Reacting to Facebook Reactions

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Like. Love. Haha. Wow. Sad. Angry.

Facebook’s cast of reactions is here.

When my team first learned that reactions were going to be rolled out to brands, our reactions were something like…


On the one hand, we know we have a dynamic, engaged and strong Facebook community, so reactions give our fans a better way to tell us what they think of our content. Like this.

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The dreaded Angry face

As brand managers of social and digital channels, we know a big part of our job is fostering conversation and engagement with our audiences. For better or worse. #hatersgonnahate

Initially, I went down the worst-case scenario route. I was bracing for our Facebook page to be riddled with Angry faces. But, I shouldn’t have doubted our community. Ram fans bleed green and gold and are all about sharing their likes and loves with CSU.

Reactions have been around for more than two months now. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Like is king

Far and away, the most popular reaction to our content is the Like. Honestly, this isn’t very surprising for a couple of reasons. The Like button may reign supreme simply because it’s the easiest action to take on a post (the extra effort to hold and swipe to select a different emotion may be too much effort). Or, the concept of “liking” is so ingrained into our digital behavior that our fans “like” out of habit. Either way, we’ll take those likes.

Love is next

Even though it’s in a distant second place, it’s reassuring that our second-most common reaction is Love. Our top Love posts are of iconic CSU people and places (aka Catnip).
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No longer afraid of Angry face

Yes, we’ve received Angry reactions to our posts but they are in the minority. And for posts where we anticipate more Angry reactions, we use as opportunities to engage in conversation by providing clarifying information. We don’t mind being the place where fans react to issues and topics — even if the reactions bring forth negative feedback. For example, CSU is in the process of building an on-campus stadium. There are lots of opinions about the stadium, and not all of them are glowing, but in reviewing the negative comments we are able to hone in our messaging for future posts regarding the stadium.

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At the end of the day, I’m happy that reactions are here. They’ll help us better identify how our fans feel about CSU which in turn will aid us as we strengthen our content strategy.