The popularity of different social media platforms over the last few years has enabled users to engage with content on these platforms in different ways. Likes, retweets, shares, comments and views define how audiences interact within their social media communities. In 2016, Facebook extended this by adding Emoji "Reactions" to their platform - not only creating a more extensive way for users to engage with content, but also enabling Facebook to tailor content to users based on the data they collected from user "reactions".
Facebook's extended treatment of audience engagement on their platform is one demonstration of how social media platforms treat audience engagement differently. The social dynamics of different platforms force us to believe that an Instagram like should not be treated the same way a Facebook like is treated. Evidently, a Facebook user’s access to multiple reactions beyond a "like" proves that a like means something different on Facebook compared to Instagram or Twitter.
The implications of this is important for marketers to understand as they have large consequences for how one should think about return on investment metrics. The propensity for a user to "like", "love", or "comment" are very different and represent varied levels of value to marketers.
These reactions are of different value to Facebook. It takes a user more time to react to a post rather than simply like it. Given that Facebook's algorithm takes into account the amount of time a user spends on any post, it favors reactions over likes. All reactions are equally weighted though, and no distinction is made between any of the emoji options presented. Now that Facebook provides data on these reactions, advertisers should be able to recursively re-target their audiences based on this more granular level of detail as compared to prior campaigns.
We believe it is important to understand exactly how much we are paying for different levels of engagement. Upon understanding this, marketers must optimize their campaigns around how much they want to spend, and the value they get from different mixes of engagement.
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