is higher than other types of posts, like a photo album or a link share. Actions on Facebook – likes, shares, comments, invites – are also weighted. A “share” is worth more than a “comment”, and a “comment” is worth more than a “like.” I’ve said this a million times before, and I’ll say it again – Someone “liking” a post on Facebook is like you glancing at a magazine cover while standing in line at the grocery store. Pretty much worthless – you didn’t pick it up, you didn’t flip through and see ads, you didn’t buy a copy, and you probably won’t think about it again once you look away.

Time decay is another factor. If a post garners a lot of social interaction up front, but stops after an hour, the post isn’t going to keep resurfacing to your fans. If that same post continues to garner likes over a few hours, and then perhaps a whole day? Then it’s going to continue to resurface for a longer period of time.

I’ve over-simplified those components, but even understanding those basics – nay, accepting those basics, is crucial to understanding why or why not your content performs well.

Some other factors include how long you spend looking at a post in your feed. This is relatively new to the Facebook algorithm, but it really does impact what is shown next. Before, when clickbait was running even more rampant, a user would have to click-through to a site (and therefore off of Facebook) to get the whole scoop. But with this new addition, if a fan sees your post in the News Feed, and stops to read the whole post right then and there, they’re more likely to have another post surface in their feed the next time they go to Facebook.

Another important piece of the algorithm to understand is its sophistication. If you want to see continual organic engagement with your Page, you have to consistently post engaging and interesting content. You can’t post one great thing and expect it to be your silver bullet. It has to be an ongoing, strategic effort on your part.

Facebook Does Not Penalize Non-advertisers

One thing that doesn’t affect your organic performance on Facebook, however, is whether or not you pay. I’ve been advertising on Facebook since 2006. Never in that time has my organic performance on – literally – dozens of the accounts I’ve managed, been impacted by paid results. That isn’t to say that there is no organic effect (there is, and I discuss that elsewhere), but businesses which choose to only use Facebook for organic marketing are in no way penalized by the social network for not purchasing ads.

With 1.01 billion daily users who share as many as 30 things per day, figuring out how to keep Facebook a personal experience is not an easy task.  When it comes to organic Facebook marketing, consistency is your best friend. Be thoughtful in what you post. Think about your best clients – to what do they respond most? What posts drove the most interaction? What patterns are you seeing in the Insights? The answers to those questions are where you should start.