Are glimpses of “normalcy” slowly starting to find their way into digital and social media? While brands are finding innovative ways to reach audiences via only virtual means, as demonstrated by a successful CES 2021, others are bringing IRL exhibits to life among social-distance protocols. In these changing times, we’ll always strive to find innovative new ways to stay connected, but we also know our hearts still need comfort food sometimes: YouTube and Instagram were the top two apps (again) this week.

ByteDance is Latest Tech Company to Enter the Pharma Industry

The next big thing in drug development is…TikTok? ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, has joined other leading Chinese tech companies as the latest to bet on the healthcare industry in a move to diversify ad-reliant revenue streams. Job descriptions for the business suggest candidates will work on drug design, identification and simulation using the company’s AI-powered technology. The investments underscore the massive scale at which AI-supported algorithms can be applied and investors seem to believe the healthcare industry is the right place to start.


To Opt-In or Opt-Out, that is the Question…

Facebook and other social platforms are bracing for the impact Apple’s latest software update and its changes the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) feature will have on advertisers. The update will inform users on what types of data an app tracks before they download it from the App Store, with an opportunity to opt-in/opt-out of data tracking. Facebook has been vocal in its opposition to Apple’s IDFA updates, highlighting the detrimental impact it will have on small and mid-sized businesses that rely on using that data to reach new and existing customers. While Facebook has been sharing guidance on how to prepare for iOS 14, the update’s full impact on campaign performance and reporting will be unclear until users begin to either opt-in or opt-out of data tracking. With recent privacy legislation such as CPRA and an upcoming antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, it’s clear that the conversation around data privacy isn’t going away any time soon.


As CTV Popularity Soars, So Do Ambitious Scammers

Last month, Oracle discovered a Connected TV (CTV) ad fraud scheme now dubbed “StreamScam” that exploited digital ad technology by “spoofing” millions of IP addresses to steal the ad revenue from the advertising platform. Given the skyrocketing interest in CTV from viewers and marketers alike, experts expect to see an increase in fraud attempts as scammers try to take advantage of the higher CPMs from CTV inventory. Still, some say the concern is overblown because CTV is significantly safer for brands compared to digital display since inventory is typically sourced directly from premium publishers rather than on the open exchange. As healthcare marketers, we will continue to find new ways embrace CTV while trying to reduce waste by leveraging unique audience sets.


2021: The Year of the HCP Influencer

In late December, we reported that patient-physician engagement had doubled on Twitter since the start of the pandemic 🤯. We’ve quickly come to learn that this emerging influential group is not immune to various forms of online harassment. In fact, one in four physicians reported being harassed online, with women and physicians of color facing additional risk of attacks grounded in sexism and racism. But that doesn’t mean they should step away from the platform. As the world slowly works toward returning to life as it was pre-COVID-19, reliable HCP voices remain important in encouraging smart health decisions among consumers. As with all influencers, supporting HCPs in all aspects of campaigns and programming is critical to break through the noise and help them get out important messages.


Twitter is Tuning Up So Audiences Don’t Tune Out

Podcast listening has increased tremendously since the onset of the pandemic. Google was quick to recognize this change in audience behavior with the expansion of its audio advertising options last August. In keeping up with audio-focused content consumption, Twitter announced the acquisition of Breaker as an expansion of its voice-based “Spaces” feature. Breaker is a podcast listening app that features user engagement tools. These developments show that Twitter is expanding its features, so users can both read AND listen to their news – all while making a compelling fight to keep audiences engaged within its platform. The rise in audio-first features also marks another step forward for accessibility and inclusion on social media.


In Other News…

Social platforms are starting to resemble each other, but what does that mean for content consumption?

Because we live by our calendars, here’s a 2021 events calendar to help you stay on top of all the key happenings.

For those who love an annual trend forecast: eMarketer shares 10 digital trends that marketers need to track in 2021.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

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This year, digital became the catalyst for shaping how we experienced the pandemic. For our 2020 recap edition, we wanted to focus on the positives that digital brought to communities around the world. While we couldn’t include every milestone and “talked about” trend, below we highlighted a few areas that made an impact. Thank you to all our readers for following along with us. See you in 2021!

