Facebook Reactions Are More Valuable than Likes – Learn How to Get More

Written by Laura Roeder

On May 27, 2021
Remember back in 2016, when Facebook introduced reactions?

You know, these things:

What are the hearts on Facebook for.jpg

They said at the time that reactions would end up influencing their algorithm – and now, they finally are.

As you probably know, Facebook assigns values to the actions users take in the News Feed, and adds up those values to determine how many people should see a post.

When Facebook reactions were first introduced, they were each given the same value as a like – clicking the Like button was worth the same as reacting with a heart or an angry face.

Now, though, reactions are worth MORE.

Facebook says that reactions are now more valuable than likes – and that means getting people to use them is more important than ever!

(Side note: for now, all reactions are worth the same – so a surprised face isn’t worth more than a sad face, or vice versa.)

How can you encourage people to use Facebook reactions, though?

Let’s take a look at what a few super successful brands are doing!

Share content that makes people FEEL something

Want people to express an emotion stronger than a like?

Make them feel it!

Facebook offers six reactions on top of the standard thumbs up- Love, Haha, Care Wow, Sad, and Angry.

The care reaction was added in 2020 as a response to the global pandemic. During 2020, more and more people turned to social media to connect. We already had the love button on Facebook, but the care reaction was created to help people show virtual support to one another.

Are you creating and sharing content that makes people feel any of those?

Some brands have it pretty easy getting reactions on Facebook.

For example, you might regularly share content that makes people feel angry:

Upworthy Angry Reaction.png

You might share content that makes people feel sad:

Entertainment Weekly Sad Reaction.png

Or you might even share content that makes people feel a sense of awe:

NASA Awe Reaction.png

If it doesn’t feel like it’s that simple, though, you can always give people a push in the right direction!

You can encourage people to react a certain way by dropping hints in your post.

Take a look at this example from Goal.com – they placed the Facebook wow face right in the image, and ended up scoring quite a few of those reactions:

Goal Whoa 1.png

BuzzFeed does something similar in posts like this one on their food Page:

BuzzFeed Funny Reaction.png

The status update itself tells you that the post will be funny – and the haha reaction was by far the most popular one.

One reason this works so well?

A lot of people share, comment on, and react to Facebook links without actually clicking on them first.

(Weird, but true.)

If those people are going to interact, though, you can encourage them to do so in a certain way – in this case, by using a fb reacts emoji instead of just a like!

You might even encourage people more explicitly to use reactions – a strategy that some Facebook Pages have practically perfected.

There ARE risks involved with that, though, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into.

Let’s take a look!

Ask ’em how they REALLY feel

Reactions are a quick and easy way for Facebook users to share their opinions – and because everyone can see how they tally up, people can see exactly how many others feel the same way they do!

Asking people to weigh in on an informal poll is an effective way to solicit reactions.

Here’s an example from Goal.com again:

Goal Facebook Poll.png

This post asked readers to use reactions to share their opinions, and it worked – users chose reactions almost twice as much as they used the like button.

Useful as it is to ask for feedback like this, though, Facebook has guidelines for doing it properly, and doing this the wrong way can negatively affect your reach.

(That means you probably want to pay extra attention to this next part.)

Facebook has a handful of rules regarding the use of reactions, but two of them are especially important:

First, the reactions you ask for should match their emotional intent.

This is something the above example does well – it asks users if they love, hate, or are shocked by the logo in the picture.

An example of doing this the wrong way might look like this:

Elle Woods Law and Order.png

In the above example, the two reactions people are supposed to choose don’t reflect how they may feel about the images.

The second big rule to follow is not to conduct reaction polls using looping or static videos.

Video may be the hot thing on social right now, but Facebook has said on multiple occasions that they’re limiting the visibility of graphics-only video polls.

A video poll shouldn’t just loop an animation over and over, nor should it just be a static image you uploaded as a video – Facebook considers those both to be low-quality content.

Trump Facebook Poll

If you decide to conduct a reaction poll via video, it should be an actual video – otherwise, stick to sharing it as an image or a link!

Why can’t I see reactions on Facebook?

Simple question, easy answer. If you can’t see the option to react with one of the emojis on a post, you are likely using an old version of Facebook. If you use the app, update it on your phone.

If you are using a desktop, try logging out of your account and back in again. If you haven’t logged out in a while, your settings may not be up to date.

Are you planning to get more reactions from your readers?

What do you think of Facebook making reactions more valuable than likes?

Does it make sense?

Is it something you take advantage of?

Have you seen an increase in engagements since Facebook reactions were added?

Let us know what you’ve had success with in the comments below!

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