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Ask the average pharma marketer about their competitors on social and they’ll name a handful of pharmaceutical companies in the same therapeutic area. In reality, they’re also competing with savvy consumer marketers armed with flashy creative determined to reach the same sets of eyeballs.

Therefore, being “pharma good” on social is just not good enough.

Simply put, your social creative and the strategy behind delivering it needs to keep pace with other industries or you risk being left behind.

The good news is that social, if implemented properly, will drive true business impact for health marketers. Read on for creative and strategic tips to up-level your social media game.

Develop Creative That Resonates

All things being equal, compelling, eye-catching creative is still the most important tool in the social marketer’s toolkit.

Regulatory requirements do handicap pharma ads right out of the gate, but that’s no excuse to put out anything other than great work. Aim to deliver “thumb-stopping” creative that resonates with your target audience and the rest will sort itself out.

Here is your creative checklist:

  • Data is the great differentiator. Do the homework to learn about your audience and make sure those learnings are reflected in your creative. Use social listening to understand your audience, their attitudes and the language they use to discuss their condition. It’s a whole lot smarter than guessing.
  • Be as nimble as your regulatory and legal teams will allow. Testing makes perfect but prioritize tests that matter. Yes, you can test different color backgrounds but is that the most important creative learning you are after?
  • Best practices are best practices for a reason – they work! Here are a few:
    1. Use attention-grabbing images/video to stop users in their tracks. Twitter internal data reports that Tweets with video attracted 10x more engagements than those without. On LinkedIn, posts with photos or video have a 38% higher engagement rate. Creative is the first and potentially only element of your ad that users will see as they scroll – make it count!
    2. Front load videos with a compelling “hook.” It takes 5 seconds to consume content on desktop and 1.7 seconds to consume content on mobile. We are serious when we say users scroll fast. A video’s opening frames must convince your audience to keep watching. Make sure your message is quickly understandable and that your branding appears early and often.
    3. Design for sound off. According to Twitter, only 4% of target audiences will click to engage sound. Use text overlays and captioning to move your video storytelling along as the majority of views occur without sound.
    4. Think mobile. Think vertical. 57% of LinkedIn users, 80% of Twitter users and 90% of Facebook users access the platform from their mobile device. Assume that just about all of your social impressions will come on phones which, you might notice, we tend to hold vertically (94% of the time).

Paid Strategy for The Win

Too often pharma marketers think of paid social as a button to be pressed or a box to be checked after creative is (finally) approved. But the days of simply “boosting” your content are over, or they should be.

For the best chance of success, it’s essential that targeting and paid strategy be in place before creative is developed and that all these aspects are tightly aligned.

A lot goes into developing an impactful strategy but don’t be intimidated by the jargon.

Here is your strategic cheat sheet:

  • Campaign objectives determine results. Choose wisely. Be sure to select an objective that supports your true business goal. Social can be a powerful driver of reach and awareness but can also efficiently net lower funnel results like conversions and leads. What is it that is going to move the needle for your stakeholders?
  • Look beyond “‘interest” targeting alone. Yes Facebook, Twitter, et al. offer robust targeting built right into their platforms, and yes it can be an uphill battle to gain approval to use first-party (e.g., CRM lists) or third-party (OTC purchasers) data, but it’s well worth the effort. In particular, we advocate for building lookalikes off of first-party lists to use your current customers to find more.
  • Facebook is more than just Facebook. Pharma marketers conceptually understand that Instagram is a Facebook-owned property, but few take advantage of Facebook’s mixed placement capability to seamlessly distribute impressions between Facebook and Instagram (not to mention Messenger, Audience Network, etc.) The approach can add scale and efficiency to your campaigns and streamlines asset creation.
  • Aim for sustained reach and lasting impact. Many pharma companies dip in and out of paid social but an “always on” approach is needed to drive lasting awareness.

The life sciences vertical is known for its cutting-edge thinking and innovation and this should extend to how it is marketed. There is no reason why pharma needs to be behind the pack in its use of paid social.

With the proper collaboration between agency, client and regulatory, paid social success is within reach.

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References

1. Business Twitter Blog
2. LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog
3. Omnicore Agency
4. wearesocial.com
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Check out the latest social updates in this week’s Social Scoop, including new Facebook insights for using messaging as a tool for business use, a look into Generation Z’s unique online behavior, common social mistakes you may be making and how to fix them, and how influencer marketing is on track to become a $15B market.