Combatting Misinformation on Social

This year, social platforms were faced with addressing and managing, in real time, the spread of COVID-19 and U.S. election misinformation and conspiracy theories. Their responses ranged from light-touch (driving users to reliable information) to more pointed (tagging posts and freezing ads).

And the Winner Is…How Social Media Took on Voting in 2020

What was social media’s role in the 2020 U.S. presidential election? Though many would point to it being a vehicle for the spread of misinformation, there is also something to be said for the way social platforms, brands and individuals tried to make voting more accessible.

How Social Media Supported Social Good

As racial injustice protests and hard conversations about race swept the United States and reverberated around the world, social media was at the center – aiding organizers, driving conversation, educating and broadcasting real-time events. These difficult discussions also drove meaningful change. Brands and platforms responded and adapted in record speed.

The World Evolved, and So Did Those Influencing It  

Many questioned how the influencer industry would fare amid economic insecurity and stay-at-home orders. But influencers across industries adapted, connecting with audiences in creative ways, like sharing ideas for keeping kids occupied at home, hosting Live workouts or concerts and encouraging healthy habits.

Massive Growth in Familiar Digital Tactics

For many, 2020 brought radical change to daily routines and greater insight into the world we live in, but within the digital media industry, the year only accelerated predicted trends. The popularity of streaming video and connected TVs exploded while we were at home, forcing advertisers to double down on the flexibility of programmatic advertising and targeted B2B marketing.

10 Months Later: Staying Together While We’re Still Apart

None of us anticipated that we’d still be practicing social distancing and varying levels of shelter-in-place after all this time. Despite this lack of physical closeness, consumers and brands have found a new way to stay connected through the adoption of live online activations, the joys of shared interests and meaningful brand partnerships.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

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We recently learned that according to psychology, making lists makes us happy. We took that advice and made a list of five things that made us happy since the last Scoop [📝❤️]:

  1. Spotify showcases the top podcasts in 2020 for the first time in their Wrapped feature (US & Globally)
  2. TikTok adds an accessibility update to include photo sensitivity warnings
  3. The best Tweet of 2020 (so far) is Guy Fieri raising $21.5M in seven weeks for unemployed restaurant workers
  4. Twitter updates its hateful conduct policy to include abuse and harassment posts based on race, ethnicity and culture
  5. Drone technology is being used to rebuild forests destroyed by devastating fires

The Most Important Healthcare Campaign of the 21st Century?

With the possibility of FDA approval and initial distribution of COVID-19 vaccines mere weeks away, the healthcare industry is gearing up for the communications campaign of the century. Messaging will attempt to educate the public about vaccine science and the approval process – no small feat given society’s growing anti-vaccine sentiment and a recent Gallup poll indicating that only 58% of American adults are willing to take a coronavirus vaccine. Former FDA Associate Commissioner Peter Pitts believes “PSA campaigns really don’t get the job done” and that communications “absolutely should play into the controversy.” Glen Nowak, director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication, acknowledges the campaign needs to be “large and multilayered” given the variety of vaccines, dosing requirements and audiences. It’s a historic moment that will require overcoming seeds of distrust to help push the nation closer to a recovery from the pandemic.


Fighting COVID-19, and Misinformation, is a Team Effort

The influx of promising announcements about COVID-19 vaccines has resulted in increased efforts to preemptively combat misinformation about them by a consortium of social media platforms. Recently, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube announced a joint effort to partner with fact-checkers, researchers and governments to combat misinformation surrounding the vaccines. The group plans to roll out an initial framework for addressing these issues in January, which will include standards for qualifying “misinformation” in these circumstances as well as plans for marking, responding to or removing such content. As much about the vaccines remains unknown, this effort is sure to be useful to all those in the healthcare space seeking to ensure that accurate health information is shared on social media.


