Facebook Reactions Are More Valuable Than Likes – How You Can Get More

Written by Laura Roeder

On March 7, 2017

Remember in early 2016, when Facebook introduced reactions?

You know, these things:


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 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 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 five reactions – LoveHahaWowSad, and Angry. Are you creating and sharing content that makes people feel any of those?

Some brands have it pretty easy.

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 what you post.

Take a look at this example from Goal.com – they placed the 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 is going to 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 reaction 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 really reflect how they feel – they were chosen at random, and could be replaced by any other two reactions!

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!

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 plan to take advantage of?

Or are you going to keep on doing what you’re doing, and see what happens?

Let us know what you think of this update in the comments below!

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