Facebook Shares Insights for Messaging as a Business Tool

With more than 20 billion Facebook messages sent between consumers and businesses each month, it’s easy to see why brands are turning to messaging as an important tool to connect with customers. According to Facebook, 71% of customers expect businesses to communicate with them in real time, with 64% of people saying they prefer to message instead of calling a business. The rise in popularity for messaging provides an opportunity for companies to deliver a convenient, real-time messaging experience.

What this means for brands: Messaging is an intuitive way for healthcare companies to interact with their customer base in real time. The rising popularity of Messenger as a business communications tool means brands can facilitate personalized communication on a large scale. Enabling chatbots allows companies to converse with many customers at the same time, allowing for an easier customer experience.

Additional resources: Social Media Today, Facebook, Facebook IQ

(via Facebook)

Video Content Trends of Generation Z

The next generation of purchasers is here – known as Generation Z. Just as generations before, these young adults, who make up 40% of consumers, have their own unique purchasing habits and media consumption behaviors. YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok are all popular platforms for these consumers and important for brands to understand when creating marketing strategies. In fact, 85% of teens use YouTube, making it the most popular platform among Gen Z. Snapchat reported a 40% increase in total daily time spent watching its Discover content, while TikTok became the most downloaded app in 2019. Both apps report their largest audiences are between 16 and 24.

What this means for brands: This shift in video consumption from Generation Z is a key insight that healthcare brands should consider when evolving their ads to connect with younger consumers. Gen Z craves authentic, meaningful video content. Brands should consider tailoring their marketing strategies to include video on popular platforms to reach a new generation of young adults.

Additional resources: Social Media Today, Google, Oberlo, Forbes, Fast Company

(via Forbes)

Common Social Media Mistakes

Social media mistakes can happen to even the most seasoned marketers and brands. Recognizing the common flubs and knowing how to fix them is critical in reducing the likelihood of errors occurring. Some of the most common slipups include being overly promotional, not responding to comments or complaints, and not defining clear social media objectives. Luckily for brands, there is an easy fix to address these mistakes.

  1. Follow the 80/20 rule of posting 80% non-promotional content and reserve 20% for calls-to-action and promotion.
  2. Respond to comments in a timely manner, always keeping a positive tone.
  3. Create specific goals and outcomes for your social media presence, outlining what you would like to achieve. Use the SMART goal method for your social media strategy.

What this means for brands: For healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, focusing on how to fix common mistakes and understanding how to avoid them can help to build better relationships with audiences. Consider incorporating the 80/20 rule or SMART goals into your social media approach to remain complaint and transparent on key topics.

Additional resources: Medium, Social Media Today, Huffington Post

(via Medium)

Influencer Marketing Set to Become a $15 Billion Market

Influencer marketing is a booming market and is estimated to become a $15 billion dollar one by 2022. With the rise in popularity of influencers, the advertising landscape has drastically changed in recent years. According to Sprout Social, 74% of users make purchase decisions based on content they saw on social media. Consumers say they are more likely to look to people they know rather than celebrities to recommend products or services. Brands also report seeing higher ROI for influencer content.

What this means for brands: Consider adding influencers to your marketing strategy in 2020. Enlisting influencers is an effective option for creating authentic, informative content for your brand. Examples of healthcare and pharmaceutical brands that have seen success adding influencers to their campaign strategies include Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc.’s Take Cholesterol to Heart and Mucinex’s #TooSickToBeSick activations.

Additional resources: Yahoo, Business Insider, X-Cart, Social Media Week

(via X-Cart)

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The latest social updates? IGTV to welcome ads, Instagram rolls out new follower categories, Facebook develops new business capabilities on Messenger, and Reddit makes its way to broadcast.

 

IGTV To Welcome Ads

  • Instagram recently announced that it will soon enable ad capabilities within IGTV. This update will provide content creators and brands the ability to earn compensation by sharing ads throughout their long-form content. It is believed that content creators will earn a specific percentage of revenue through “Ad Breaks.” A similar revenue approach for content creators is used across Facebook Watch and YouTube. By monetizing IGTV, Instagram’s hope is that IGTV will be able to better compete with those other platforms. 
  • What this means for brands: This new feature will make influencers and brands more inclined to leverage IGTV. Currently, of Instagram’s 1 billion+ users, only an estimated 7 million have installed the IGTV app. In addition, the lack of monetization capabilities is believed to have contributed to the absence of stellar content across the platform. With monetization involved, content creators and brands are likely to generate content specifically for IGTV, bringing their large audiences with them. Healthcare brands will need to stay apprised of capabilities and limitations around monetization to assess possible impacts to their IGTV strategies – both for owned and influencer content.

