Within days of Facebook adding Reactions to the Insights API, Zuum is integrating those metrics into our already powerful Facebook analytics tool. These new data views will bring another level of awareness and insight to social media strategists, analysts and managers.

Since Facebook introduced this new dimension to engagement, marketers have been buzzing about how this will enhance their reporting. And indeed, it should give marketers some additional clarity into just how people are engaging with posts.

Looking at the Reactions icons below, you can see the expanded range of emotions this covers beyond a simple ‘like’.


The biggest departure is in the Sad and Angry icons. Previously with Facebook engagements, there really wasn’t any way to express anything with a hint of negativity, outside of commenting.

But the Sad and Angry icons in particular offer a new way to respond to posts where a ‘like’ feels a little odd. Think about sad news, or an article about something frustrating or annoying. In either case, giving those posts a ‘like’ has never been quite right.  

How to read the data

The new Reactions should deliver a more accurate view of how readers truly feel about your content. However, use of the added icons will probably increase over time, as users adapt to the the new options. If you’ve used them already, you know that while there’s new specificity in the icons, there’s also an added step of determining just how you feel.

Let’s look at some actual numbers to see how the data is playing out so far. Below are data on 49 posts that were made since the Reactions were launched.

Zuum bar chart summary of Reactions for a set of posts.

Zuum bar chart summary of Reactions for a set of posts.

Not surprisingly, Likes still command the largest portion of the engagements. As I mentioned earlier, I’d expect the other types of Reactions to increase over time, although it will probably take a while, if ever, before any of the other Reactions to consistently get numbers the way ‘Likes’ do.

And while the overall numbers are interesting, where this gets illuminating is when you look at it on a post-by-post basis. Marketers will want to know which of their posts generated the most passionate responses, in the way of having a high percent.

Zuum Facebook post insights chart

Zuum’s Post Insights chart featuring the full set of Reactions metrics

There are two ways to read the data. One, which post generated the most Like, Love, Sad, etc Reactions. And secondly, of those who engaged with a Reaction, what percent of that posts Reactions were one of the more intense metrics, like Love, Sad or Angry.

How this will impact marketers

What will be the likely long term impact of these new Reactions?

For one, engagement should improve over time, as this creates a truer alignment between how a user really feels, and the options they have to express themselves. There will likely be a large number of people who are more comfortable clicking ‘Sad’ than they are clicking ‘Like’ for some unwelcome news.

It could also have a side effect of encouraging brands to post a broader range of content, knowing that users can respond more precisely. If the brand knows people can respond with ‘Angry’, they might be more inclined to post something provocative or alarming that fans could respond to accordingly.

In summary,  Reactions should be a positive change for the Facebook community. While they do add complexity to the user experience, the upside is a new level of clarity in helping marketers interpret engagement on their content. In short, Reactions should help marketers create a more engaging Facebook experience.

The integration of Reactions into Zuum is another example of how Zuum is quick-to-market with the latest trends in social media data. If you’d like to see how your page’s Reactions data looks in Zuum, let us know you’d like a free trial.