The Power of Connection for Mental Health Communication

Given the combination of the holidays, seasonal depression and isolation due to the pandemic, many marketers are paying special attention to the topic of mental health and finding ways to connect with consumers or bring awareness to the topic. Successful campaigns, such as the UK’s CALM ad, Instagram’s #HereForYou campaign, and Sheba’s Healing Powers mini documentaries, all tap into ways to reduce the stigma of mental health and build connections. Given the rising interest in the subject, the Ad Council commissioned a report on loneliness to help readers understand that it’s a syndrome that plagues younger people as much as older adults. The report highlights ways people across the world are coping using a mix of technology (video chats, social media) and social engagement (religious services, time with pets, visiting family) to connect with their community.


More Apps in a Snap

A few weeks ago, we featured Snapchat’s expansion of partnerships with apps such as Vivino and Yuka. Snapchat has now announced the rollout of several new options that will allow app developers to continue cross-linking their functions within the app. Additions include Augmented Reality Lenses, app conversions as an ad objective, and a minimum return on spend. With the creative Lenses, app marketers can promote their brand in a way that entices users to then potentially install the app (just ask Yahoo Fantasy Sports). The app conversions ad objective allows marketers to optimize for app installs as well, enabling installation tracking from the Snapchat Lens. These new features will help increase brand awareness and overall engagement. And with Snapchat’s rapid growth this year driven by “older” audiences, it’s never been a better time to reconsider including Snapchat in your marketing plans for the year ahead.


Instagram Proves that Platforms Must Evolve to Stay Relevant

As social media continues to grow, platforms face the decision to adapt or fade. Instagram is facing this head on, opting to evolve to maintain its steady flow of engaged users. The platform recently announced new branded content opportunities, allowing for greater partnership, monetization and collaboration opportunities for brands and creators, particularly through Reels and Live. This announcement comes at the same time as an additional update that allows users to search by keywords, making content more discoverable. As new platforms make their mark in the social landscape, the more experienced need to remain agile and receptive to new practices. Otherwise, they risk losing the attention of their audience to the shinier new offering. Each platform serves a purpose, but if it can’t identify its role within the media landscape and capitalize on its strongest offerings, as Instagram has done here, it may soon join the likes of MySpace and Vine.



Another day, another streaming service: Discovery unveils Discovery+, its DTC streaming service.

Different downtime choices lead to different kinds of relief: How teens use downtime to connect, distract or reflect.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

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The Oxford Dictionary declared the 2020 word of the year “unprecedented,” and we couldn’t agree more. This week alone fits the bill of a “typical” 2020 news cycle, jammed packed with updates reflective of a truly unpredictable time: Microsoft and Zoom are removing time caps for Thanksgiving, Pinterest is suddenly the platform to watch in 2021, Snap is giving away $1M to creators for their new inspiring in-app update called Spotlight and TikTok teens are following senior citizens. We’re grateful to be able to share the latest and greatest with you all, so ping us if you want to hear more on these topics or the ones below. Happy Thanksgiving to our American family and friends. 🦃

Is Local News Making a Comeback?

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only accelerated innovation within healthcare, it has also sped up trends and revealed new opportunities within the local media landscape. Media companies including Axios and NPR – and entrepreneurs like David Klotz – are looking to fill the void of regional newspapers by introducing localized e-newsletters and podcasts. The pandemic also has resulted in media talent spreading beyond the hubs of New York and D.C. as people move to remote work models. Additionally, the evolution of the media landscape in response to the pandemic has shown the value of local news coverage. The specificity of different local regulations leading to higher audience numbers and increased subscriptions shows how some of these organizations will become digitally based in the future to reach local audiences.


The New Streaming Service Every Healthcare Marketer Should Know About

The Able Channel is set to fill what it believes is an “information void” with a streaming channel dedicated to healthcare content. CEO and former Novartis and Disney exec Brian McCourt says he can’t believe this void exists in a world where healthcare represents approximately 18% of U.S. GDP. The debut of this new channel may be perfectly timed as new reports suggest connected TV will be the only device to grow its share of video ad impressions, up to 41% from 33% just a year ago. Viewers can preview the channel’s fresh storytelling approach now by watching “Surviving Suicide,” its first series. Produced in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic, the series profiles survivors who have gone on to help others struggling with suicide. With the right conditions and advertisers such as Ochsner Lafayette already on board as its first hospital system partner, advertising opportunities are primed to grow.