 Additional Resources: Social Media Today, Ad Week, TechCrunch

(via TechCrunch)

Instagram Enables New Insights on Engagement

  • Instagram has rolled out new categories within the ‘Following’ tab. With this update, users are now able to see which accounts they “Least Interact With” and those that are “Most Shown” within their feed. The “Least Interact With” category displays the accounts that a user may be inclined to unfollow or mute based on lack of engagement with their content. The “Most Shown” category gives the user insight into their preferred accounts and the type of content they engage with most frequently.
  • What this means for brands: As this change is implemented, Instagram users will likely become more selective with who they follow. Recent trends have shown that platforms such as Instagram have started encouraging users to curate their feeds to maximize engagement. Brands will now be able to pinpoint fans who are no longer engaged with their content and focus on the ones who are. By focusing on engagement, brands will be able to monitor insights from their followers and update content strategies on an ongoing basis. Healthcare brands may leverage these new features to continually evolve their Instagram follower strategies.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, Business Insider, Ad Week

(via Social Media Today)

Facebook Extends New Messenger Capabilities for Businesses

  • Facebook has launched the beta version of a ‘one-time notification’ for businesses on Messenger. Prior to this update, businesses had 24 hours to respond to a message initiated by a user and were allotted one additional message outside of the 24-hour window. With this update, businesses on Facebook will be allowed to send automated follow-up messages and allow users to opt-in to receive further updates based on their initial inquiry. The new API includes restrictive parameters to ensure brands do not bombard or spam users.
  • What this means for brands: This update allows brands to stay engaged with users through Messenger on an ongoing basis. As a result, users will no longer need to reach out to a brand for a second or third time to receive further information. This change will reduce the effort needed on the user’s side to stay up-to-date on a particular topic or to resolve an issue. If fully implemented, brands can use this as an opportunity to build relationships with users over time. As healthcare brands determine opportunities around this feature, they will want to be particularly mindful of legal and regulatory impacts.

 Additional Resources: Social Media Today, Facebook for Developers, Ad Week

(via Social Media Today)

Reddit Partners with Tagboard

  • Reddit has partnered with Tagboard to enable a partnership with TV broadcasters across the platform. In addition to serving as a hub for users to exchange views across a wide range of topics, Reddit has recently become a popular platform for news to break and trending stories to be shared. This new partnership allows broadcasters to use Reddit content in their programs, helping media companies streamline their approach. Reddit has already partnered with broadcasters, including the NFL Network and local news networks, to provide direct updates sourced from Reddit threads.
  • What this means for brands: Reddit has more than 430 million monthly active users and prides itself on strong user engagement. Brands may feel inclined to use this partnership as a way to make strategic ad and media placements. Because this partnership will make it easier for Reddit content to make its way into broadcast, it is important for brands to be strategic with their content across the platform.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, TechCrunch, Reddit Blog

(via TechCrunch)


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This week’s Social Scoop highlights recent updates on Instagram and Twitter, including new features that have become popular on other social media sites. Read more to learn about how these updates can help you streamline community management.

DM’s on Desktop

While most brands focus on the mobile user experience, Instagram is expanding its capabilities to the desktop by testing direct messages (DM) in its desktop version. On January 14, Instagram launched DM’s to a small percentage of people and plans to expand to all accounts soon. Having access to Instagram DM’s via desktop will be helpful for community management processes, especially for reporting adverse events and easily reviewing and responding on a desktop view.

(via Instagram)

Source: Social Media Today, The Verge, Forbes

Repost Story Mentions with Ease

Instagram is adding a new feature to Stories that makes it easier to find and share Stories that mention a user’s profile. This will be available under “Instagram Stories Create” mode, where users can swipe through the carousel of filters on the bottom of the screen until they find the “@” symbol, which populates any live Stories that mention their profile. For profiles that receive a high volume of DMs, Story mentions may get lost in a user’s inbox. This feature will allow community managers to quickly find and engage with Stories featuring user-generated content, customer reviews or during live events (e.g., employees attending an event or a medical meeting).

