For years, Facebook’s core users have been asking for the one feature they can never seem to get: a “dislike” button. Maybe there is something about human nature that makes us not only want to share our approval, but voice our disapproval of certain posts and ideas, as well, in the social media world.
But, despite speculation that some version of a thumbs-down icon would arrive this week, Facebook instead rolled out a series of emojis that encompass a wider range of expression and emotion (including one with an angry face).
For Facebook users, the emojis are just another way to share feelings and give feedback. For marketers, though, there are a few deeper implications. Here are a couple that you should be aware of:
Facebook emojis can help or hurt your communications – People are influenced by the opinions of others, and this is especially true on social networking sites. So, if influential individuals are giving your content strong endorsements (in the form of emojis) it’s possible that other users will pick up on this and respond in kind. Additionally, Facebook may factor that kind of feedback into its popularity rankings.
Better feedback means more information – You might think a bigger smile, laugh, or even an angry face is just a meaningless icon, but really what these represent to you (as a marketer) are a more precise form of feedback. In other words, you can pay closer attention to what people think about your posts and ideas, and that’s a good thing… provided you’re savvy enough to pay attention and alter your approach based on what you see.
These emojis could be just the beginning – Whether it’s a “dislike” button or a series of faces, it’s clear that many social media users want easier ways to express their true opinions. You can bet that Facebook, as well as other social media platforms like G+ and LinkedIn, will expand these kinds of features in the future.
At this point, it’s important not to make too much of a few smiley and frowning faces on a social network. But, as Facebook’s emojis are adopted and expanded, they might represent an important point when we began to understand exactly what our fans and followers respond to online.