“Point of Care” Advertising Is in It for the Long Haul

Despite dips in in-office doctors’ appointments due to the pandemic, industry experts still tout the enduring value of point of care (POC) media as new deals are being struck with content developers such as Meredith, which has just joined forces with Health Media Network. Doctors’ offices around the country will now be displaying video content from several Meredith brands through Health Media Network’s existing relationships with healthcare professionals (HCPs). The POC advertising will focus on TV (as magazines have been removed from waiting rooms) and is designed to educate patients about treatment options, facilitate patient and doctor engagement, and improve health outcomes through engaging and informative content. While targeting in an in-office setting seems limited, much of the audience for healthcare marketers has proven to be those sitting in a waiting room. POC is rapidly growing as experts have found that targeting a patient while they are currently seeking medical care is critical and effective.


Fostering Community and Influence with Social “Hubs”

The purpose of social media has evolved since its initial development, and platforms that served to connect us with others now also serve largely as educational resources. YouTube, one of the most searched platforms, has long been a hub for educators and influencers alike to share longform, informative videos on a variety of topics and now offers learning-focused playlists and URLs. TikTok is working to strengthen this area within the platform as well, testing a “Learn” tab in the UK market. And LinkedIn recently followed in similar fashion with the launch of its resource hub dedicated to supporting underrepresented groups. Specific “Learning” focused sections of platforms could be key areas for HCP influencers to congregate and help consumers find the resources they are seeking. These hubs also go a step further to reinforce the benefits of social media.



Tis the season: TikTok adds new option to display non-profit fundraisers on your profile.

Slowing the spread: Twitter may slow down users’ ability to “like” tweets containing misinformation.

Need a screen break? Check out the New York Times’ annual list of 100 notable books.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

Get the latest marcom news directly to your inbox! Sign up to receive The Scoop updates here.

Is anything predictable anymore? 🤷 With Spotify considering making users pay for podcasts, to Netflix France launching linear TV 🤯 it seems we are in a state of constant pivots and agility in digital. As another industry leader points out, we “used to shy away from the word “scrappy” to describe our work,” and now it’s what brands want for success. Today’s unpredictability is what makes us love being digital futurists, strategists and subject matter experts. If you ask us what we’re tracking these days, it will likely be around privacy, audio and the reinvention of learning in the virtual world.

Marketers Shift Spending Mentality Following Facebook Boycott – Will Google Be Next?

”Thankful”: a surprising characterization shared by Facebook executive Carolyn Everson during ANA’s recent Masters of Marketing conference when asked about the more than 1,000 companies that boycotted Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit movement. Everson cited increased organization and accountability as key takeaways from the boycott, though the question remains – what meaningful changes have been made? Outside of Facebook, marketers have shifted their spend approach. Among the most notable is that of P&G’s top marketer, who pledged increased spend with minority-owned media. Other leading brands, such as Coca-Cola, have developed public policies aimed at increasing accountability and transparency among advertisers. If other brands continue to follow suit, their actions could signal a broader willingness to reallocate media dollars that advertisers – not just Facebook – will soon have to account for. This comes as the U.S. Department of Justice and 11 state attorneys general sue Google for alleged anticompetitive behavior, which has us (and others) wondering if the search giant could be next on the boycott list.


Nutrition in a Snap

Visual search has become a common in-app tool to help provide users with information before making a purchase. Snapchat is trying out visual search through its partnership with nutrition app, Yuka, and wine app, Vivino, as an extension of its visual search features. The in-app camera is used to scan a bar code on a food label or wine label, which then displays product information. Specifically, Yuka’s features provide users with nutrition information, ingredients and health benefits, as well as suggestions for healthier choices. Along with Snapchat’s recent partnership with Headspace, the app seems to be moving farther into the wellness space, while leveraging new technologies to engage an active audience.