(via Instagram)

Source: Digital Information World, Social Media Today, @MattNavarra on Twitter

IGTV Button Removed from Instagram Banner

Instagram has removed the IGTV button that was previously found at the top right corner of the app because no one was clicking it. The longer-form video accessory on Instagram has experienced slow uptake because of the success of Tik Tok and because users are unwilling to click away from their Instagram feed to watch/engage with longer-form videos. IGTV is not going away and users will still be able to post content and share longer-form videos on Instagram. Tik Tok has IGTV beat for downloads by nearly 80%, with content creators finding success on this new viral platform, suggesting that it’s an ideal place for content creators.

(via The Verge)

Sources: CNN , The Next Web, Gazette Review

Twitter Direct Messages to Become More Animated

Have you ever stared at a DM trying to think of the perfect response when a simple emoji would do? Twitter recognizes this dilemma and is taking yet another trick from Instagram’s playbook by incorporating emoji reactions in DM’s. A user can tap the small heart and plus icon on the right of each DM or double tap the message on mobile to access the emoji reaction menu. This will be a useful tool for community managers who want to casually acknowledge a DM.

(via 9 to 5 Mac)

Sources: The Verge, Search Engine Journal, Tech Crunch


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The start of a new year brings new changes on the social media front! The importance of privacy and truth take center stage as social platforms dive into the new decade. Facebook has taken steps to update its privacy checkup tool and is cracking down on manipulated media. Twitter is extending its promoted trend spotlight option, and privacy concerns around TikTok continue to swirl. Read on for additional information.

Facebook Updates Privacy Checkup Tool

  • When Facebook launched Privacy Checkup in 2014, it included only three areas – who could see your posts, what information was on your profile, and third-party apps. Now, the updated Privacy Checkup includes eight areas split into four sections – who can see what you share, how to keep your account secure, how people can find you, and your data settings. The purpose of Privacy Checkup is not to limit the data collected from your profile, but rather to serve as an overview of the information you’re sharing. However, users can access wider privacy shortcuts such as Ad Preferences in the same drop-down menu as Privacy Checkup.
  • What it means for brands: This update may prompt users to take a second look at their profiles and re-evaluate the content they’re openly sharing. Updates made in the data settings section may limit access to certain information that brands use for key audience targeting. This update may also prompt an additional conversation surrounding privacy settings when it comes to targeted ads. Healthcare brands will need to have a clear understanding of their audiences in order to develop relevant messaging, and all brands should be prepared to address transparency around their targeting practices.

Additional Resources: Wired, Social Media Today

(via Facebook.com)

Facebook Cracks Down on Manipulated Media

  • Facebook is getting real about deep fakes – artificially manipulated videos that distort reality, typically faces. According to the platform, millions of photos and videos are shared each day. While the majority are truthful, some images/videos are created specifically to mislead the public. To combat this, Facebook has dedicated its efforts toward investigating AI-generated content and fake accounts, partnering with academic, government and industry experts to expose the creators of these misleading efforts. Facebook also announced it will remove the manipulated media if it has been edited beyond adjustments for clarity or quality or is a product of AI and machine learning that merges, superimposes or replaces content onto a video. Facebook’s announcement comes at the same time that Snapchat and TikTok announced they are working on new deep fake type features.
  • What it means for brands: A strong creative asset could be the difference between a user scrolling past your post or not. But to what extent are some willing to go to ensure their message is heard? With this update, the line has been clearly drawn. Brands connect with audiences through engaging creative that clearly tells a story, not by manipulating the truth. For healthcare brands, a continued focus on truthful storytelling is key, letting the message speak for itself. A patient testimonial or stand-out graphic can be effective on its own, without additional enhancing. While using new technology and techniques can lead to innovative offerings, it is important to use them in a way that best represents the brand.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, Tech Crunch

(via TechCrunch)

Twitter Extends Promoted Trend Spotlight Option

  • Twitter announced it will officially launch its Promoted Trend Spotlight ad option in 15 markets worldwide after testing it in select countries since July 2018. Ads in the Promoted Trend Spotlight area appear at the top of the Explore page for the first two visits per person, per day. After the first two visits, the ad moves to the standard Promoted Trend placement, and organic content resumes its spot at the top of the page. The placement supports static images as well as six-second GIFs and videos.
  • What it means for brands: It’s been reported that people spend 26% more time looking at the Promoted Trend Spotlight section compared to the standard Promoted Trend area. The prolonged engagement time led to a 113% increase in ad recall and 18% higher brand consideration. This is great news for new brands looking to make a splash on Twitter, or established brands wishing to share an important message with audiences. For healthcare brands, this is a great opportunity to stand out from the conversation on a key awareness day or to introduce a new campaign. The Explore page is a popular destination for Twitter users, so running an ad in this highly coveted placement increases the likelihood that audiences will connect with your brand and take the desired action of your message.

