What Facebook Reactions Mean for Brands

May 12, 2016

Written by NewsWhip

We take a look at the data around how top brands are driving Facebook Reactions. 

How is your news feed making you feel today? Loving? Angry? Awed?
When Facebook introduced Reactions, it wasn’t immediately apparent how people would use them. The uptake has been slow. Since Reactions’ launch at the end of February, few people have added them into their social media daily habits.
Despite this, as Reactions gain traction (Facebook recently included a temporary Reaction for Mother’s Day), they can reveal to us more nuanced patterns around the content being produced.
We took a high-level look at each of the Reactions and the top brands on Facebook to see how Reactions are being used. Our data comes from NewsWhip Analytics and covers the past month (April 11th through May 11th). 
So what type of brands are seeing the most reactions? 


Love reactions occur when a basic Like simply will not do. Brands with engaged, passionate followers tend to see more Love reactions on their content. The content that gets Love reactions is often positive.
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This photo of Selena Gomez with a Coke saw 4,249 Love reactions. Many of the other most-loved posts we saw were from food brands announcing products, though announcements from beloved brands like Samsung Mobile and Ferrari also saw a lot of Love reactions.   
For sports, we see Love reactions mostly around victory posts.
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The EPL’s photo celebrating Leicester City Football Club’s win drove over 31,800 Love reactions from happy fans.
While it’s easy to tap to like a post, a Love reaction takes an extra second, and so brands can use Love reactions as an indicator of deeper fan engagement and appreciation.

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What gets a Wow reaction? The awe-inspiring, highly visual content of technology, automobile, and sports brands seems to drive the most Wows.
This video by Red Bull has driven over 5,900 Wow reactions.
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While Red Bull doesn’t fall necessarily in any of these categories, they have nonetheless branded themselves as a hub of thrill-seeking, outrageous content. It’s no surprise that the “Wow” reaction has been coming up again and again when looking at their content.
Tech brands like Samsung Mobile and Intel also see a lot of Wow reactions.
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This video of Samsung Mobile’s new phone had over 1,600 Wow reactions. New products in the technology, automotive, and electronics sectors can spark awe in avid fans who await new innovations.
Measuring Wow reactions will let brands intending to be innovative see if they’re hitting the mark with the audience. For brands like Red Bull and sports, that are looking to thrill their followers, Wow reactions can be a powerful indicator.
[bctt tweet=”Sports, tech, and auto brands see a high number of ‘Wow’ Facebook reactions compared to other brands” via=”no”]


Brands that already have humor in their tone on Facebook, tend to see more ‘Ha-Ha’ reactions than other brands.
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This video from Red Bull had the most Ha-Ha reactions of the brands we looked at over the past month, with over 6,500. Their parody that combined their brand’s extreme athletics with a pop culture phenomenon hit the mark.
Other pop culture moments also pave the way for humorous reactions. Both Red Bull and Taco Bell saw laughs for their Star Wars Day content.
Ha-Ha reactions might prove the most telling for brands trying actively to be quirky and funny. The amount of Ha-Has received can show a brand whether their tone is succeeding and resonating with their audience. Take a free trial of NewsWhip Spike to see the content making people laugh right now. 


Angry reactions seem to indicate consumers being unhappy with either what the brand is posting, or the brand itself.
Playstation saw a lot of Angry reactions on a live broadcast they held for an upcoming game in their Call of Duty franchise.
PlayStation angry reaction
The video had 5,106 likes and 3,180 Angry reactions, signaling unrest among fans. Brands that see these reactions can take it as feedback from their users.  
This can also happen with content that isn’t necessarily bad, but controversial. Chanel recently did a runway show in Havana, Cuba. Despite the video getting over 294,000 combined likes and love reactions, it also saw 170 angry reactions.
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Based on the political climate and conditions in Cuba, it’s not hard to pinpoint why the post also sparked negative reactions.
For brands, keeping an eye on Angry reactions can help them manage crises as they arise and better their brand management.
[bctt tweet=”Facebook’s Angry reactions can help brands address crises and manage their reputation” via=”no”]


The sad reaction happens in the same cases as anger, when people are dissatisfied with a brand (The Call of Duty video above also saw the most sad reactions).
However, people also use the sad reaction for commemorative content.
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The NBA’s post for Kobe Bryant’s game drove nearly 22,000 Sad reactions. Content around people or human interest can tug at people’s hearts on social interest, like Prince’s recent passing.
The sad reaction is also used to indicate something that people will miss about a brand, such as KFC ending a limited edition item’s time on the menu.
Like the Angry reaction, brands can measure the Sad reaction to source feedback around their brand. The Sad response can also indicate an emotional response in followers, if the brands are posting provocative content.


Like is still the reigning Reaction on Facebook. Accounting for nearly all reactions still, the once humble Like isn’t going away anytime soon.
While useful still to measure, each Reaction also provides insights around followers’ intentions and emotions for a brand. It also indicates that people took an extra second (a lightyear in digital time) to click a more nuanced reaction.
Facebook too, is believing in the possibilities of their Reactions. For this past Mother’s Day, they released a temporary Facebook reaction of a flower icon for the holiday. Will there be Santa hats and Jack-o-Lanterns yet to come?
We’ll be waiting to react.

Get started seeing what stories are driving the most Facebook Reactions in NewsWhip Spike


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