Facebook users can select the smiling face icon next to the one for location when posting an update, choosing what they are feeling, watching, reading, listening to, drinking, or eating. Along with the status are various emoticons to symbolise what users are doing as well, and include a variety of symbols from pictures of drinks and ice creams, to numerous smiley faces.
There are suggested options available initially, or you can type in to search for what you are doing. Not only can you say what you are up to, but you can link this to companies as well e.g. to say you are drinking at Costa Coffee, which tags the company page in the status and allows your followers to see the company name. This type of marketing, for obvious reasons, could be extremely valuable for companies.
· It allows a more interactive engagement with users and allows tagging of emoticons with the company name, giving Facebook users who do not know the name of a company, a better idea of what it is about at first glance.
· While using the emoticons in comments is not yet available, if it did come in to action, it would be useful for fans to comment on a company status’ and on their page walls to show how they are feeling about a product, service or event and can therefore help with social media market research.
· Users tagging companies in statuses with their emoticons could also prove a useful tool for targeting adverts at those who have interacted with the brand in such a way.
· Businesses could also sponsor the suggested options, and have their name appear as a suggestion of what a user is doing.
Although this new way for users to express themselves might not necessarily take off, it is definitely something for companies to keep track of to see if it develops in to a usable marketing tool they can use to increase their social media presence.
Have you used the new emoticons? Let us know what you thought of them below...
By Sarah Laughran