 Additional Resources: Marketing Land, Social Media Today

(via Social Media Today)

U.S. Military Bans Members from TikTok

  • The U.S. Department of Defense recently instructed all military personnel to remove TikTok from government-issued devices. The popular app, which has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times worldwide, belongs to Chinese parent company ByteDance. Under China’s cybersecurity laws, all Chinese-owned companies must comply with any and all requests for user data. While TikTok has reported that it does not store American data in China, concerns still exist, particularly because the app is able to identify users’ locations.
  • What this means for brands: The jury is still out on whether TikTok will become the next big advertising platform. While some brands have already capitalized on its popularity, branded messaging on the platform is still in early stages. Concerns surrounding data and privacy standards may make other brands hesitant to jump on board. For healthcare companies, this could be an additional point to consider when deciding if the platform is the right fit for long-term social media goals.

Additional Resources: New York Times, Slate

(via Slate)


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Everyone aims to put their best foot forward in the new year as social platforms work to improve user experience and safety across the board. Instagram is expanding efforts to fight misinformation, joining Facebook in the fight against discriminatory targeting. Twitter is working to strengthen its Trust and Safety Council, and TikTok is launching safety seminars.

Instagram Expands Anti-Misinformation Efforts

  • The fight against “fake news” is familiar to most in the digital world, and Instagram recently announced that it will strengthen its efforts in this fight by expanding its investigation into misinformation. In May 2019, Instagram began employing third-party fact-checkers to identify, review and label false information in the U.S. to help combat its spread. When false or partly false information is identified by users and/or Instagram’s automated technology, it is labeled as such and removed from the Explore and hashtag pages. Now, Instagram’s latest expansion allows third-party fact-checkers around the world to review content and label it “false Information” globally. In addition, if content is labeled as false or partly false on Facebook, identical content on Instagram automatically will be deemed the same.
  • What this means for brands: While Instagram’s efforts to increase trust in its platform may seem like a positive, brands should remain aware of the type of content that may be deemed wholly or partially false. Pharma brands, in particular, should take extra care when making claims, using claim-like language, or using images that could be deemed misleading to avoid triggering a misinformation label.

Additional Resources: TechCrunch, Social Media Today

(via Instagram)

Facebook Adds Additional Measures to Combat Discriminatory Targeting

  • Facebook is expanding on previous updates to enforce targeting restrictions on potentially biased or discriminatory ads. The platform’s previous update outlined Special Ad Categories for which advertisers are prohibited from targeting based on “age, gender, ZIP code, multicultural affinity or any detailed options describing or appearing to relate to protected characteristics.” These ads are also shown in the relevant Page’s Ads Library to increase transparency for users. With the latest update, the ad targeting restrictions for the Special Ad Category of housing and employment opportunities will now apply to all Facebook-owned ad buying platforms, including Instagram.
  • What this means for brands: This increase in transparency across Facebook-owned ad platforms will primarily affect brands running housing and/or employment opportunity ads. Under Facebook’s stricter targeting rules, advertisers must take extra care to ensure that targeting for all ads complies with these updated restrictions. Pharma advertisers that run employee recruitment campaigns on Facebook or Instagram must find ways to reach qualified candidates without violating these updated guidelines. For example, they might target users based on qualifications, key interests and broader location targeting.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today

(via Social Media Today)

Twitter Builds Upon Trust and Safety Council

  • In a recent blog post, Twitter announced that it is taking steps to strengthen its Trust and Safety Council, which was established in 2016 with 40 organizations. The Council helps Twitter develop the rules, regulations and guidelines that will ensure it remains a platform for safe and productive conversation. In 2020, Twitter will add organizations that specialize in the following areas to address emerging trends and risks to ensure the safety of its users:
    • Safety and online harassment
    • Human and digital rights
    • Child sexual exploitation
    • Suicide prevention and mental health

By including these difficult topics, Twitter hopes to help ensure the safety of its users by adapting to address emerging trends and risks.