TikTok’s Latest Partnership Proves Its Intention to Stick Around

As TikTok continues to grow a steady creator base, it’s looking for new ways to continue monetizing. These efforts have led to a global partnership with Shopify, allowing Shopify merchants to run promotions on TikTok and access the core functions of TikTok for Business Ads Manager without leaving the Shopify dashboard. TikTok reports that about half of its users indicated that they discover new products through ads posted by a brand in the app, while 88% reported discovering new content while on the app. This partnership could provide more value for marketers on the app, making a stronger case to integrate the platform into a content plan. Additionally, more ways to monetize could help keep creators on the platform instead of losing them to more robust platforms such as Instagram or YouTube. TikTok seems to be learning from Vine’s failed past while charting a new path for its future.


Data if You Do, Data if You Don’t: New Rules for Digital Data Regulation

California passed new data legislation (that will go into effect January 1, 2023) that will replace and adjust the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 and lay the groundwork for other states or the U.S. as a whole as privacy rules are developed. The California Privacy Rights Act is expected to add more nuance to existing laws and develop a separate oversight agency to monitor companies’ use of behavioral data, but industry insiders have mixed opinions on how this would play out among large tech companies.


Video Streaming into the Future

COVID-19 accelerated the emergence of connected TV devices and streaming as viewers gravitated to on-demand content, with media companies and agencies following suit. Major organizations including NBCUniversal and Disney are prioritizing streaming as the backbone of their content offering as CTV received nearly 25% of advertisers’ up-front budgets. While CTV is stealing more eyeballs away from traditional broadcast and cable, it provides a greater footprint for healthcare advertisers to leverage custom data targeting and limit waste.



On Election night, while their parents were watching cable news in the other room, younger people were gathering online on TikTok for a more communal experience.

The pandemic isn’t a problem when you’re computer-generated. Virtual influencers make real money while COVID-19 locks down human stars.

The “COVID-proof” drug launch? Why telemedicine could become a staple for more pharma brands.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

Get the latest marcom news directly to your inbox! Sign up to receive The Scoop updates here.

Big week coming up…get ready to vote! (And if you need more info, check out this handy guide on how to vote in your state). If you’ve already voted, need a break from the news or if you just happen to need something to read while waiting in line to vote…read our latest issue of The Scoop!

Snapchat and TikTok Are Coming for Instagram’s Crown

Actions speak louder than words – a long-held belief supported by a recent study from Piper Sandler. The study asked Gen-Zers to choose their top social platform; 34% chose Snapchat, 29% chose TikTok, and 25% chose Instagram. But when it came to usage data instead of popularity, 84% chose Instagram, 80% chose Snapchat, and 69% chose TikTok. This is good news for Facebook, which uses Instagram as a lifeline to the youngest generation, but as preferences begin to change, will behavior follow? A usage shift toward other platforms could force marketers to rethink their content strategies to ensure their messages are reaching intended audiences where they are most.


The Great Holiday Shopping Paradox of 2020

Despite widespread unemployment and an economy in recession, 2020 holiday retail sales are predicted to grow 1%-1.5% bolstered by a massive 25%-35% increase in ecommerce spending, according to Deloitte analysts. Online consumer behavior indicators already appear to support these forecasts. While 70% of retailers say they’re not hiring or rehiring staff for the holidays, Amazon quietly had its biggest Prime Day ever and a new Roku holiday shopping survey revealed the pervasiveness of streaming TV online, reporting 85% of households now stream. If ever there was a time to make sure your online presence is in line with your brand and customer values, and to consider how users find you (hint: more than half start with search), it’s now.


Listen Up: The Rise of Podcasting Advertising

Podcasts have been growing in popularity over the last few years with ad spend expected to surpass more than $1 billion in 2021. Spotify has emerged as a leader in the streaming audio world by leveraging influencers to grow engagement. Targeting capabilities continue to develop as the podcast industry matures, allowing marketers to reach niche audiences and explore longer-form story telling. With new targeting opportunities, data partnerships and growing reach, platforms such as Pandora and iHeart are making the case for pharma and healthcare advertisers to build brand awareness and relevance for aging Millennials.


Stay Home & Stay Active, Don’t Weight!

