Have you started to see these little emojis all over your newsfeed? Wondering what they’re all about?

Facebook has historically measured success with how many ‘likes’ you get on your posts, but not everything you post is limited to earn a thumbs up response. That’s why Facebook have introduced five brand new emotions to choose from when engaging with a post. Joining the iconic blue thumbs up ‘Like’ button is a red heart (‘love’), a laughing smiley (‘haha’), a jaw-dropping smiley (‘wow’), a crying smiley (‘sad’) and a rather unhappy red face with angry eyebrows (‘angry’).

You’ll probably enjoy using these to respond to your friends announcing their new baby or posting their latest holiday snaps (jealous…!) but what does this new feature mean for Colleges and Universities?

Get to know your students: You’ll be able to see a more genuine reaction to your content, contributing to a better understanding of your students – what do they love to see, what do they find funny, what do they find fascinating?

Refine your content to meet your objectives:  By recognising what type of content elicits a positive response, you’ll be able to review your content plan accordingly. Think about your current objectives for your social media strategy: do you want to position your institution as a fun place to study? Post more of the type of content that gets the most ‘hahas’. Or perhaps you want your Facebook page to inspire students with alumni case studies or groundbreaking research? Look at what gets the most ‘wows’.

It’s not all fun and games: Not everything you post will be positive – you may want to open up a platform for students to discuss current affairs, for example. In this case, negative reactions aren’t a bad thing. In fact, you may notice an increase in engagements on these types of posts; where in the past, users felt a ‘Like’ was an inappropriate reaction, they will now be able to show empathy.

Beware of the trolls: Facebook users have been asking for a ‘dislike’ button for years, something Facebook resisted for fear of online bullying. They hope that these new ‘reactions’ won’t cause too much negativity on the platform, however there is the potential that negative feedback will increase with individuals feeling able to anonymously ‘attack’ big brands and institutions. If you experience unexpected ‘angry’ reactions, think: could this be a justified reaction that needs addressing? Or is it simply trolls taking advantage of a level of anonymity?

Top tips from Net Natives:

  • Ensure you have a contingency plan in place, so if your page does come under attack by trolls, you know what to do.
  • Use this new feature as a reminder to check the profanity filter on your Facebook page. This is found under page settings.

Article by


Rosie Crompton

Events and Marketing Executive