New Study Shows How Audiences Are Using Facebook's Reactions
Facebook Reactions rolled out just a few months ago and users have quickly adapted to expressing their feelings beyond a simple Like.
To find out how audiences are using this new feature to engage with news stories, Fractl looked at Reactions to the top three posts between March 14 and March on eight major news publishers' Facebook pages, including CNN, USA Today, Fox News, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Yahoo News, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
Facebook Users Like to Love
It turns out Facebook users aren't straying far from the Like. Our study found that 'Love' is by far the most-used reaction, with this sentiment making up 54% of the news publishers' non-like reactions.
'Wow' and 'Haha' trailed 'Love' as the second and third most-used reactions, making up 18% and 12% of non-like reactions, respectively. 'Angry' and 'Sad' were the least-used Facebook Reactions, making up a combined 16% of non-like reactions to the news publishers' posts.
Reactions Enable More Meaningful Engagement
Facebook Reactions answers an issue users previously faced when presented with content they wanted to engage with, but a Like wasn't an appropriate response. The wider range of emotions allows people to interact with posts that evoke a more complex emotional reaction, and not just the feel-good content showing up in their news feeds.
This was evident in the reactions we observed on the publishers' initial posts about the March 22 Brussels attacks. Posts about the attacks from The Huffington Post and The New York Times saw non-like reactions actually outnumber Likes.
On the converse, publisher posts about Pi Day garnered less diverse reactions, with the average nonlike-to-like ratio only 400 non-likes to 10,000 likes.
Reactions present an opportunity for more engagement around content that previously might have left audiences befuddled over how to respond. With more than a Like at their disposal, expect your followers to show a greater response to posts that don't elicit a thumbs up.
Fractl's full Facebook Reactions report is available on their website.
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