This week, Facebook offered more reactions to posts than likes with a series of emojis dubbed love, haha, wow, sad and angry. This provides brands additional ways to measure the quality of fan engagement, rather than simply quantity. For marketers, that could mean weighing reactions; for example, a love or a haha could be worth more than a like. Sad and angry reactions could mean count as negatives against overall engagement.

The varied reactions also mean brands can use Facebook as a database for consumers’ response to brand campaigns, or even an experimental arena for predicting the success of creative before backing it with ad dollars. “Reactions gives businesses a really crisp way of understanding on a multi-dimensional level how people are feeling about the things that they’re posting,” says Richard Sim, Facebook’s director of monetization product marketing.

Despite the buzz surrounding new social platforms – particularly Instagram and Snapchat – Facebook remains the dominant source of social traffic to brand sites. On average, more than 70% of a brand’s social traffic is derived from Facebook, according to L2’s Social Platforms study. The addition of reactions makes the platform an even more comprehensive resource for communicating and receiving feedback from consumers.

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