  • What this means for brands: As the Council continues to issue new and updated guidance for posting and engaging on Twitter, brands should ensure that all content aligns with current guidance. Healthcare brands specializing in mental health, in particular, should be particularly mindful of content and targeting that may be impacted by the addition of new organizations to the Council.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today

(via Twitter)

TikTok Looks to Highlight Younger User Safety

  • TikTok announced in a recent blog post that it will partner with The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) on a series of internet safety seminars in early 2020. The seminars will provide tips for parents, including how to establish ground rules for the safe use of connected devices, how to start conversations with your teen about responsible internet use, and how to be a good digital role model. The seminars will also cover the existing controls, security and privacy measures currently in place via “TikTok for Younger Users,” a limited app experience available to those age 13 or younger. TikTok’s focus on protections for younger users follows similar updates in the industry, such as the addition of age-gating on Instagram.
  • What this means for brands: This announcement highlights TikTok’s existing security measures and best practices, underscoring the platform’s professed commitment to providing the best possible environment for safe, compliant ad delivery. For pharma brands that enforce additional age regulations, TikTok’s commitment to stricter rules for its youngest users should instill a sense of confidence that ads will be shown to only the intended and appropriate audience.

(via TikTok)


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Social platforms are continuing to evaluate relationships with their users and advertisers. In this week’s Social Scoop, Reddit shares its 2019 end-of-the-year statistics and trends; Instagram explains how it has implemented updates to support the safety of underage users; YouTube outlines how its new modifications could help reduce the spread of misinformation; and Twitter announces the expansion of its Brand Survey tool, which is designed to show brands how their ads are resonating with intended audiences.

Reddit Releases 2019 Performance Statistics and Trends

Reddit reported that, as of October 2019, it had reached 430 million monthly active users for 2019, a 30% jump from 2018. With that increase, Reddit now reports more monthly active users than Twitter, which has 330 million monthly active users, and Pinterest, which reports 322 million monthly active users. Reddit continues to experience increased growth in both usage and engagement. In 2019, Reddit reached over 199 million posts and 1.7 billion comments. Advertising opportunities are becoming increasingly popular on Reddit as it continues to improve community guidelines to ensure advertising is compliant.

What this means for brands: Brands have an opportunity to advertise on a platform that continues to deliver increased engagement from highly active users. With Reddit’s recently released trends report on the most popular subreddits, brands can create ads that not only resonate with their target audience but best fit the needs of Reddit users. For healthcare brands this offers an opportunity to advertise more strategically. For example, knowing that acne and aging are the most discussed skin care topics can help brands customize their messaging to connect with Reddit users seeking information on these topics.

(via Reddit)

Sources: Reddit, Social Media Today, Twitter

Instagram Now Asking for Date of Birth to Ensure Underage User Protection 

Instagram announced that it is now requiring users to enter their date of birth when creating an account. The rationale for this security check is to ensure that individuals younger than 13 cannot join the platform and that those using the platform have a more age-appropriate experience. However, the social giant will not ask for documentation to prove the accuracy of a user’s birth date. An Instagram spokesperson said, “It is critical we get this right and figuring out how to do this accurately – without, for example, excluding large numbers of users who may simply be unable to prove their age – is difficult and involves trade-offs.”

What this means for brands: For brands that advertise on Instagram, the platform is committed to remaining a safe and supportive community, especially for youth. For healthcare brands, this latest protection will help prevent product ads from displaying to an underage audience.

(via TechCrunch) 

Sources: Social Media Today, Instagram, NBC News

YouTube Shares Ongoing Efforts to Stop Spread of Misinformation

YouTube has joined the conversation with other social giants on how they intend to stop the spread of misinformation. The platform stated that, “…since January 2019, we’ve launched over 30 different changes to reduce recommendations of borderline content and harmful misinformation. The result is a 70% average drop in watch time of this content coming from non-subscribed recommendations in the U.S.” The platform is also working on prioritizing “authoritative voices” for news and information queries in search results and “watch next” capabilities.

What this means for brands: Brands can be assured that the content being shared on YouTube is reviewed and held to high standards. YouTube’s content guidelines ensure that videos are not only informative, but also accurate. For healthcare brands, this update will positively impact content shared on the platform. With the rise in misinformation on a variety of treatments, this platform update will prioritize “authoritative voices” when users search for a health-related topic surrounding a treatment or disease.

