Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

UPDATED: My reaction to Facebook “reaction buttons”: Don’t overthink ’em!

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October 30, 2016 update
According to my own reviews, most people continue to use the LIKE button over others. Makes sense to me and I do the same myself.

Facebook also updated the buttons to be Halloween-themed for Halloween 2016.


facebook reactionsFeb. 24, 2016 update:

The buttons are now live on Facebook. You have to hover over the Like button to show them and can then pick one. I was only able to do this on desktop and not yet inside the app.

January 27, 2016 post below:

facebook likeSo Facebook is getting more buttons. The Like button wasn’t enough, as Time (and others) reported in January 2016. New buttons mentioned are:

  • Angry
  • Sad
  • Wow
  • Haha
  • Love

So there will be five more ways for marketers to overanalyze things on Facebook. Does an angry reaction signal higher engagement than a sad one? What if I like something a lot but don’t quite love it? Can I push them both to split the difference? Will there be universal definitions? Haha  – did they mean LOL?

How will people – especially us marketers – use these words in a sentence?

“Hey, @ctrappe, I saw that 1,000 people sadded your post.” 

“Of course. It was a sad story.”

So, I hope marketers won’t use more potential engagement metrics as another excuse to slow down the sharing of meaningful, relevant and interesting authentic stories on Facebook and all relevant channels. I’ve taken a stab here at some of the potentially frequently asked questions that marketers might have:

What does this mean?

It means that people can now do more than liking your post.

Do we need to redo our storytelling strategy?


I’ve been using LIKES as a success metric in my reporting. Will those numbers now go down?

Probably, unless people really only like your posts. In that case they might only like and not sad, wow, or angry your posts. It would have been easier if the button had names that had verb versions, by the way. But, even if you get hahas or loves you could just roll it all up into one engagement metric called: reactions, the artist formerly known as like.

Can we disable the angry button?

I certainly hope not.

How will we know if hahas are meant positively or negatively?

No idea. Maybe they can click the like or sad buttons at the same time?


pokeWill these reaction buttons stick around?

No clue, but perhaps more importantly: Will people use them? Time will tell. By the way, did you know that the Poke  function still exists on Facebook? It does, go to somebody’s profile and it’s in the drop down by the Message button (as of 1/27/2016). When was the last time you poked somebody or were poked? I got poked maybe three months ago and I thought it was weird. Maybe even inappropriate?

The Time article also said that Facebook will use the additional data from the liking, loving, angrying and saddening (haha) to make our Facebook feeds more relevant to us. That’s great if it happens.

One thing to keep in mind is that  most – the large majority really – of people do not like (aka engage with posts). There’s many more who read only and don’t do anything other than that. That’s still engagement, of course, just not engagement as in I got you to do something with your mouse. I’m fairly liberal with my liking of posts I enjoy, but there are some topics I hardly ever like – mostly because I don’t want my friends to see that I liked it.

Either way, now we know that these reaction buttons are coming. No need to overthink it. Use to time to return to finding stories worth sharing, producing them and sharing them with the people who’d benefit from consuming them the most.

Related Facebook items from the blog:

How to edit Facebook places

Facebook isn’t always good for real-time news and information

What’s Facebook Live?

Profile “pictures” can now be short videos

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Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe and I'm the Vice President of Content Marketing Strategy, Americas, at ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and is a global content marketing software company. Before I started at ScribbleLive I was VP of Content Marketing and Conversion at MedTouch, a Boston-based company that helps healthcare organizations with digital marketing. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph 319-389-9853

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