If you’ve ever Googled something off hand and suddenly seen adverts for the same thing on Facebook, or noticed your Amazon searches influencing your recommendations, you’ve seen personalisation in action. The tracking of ‘cookies’ – tiny data files that log the websites you visit – is big business for marketers.
The worlds of personalised ads and programmatic see companies doing constant battle to earmark the perfect customer, and find them the perfect product. Companies are convinced that by distilling down the essence of someone’s browsing and shopping habits, they can appeal to them on a completely different level than picking a broad age or gender demographic.
But is this really true? To twist an old maxim, do people actually want what they know? Or is it advertising’s role to curate, tease and suggest products that the viewer might not ordinarily buy?
Things are about to get a lot more emotional over on Facebook. After years of resisting a “dislike” button for fear of making the social media behemoth too negative, Mark Zuckerberg has introduced Facebook Reactions – icons that allow users to respond in a much more emotionally expressive manner than has previously been available. While the “Like” button is still in action, the narrow scope of this function (where you were limited to either liking or ignoring a post. Unless of course you decided to comment with your opinions instead, which anyone who’s ended up in a Facebook argument with oddly virulent strangers knows can be a big mistake) led to users demanding more options.
In this update, this is exactly what they have. Now you can love a post, express your sadness, and even let people know your frustration. With some small potential to ruin friendships, (“Why did you say that my selfie made you angry?!”) posts will now show their top three reactions- putting brands in the new position of knowing when their followers and customers have responded negatively to their content. Or, indeed, absolutely loved it.
This is fairly unchartered territory. People are famously free and easy with their opinions on the internet, and can be much ruder than they would ever be in real life. This being said, more often than not people on Facebook would either like a post, or scroll past it, even when it elicited a minor negative reaction. The lack of an appropriate response to convey their feelings meant that they simply went unrecorded.
Previously, brands would know by the number of engagements- measured in comments and likes- how their content had gone down, but only in the broadest sense possible. Now, if you were aiming to be funny, you can have a much better idea whether the joke completely bombed by the lack of “Haha” reactions. You’ll also be much more aware if you’ve pissed customers off. Of course, if you wanted to evoke an angry emotion in your audience (perhaps in a “look how outrageous and unfair this is”) then an “Angry” response will be exactly what you were looking for, but generally brands will be aiming to be Loved.
Unfortunately, although you can assess with much more accuracy how people feel about your branded content with Reactions, in marketing terms it’s still a very blunt tool. An “Angry” response counts as engagement as much as a “Love” response does, and at the time being companies have no powers to target their content according to these reactions. So a post may be getting an overwhelmingly negative response – but it’s still engagement, and Facebook will still target your ads at these Facebook users, simply because they have interacted with you.
In finding out more about your audience, and tailoring your content, Facebook Reactions will be an incredibly useful tool. Being able to distinguish between what people have Liked and Loved will give a much greater insight into what goes down really well, rather than just fairly well, and you can assess whether your posts have had the emotional response that you intended. You will also know very quickly if a large number of people have found your post offensive, and it will increase empathetic relationships between brand and consumer.
A potential downside, apart from the current inability to target ads based on Reactions, is a new nervousness when you are creating content. Even a few “Angry” responses that you didn’t foresee or intend could really throw you off your stride and shake confidence, especially given the very public nature of this medium. Here it’s important to remember that not everyone will be a fan. If your pleasing most people, then there’s not an issue, especially as only the top three reactions will be displayed to those viewing your posts.
Targeting your ads accurately so they do not irritate the people for whom they are irrelevant will be a good start in making sure your reactions are positive, and you should be aware that many more people are now going to be empowered to interact with your content. Where the limited emotional range of the “Like” button meant that many people who would see your posts didn’t engage with them, the Reaction buttons gives them much more a chance to do so. This could be a great opportunity for your brand, and this new insight could end up improving your social media presence and benefitting your business.
Gooey Digital has been instrumental in helping us improve the performance of our PPC campaigns over the last year. In a year-on-year comparison we spent £478 less but received an additional 2,306 conversions
Howard Berndes: Owner of Arrowfile
As a digital agency, Gooey Digital has a great way of presenting what is often viewed as a complex, mystifying subject. They assisted our digital marketing and content teams in SEO, increasing traffic by over 250k, while providing PPC best practice. They really got under the skin of our business requirements.
Suzanne Newman: Digital Services Manager at Racing UK
Gooey Digital has proven to be a very talented SEO Agency who have delivered outstanding results in a short period of time. Their expertise and meticulous approach are second to none.”
Fabio Adler: Marketing Manager at McQueen
Gooey Digital has helped us with the SEO and marketing for our website since 2014. They are an expert in their field and are incredibly knowledgeable, helping us to reach potential clients all around the world. They are always friendly, available and always brings great ideas to help market our business. They have helped to raise our business profile and get us seen by a bigger audience. We’d recommend their services without hesitation. They really know their stuff.
Katya Puyraud: Euro Start Entreprises
Gooey Digital have been nothing short of stellar. They worked with us from our very early days and always showed a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty. They possess excellent communication skills, and the quality of their content creation is absolutely first class. We've been working mainly with Nick and Holly and they have fitted into our team brilliantly and contributed some really creative ideas to help us get out there and enhance our visibility. I would really recommend these guys, in fact I already have, including to members of my family.
Will Williams: Will Williams Meditation
I should start by saying I’m a perfectionist. My business means everything to me and anyone who I hire needs to be of the highest standard. I was introduced to Gooey Digital about a year ago to help write copy for my website. They're truly fantastic. Their writing is impeccable and given that writing is part of my work, I do not say this lightly. For each piece they do for us they also researches content in depth and I often learn about my own industry through their efforts. As a result of this, I started hiring them to help with a host of other writing projects on policy groups I work with; everyone is always impressed with their work. Moreover, Gooey Digital are prompt, good natured and not expensive. In short, they're a gem and I imagine we will continue working together for a long-time.
Heather Mason: The Minded Institute
We've worked with Gooey Digital on a number of projects, and I could not recommend them more highly! They are responsive and fun to work with, and wow do they know their stuff. I wish I could package their deep knowledge of driving traffic and, in the end, sales, but in the meanwhile I love reaching out to them to help us with all of our important projects throughout the year.