Closed schools, cancelled extra-curriculars/sports, and restricted public space access has experts worried about increased rates of childhood obesity. Not surprisingly, all of this at-home time and the rollout of new streaming services has led to people watching more digital video this year across devices and formats – and gains are being seen in kids age 11 and younger. Enter new digital programs designed to help keep kids active. Blue Cross Blue Shield and Louisiana State University partnered to develop The Painted Playgrounds Toolkit, which includes games centered around physical activity to help children with motor skills such as throwing, running and hopping. SpiderFit Kids is an online youth fitness site where parents can download activities and training programs for their children. The CDC has also created a webpage dedicated to tips for staying physical while social distancing. So get out there and move!


Closed Captions Open Up Possibilities

While social media platforms serve as a tool for creators to reach anyone with their content, accessibility features have long been overlooked in design and user experience. Recent conversations across several sites have focused on reaching hard-of-hearing users by adding closed captions to video posts. In some instances, these additions are part of app updates, such as IGTV’s addition of automatic captions on videos and Twitter’s promise to transcribe voice tweets. Others are simple trends, such as TikTok creators using text functions to include “cc” on screen, and Facebook featuring its AI captioning tools in its weekly video creator education series. Accessibility is a vital part of any communication, but particularly in regard to healthcare marketing content and partnerships – brands must ensure they consider not only what their audiences want to see, but how they will consume that content.



Next time your parents tell you to take a screen break, remind them that moms are contributing to the largest increase in social media use during COVID-19.

Telehealth in the COVID-19 era: Illuminating the digital divide in patient access.

Tech giants are ramping up their investments in digital health initiatives. Here’s how Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are targeting the health insurance market.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

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The phrase “these unprecedented times” has become the 2020 tagline. With everything in our daily lives so uncertain, we’re increasingly looking for meaning. This is especially true when it comes to our media consumption habits. COVID-19 quarantine, remote work, and the additional alone time at home have led us to seek even greater digital connection.

I recently had the opportunity to engage in a virtual webinar on brand growth during times of crisis for the Advertising Research Foundation, an organization for which our own Seth Duncan, Chief Analytics Officer, serves on the board.

I was joined by Emmanuel Probst, author and SVP Brand Health Tracking at Ipsos, who unpacked the many challenges and opportunities brands have during a time of crisis – like the current COVID-19 pandemic. He also discussed how consumers have changed their behavior and are increasingly seeking out meaning through media.

2020 has completely transformed media consumption – we are glued to our phones, constantly seeking information to keep up with the continuously changing world around us. Brands have an opportunity to provide meaning to consumers, but they are also being presented with a challenge in communicating authenticity and purpose in a virtual world.

“What consumers are really looking for, even more so during this unprecedented time, is meaning,” Emmanuel said. “Now is the time to not only talk about your brand purpose, but to demonstrate your brand purpose.”

In other words, 2020 has proved that, if brands talk the talk, they must also walk the walk.

For those brands that take action to be involved in our extremely connected digital world, they must do so in an authentic manner, staying true to their brand and demonstrating their purpose. However, this is easier said than done. One mistake in this digital world can lead to consumers “cancelling” the brand, a challenge brands are facing while they navigate communication during the pandemic. As both practitioners and consumers, we have a responsibility to hold brands accountable and reach consumer culture in this unique virtual moment.

“Social media advertising is going to be very tempting for brands now, even more so than before,” Emmanuel said. “We can drive clicks and we can drive purchase right away.”

A challenge now is combining channels, online and offline, and sequencing them for brand campaigns. While technology has proven to be one of the most effective way for brands to reach consumers, the pandemic will eventually end, and “the world will come back to in-person interactions,” Emmanuel said.

When those in-person interactions resume, what should we take away from this remote experience? Well for one, practitioners and brands need to remember to hone in on social skills and the ability to communicate and interact with consumers in person. Technology is allowing brands to maintain interaction with consumers during this “unprecedented [virtual] time,” but eventually we will move back offline and return to a time where nothing can replicate in-person interaction and the meaning consumers find in that.

Learn more about W2O via our About or Healthcare pages.

