When it comes to consumer responses on Facebook, just being liked isn’t good enough anymore. Marketers want to see a full range of our emotions. This week Facebook started testing a new line of "reactions" emoji in Ireland and Spain.
"'Thumbs up' emoticon for this, or maybe 'yay' even," said Wally Krantz, executive creative director of Landor, a branding firm in New York. “Because a lot of things I might not just like, because that’s not getting my point across.”
Like one of Krantz’s relatives who responded to a photograph he posted on his Facebook page.
“And she said, 'Wally I love the pictures mostly that you post, but this one is boring.' But what I thought was interesting was that she actually was moved to comment on it, and that’s what people are going to find value in,” he said.
Krantz says Facebook users will be more inclined to respond if they have a richer way to express themselves. While the new options do not include the long-requested dislike button, users can express themselves by choosing among a red-faced emjoi for anger, a sad face for when you're feeling down, and, if the Like button isn't strong enough, there's a heart.
With Facebook tallying its users reactions, marketers will be able to better target their ads. That could lead to more ad sales for Facebook and ways to get more relevant content to users. More emotional information, like a sad face, could also keep advertisers from showing up from where they don’t belong.
After Facebook posted a picture of his daughter as part of his year-end highlights, Eric Meyer, a web designer and developer, wrote a blog post calling for design changes on the site. Meyer’s daughter had passed away on her sixth birthday. The post went viral.
“Pampers would not want to have their ads put on a post about somebody who just had a miscarriage. And they were saying something about how they were really looking forward to changing diapers and now they’re not going to get that chance,” he said.
The new options, said Meyer, will be beneficial to Facebook users and advertisers.
“A Pampers ad, or a Huggies ad in that situation would be horrible. And that would be negative for that advertiser. So this would give Facebook the ability to be more sensitive to those kinds of topics.”
Notes Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, all feedback on content is useful to companies.
“And then you can make an adult decision about whether you want to stop putting it out there.”
Which is exactly what Facebook is doing with its new emojis – finding out how Irish and Spanish users feel about them.