(via YouTube) 

Sources: Social Media Today, YouTube, CBS

Twitter Creates Brand Surveys to Measure Campaign Launches

Twitter announced that it will make Twitter Brand Surveys available for all managed accounts in the U.S., UK, Canada, Japan and Brazil. Brand Surveys are designed to help marketers measure the impact of campaigns. Previously, there were requirements for survey study minimums, which limited Twitter accounts that fell short from understanding how a campaign moves awareness, consideration, intent and other branding goals. Twitter released a statement noting, “We developed Twitter Brand Surveys while keeping accessibility and actionability in mind – we wanted campaigns, small or large, to have access to survey studies and for brands to understand which specific Tweets drove the highest lift.”

What this means for brands: Brands will now have access to the reported metrics from Twitter Brand Surveys regardless of size. Brand Surveys can help identify which part of a message caused an interaction with the ad, called “brand lift.” Additionally, brands will have increased understanding around which parts of an ad are lifted (caused an interaction) compared with others advertising in the same space. This will allow for more accurate optimizations and custom messaging development that will resonate with target audiences. For healthcare brands, this is an opportunity to gauge how messages compare against other players in the field. If two brands offer a treatment for the same disease state, and Twitter’s Brand Survey “lifts” part of the messaging, the creative and messaging may not be differentiated enough between the two competitors.

(via Twitter)

Sources: Social Media Today, Twitter,  AdWeek


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Fostering an environment that sparks creativity and ensures users are safe – both physically and mentally – are the top priorities for social media platforms. In this week’s Social Scoop, we report on Instagram expanding hiding likes globally and Twitter adding an additional social listening feature in its Media Studio. Facebook continues to update its community standards, and TikTok begins to test monetization tactics

Instagram Continues to Dislike Likes, Globally

Instagram announced that it will continue to test hiding total like counts, rolling out the update to select users globally this month. This is a continuation of previous tests Instagram launched in several other countries earlier this summer, including Canada, Australia and Japan. According to the platform, “While the feedback from early testing in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, and so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community.”

What this means for brands: Instagram has not provided information about how use of the platform will change without likes. Brands and individuals can see their like counts, so this will not prevent content performance evaluation. Instagram has acknowledged that this will likely affect influencers and is “actively thinking through ways for creators to communicate value to their partners.” In a recent study conducted by HypeAuditor, Instagram influencers received fewer engagements on their posts in regions where Instagram tested hidden likes. Brands should continue to track influencer partnerships and create content that encourages engagement.

(via TechCrunch)

Sources: Social Media Today, Hyper Auditor, TechCrunch

Twitter Creates Conversation Insights in Media Studio

Twitter recently added a Conversation Insights tool to its Media Studio. This new tool provides specific data on tweet mentions, account mentions and filters to help users better understand the types of accounts engaging with a profile. Media Studio users who have more than 1,000 followers will be able to use the Conversation Insights tool. While TweetDeck and third-party tools have similar functionality, Conversation Insights has listening tools that go beyond mentions and hashtags to capture more relevant conversation.

What this means for brands: Brands will have a clearer picture of their audience and who interacts with their content. Social listening is crucial to understanding a brand’s audience and to creating content that resonates best. For healthcare brands, this is another way to monitor the conversation surrounding a new product launch and for social listening during medical conferences. A new drug may not have a hashtag or users may not tag a brand when tweeting about them at a conference. Having Conversation Insights enables brands to see which users are talking about a product or a healthcare brand at a medical conference.

(via Twitter)

Sources: Social Media Today, Social Media Examiner, Twitter

Facebook Updates Community Standards Enforcement

Social platforms are taking a greater stance in what content can be uploaded to a platform, and Facebook is at the forefront of that. Facebook says it is significantly improving the safety of its users by implementing more transparent guidelines on what content can be posted to the platform and who can post it. Facebook is taking strong actions to delete content and fake users to prevent the spread of false information. According to Facebook, “In Q3 2019, we removed about 11.6 million pieces of content, up from Q1 2019 when we removed about 5.8 million. Over the last four quarters, we proactively detected over 99% of the content we removed for violating this policy.”

What this means for brands: Brands can feel more confident that their audience is real and not comprised of fake accounts. These guidelines also provide a better understanding of what content can live on Facebook and what content users are most likely to see. Brands should feel more secure that their audiences are safe and seeing content that they want to see. For healthcare brands, this can ease concerns that false information about a new drug launch is being posted and can help reduce attacks on their corporate reputation. As the healthcare conversation increases on social media, the likelihood of misinformation spreading is greater. This effort to reduce misinformation should positively impact healthcare brands.

