What the New Facebook Icons Mean for Small Businesses What the New Facebook Icons Mean for Small Businesses
Have you seen the new Facebook icons? These new emoticons can help improve your business' marketing efforts. Find out how. What the New Facebook Icons Mean for Small Businesses

Have you seen the new Facebook icons? Last month, Facebook extended the range of responses for the “Like” button so users could express how they felt about a status update through five animated emoticons including: Love, Wow, Sad, Haha, and Angry.

The use of these reaction Facebook icons or emoticons allows people to quickly express themselves in a somewhat universal way without having to actually type and explain how they feel. Facebook tested their new feature in a few markets first and released it globally last month after receiving positive feedback from Facebook users. So what does this mean if you own a business with an online and social media presence?

Facebook Made it Easier to Gather Data

Generally, the amount of responses you receive on a Facebook post, whether it’s a like or a comment, can tell you how successful your update was. If someone stops what they are doing and takes the time to like or comment on your status update, it’s safe to say that you’ve gained their attention whether they gave negative or positive feedback. Gaining an audience’s attention on Facebook can not only lead to engagement, but clicks back to your content or your website.

Since the new emoticons will be able to help specify how users feel about your content and identify with your brand, it will help organize that valuable data for Facebook’s algorithms so marketers can reap the benefits. With more than 1 billion active Facebook users, this new feature only adds to the popular social network’s ability to perform effective marketing and consumer analysis.

It May Improve the Impact of Customized Ads

Facebook has an algorithm in place that adjusts to display certain updates and ads at the top of users’ news feeds that will most likely appeal to them. The data collected from the reaction emoticons will also be used to determine which ads are best for each user.

If you use Facebook ads, this could be beneficial for your business and your investment in this advertising tool. Instead of just taking a shot in the dark and advertising your business to the masses, your ads will be strategically displayed to your target audience to increase the amount of active fans you have which can lead to conversions in the long run.

The Icons will Help Business Owners Improve Content

Numbers are not everything when measuring the success of your business and engagement on various different platforms. With their new emoticon extension of the “Like” button, Facebook is allowing business owners to see how people responded to the content instead of just acknowledging the fact that X number of people responded.

For example, your content may be controversial and result in a lot of ‘angry’ emoticon reactions or if you share a statistic that you think is shocking, your audience might not feel the same judging by how they respond. Being able to see if the content made people people feel angry, surprised, or sad can prove to be a lot more effective than just counting how many people saw the post or pressed the “Like” button.

With this knowledge, you can evaluate your content and approach with a fresh pair of eyes in order to determine what you need to change or improve to enhance your audience’s experience on social media. For content that is already doing well, you may be able to specify why it is doing well and what emotion it is making your audience feel.

The New Emoticons Won’t Be the Answer to Everything

While Facebook’s new feature can be utilized to your advantage if you own a business, it’s important to realize that the absolute best way to collect data and determine how your audience is responding to your content on social media is through commenting and surveys.

Emoticons can be taken out of context at times and a user’s comment and feedback can be an extremely helpful alternative. There are also polls that can be posted on Facebook to gain customer feedback and useful data. However, some users do not comment or participate on polls on Facebook, so the emoticons can certainly help fill in the gap as long as you don’t overvalue the data you collect from this feature.

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Chonce Maddox

Chonce Maddox

Chonce is a contributor writer for LendingTree.