(via Facebook)

Sources: Social Media Today, Facebook, Entrepreneur

TikTok Tests eCommerce Links in Videos 

TikTok continues down the path to full monetization by testing options to add links into user bios and eCommerce links to uploaded videos. However, both options are still in the testing phase, and official rollout plans have not been released for users to add eCommerce links to TikTok videos. Content creators will have the opportunity to develop brand partnerships with affiliate links in their content. This may help TikTok establish a long-term presence among the other social platforms and avoid an app shutdown like its predecessor, Vine.

What this means for brands: TikTok currently only measures success based on video views. Brands will have the opportunity to see what content users engage with most and which content creators engage their audience the most. Tracking referral traffic will let brands optimize influencer partnerships and evaluate which ads resonate with their audience. For healthcare brands, this is an opportunity to expand their presence on an up-and-coming social media platform with analytics tracking the success (or failure) through links. It also expands opportunities to work with younger influencers while learning what key messages resonate best with this Gen Z-dominated audience.

(via Hyperlink Video)

Sources: Social Media Today, The Verge, TechCrunch


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Since the genesis of social media, personalization and connection have been an expectation for interacting with people and brands online. This week’s Social Scoop looks at how Instagram hopes to improve connections with others by removing likes, Facebook wants to help you find a doctor, and Twitter looks to further personalize your experience. We also share industry news and potential new Twitter features in 2020.

Instagram Dislikes Likes

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri announced that the platform will continue to test hiding total like counts, rolling out the update to select users in the U.S. this month. The social giant launched this test earlier this summer in several countries including Canada, Australia and Japan. Mosseri said he hopes removing likes will help “depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, [and] give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them.”

What this means for brands: Although Instagram has yet to provide information on how use of the platform will change without likes, it’s likely this change will affect influencers the most, who may change their content strategy to be more creative and diversify from content that usually receives the most likes. Brands and individual users will still be able to see their like counts in the backend and continue reporting as usual.

(via CNN)

Sources: CNN, Social Media Today, Later

Facebook’s Preventive Health Tool

Facebook launched a preventive health tool in the U.S. to connect people to health resources, including a locater to find affordable places to receive care, checkup reminders and a checklist for scheduling tests. The tool will prompt users based on their age and gender. It will not store any information about a user’s results. The recommendations available in the preventive health tool are based on standards from the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others.

What this means for brands: This tool brings healthcare front and center on this social media platform and provides an opportunity to increase disease awareness, although there is no opportunity to advertise.

(via Social Media Today)

Sources: Social Media Today, Facebook’s Preventative Health, The Verge

Twitter Topics to Improve Tweet Discovery

As of November 13, Twitter is rolling out a new feature, Twitter Topics, that allows users the option to follow subjects to further tailor their timeline to their interests. Users can opt in to topics they are interested in, and Twitter will suggest topics based on what the user likes and shares. Initially, Twitter has created a list of 300 general interest subjects including gaming, sports and entertainment.

What this means for brands: Brands can align their content to Twitter topics to expand reach beyond those who follow their page.

(via Social Media Today)

Sources: Social Media Today, The Verge, Engadget

Federal Trade Commission Issues Disclosure 101 for Social Influencers

The FTC released new disclosure guidelines for social media influencers on how and when they must disclose sponsorship to followers. The guide offers resources around the legal responsibility of influencers to disclose compensation, as well as perks, to provide transparency for consumers. For example, while influencers are not required to use hashtags in their post, the copy must say “ad” or “sponsored.” To learn more, check out W2O’s full blog on the news here.

What this means for brands: Although this guide was created for influencers, brands should stay informed about this topic to remain compliant when working with influencers.

(via FTC)

Sources: NPR, Marketing Land, FTC

Potential New Twitter Features in 2020?

Twitter’s VP of Design and Research Dantley Davis recently tweeted a list of five new features that he’s looking forward to in 2020, including expanded community management tools and features that will increase the moderation ability users have in conversations. These new features have not yet been confirmed by Twitter, but it’s likely they will be rolled out next year in some capacity.

What this means for brands: The potential update to Twitter’s community management offering will allow brands to establish a clearer moderation among people violating community guidelines and further control their online presence.

(via El Mundo)

Sources: Social Media Today, Mashable, @Dantley


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