As we see and track such an influx of happenings on digital and social media each week, it can almost feel overwhelming to identify clear “trends.” But this week, we can establish a firm trend: more brands are taking an indirect political stand in 2020. Digital and social media platforms and advertisers are working to help control the spread of #FakeNews and conspiracy theories. That’s why we simply want to use this opening statement to recognize the outstanding work that Facebook, Twitter, Etsy and Peloton have taken to ban or crack down on extreme conspiracy theories impacting our future. 👌

In It to Win It: TikTok Joins Twitter and Facebook in Providing Election Guide for Users

Following the launch of its COVID-19 resource hub, TikTok has created an in-app election guide to provide information in response to election-related searches. The guide is also linked to the bottom of videos with content relating to the election and on videos from verified political accounts. While more than one-third of TikTok’s daily user base is under age 14, a large portion of its users are first time voters who spend their time scrolling on the platform. This is an opportunity to engage younger users, so they are more informed when they do come of voting age. Platforms tailored to younger users such as Snapchat have already seen success in these efforts, prompting 400K people to register to vote in 2020 via its in-app pushes. As younger audiences turn to social platforms for their news, it’s important to provide them with key information where they’re already looking.


Changing Landscape of Brand Marketing and Influencers

The current COVID-19 digital landscape has brands and influencers alike taking a step back to re-evaluate their content approach to that of a more “unfiltered” aesthetic, creating greater relatability to their followers and their respective new routines. With obvious “work from home” limitations, companies are minimizing production efforts when partnering with influencers to create content that is quick and easy to produce – think Zoom/mobile phone videos and interviews. The result is a sharp contrast to previously over-produced and manicured content. Instead, we’re seeing raw cuts of real people. And consumers are loving it. Earlier this year, Eva Longoria worked on a L’Oréal campaign, promoting a $9 hair cream that she shot on her iPhone, from the comfort of her home. Fast forward to today and this same tutorial is a national TV commercial.


Trust in Facebook is Wavering among Users and Legislators

Despite Facebook’s recent efforts to combat extremism on their platform, Facebook recently ranked last in producing a safe online environment among social media platforms, according to an eMarketer survey, as 32% of U.S. Facebook users did not have confidence in the platform to protect their data and privacy. The mistrust expands beyond everyday users to regulators, with Facebook’s own content monitoring program CrowdTangle not covering posts from individuals or private groups and evading any tracking. Additionally, Facebook is further integrating the systems of its platforms (Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger) rather than remaining a set of complementary apps, which may make it more difficult to break up into separate entities in the future. What does this mean for health marketers? It’s unclear, but we do know that any changes in Facebook will greatly affect the digital advertising landscape.


TikTok Combats Body Shaming Culture

TikTok recently shared new policies around weight loss products advertised on the platform, including banning some ads and adding stronger restrictions on others, particularly around targeting users under age 18. The announcement came ahead of the National Eating Disorder Association’s Weight Stigma Awareness Week, which featured many influencers, models and others across social media posting about their journeys with body positivity. Conversations over body image online have been part of platforms for as long as social media has existed, but TikTok represents a specific concern due to its popularity with teenage users. This showcases the continued need for healthcare marketing to maintain authenticity in marketing and ensure messaging is appropriately and properly targeted.


It’s Programmatic Time

The healthcare industry has been increasing ad spend on programmatic buys more than ever before, and we’re seeing a significant shift from direct display buys to programmatic display buys. eMarketer forecasts programmatic buys in 2021 will be 86.5% of all digital display ad spending, coming out to between $79.61B and $94.97B in 2022. Not only is programmatic display spend skyrocketing, but programmatic podcast ad spending is expected to see ad spend triple, from $31.3M in 2020 to $106.5M in 2022, according to eMarketer. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen medical and pharma advertisers, specifically, increase their ad spend. Brands are now turning this spend toward programmatic for better return on investment, in addition to control and transparency over the ads they are serving. It will be important to keep an eye on the growing programmatic trend and shift spend in our own display campaigns when necessary.



As high schools pivot to hybrid models and students spend less in-person time with friends, teens are missing a way to build stronger bonds with their classmates. HAGS is building a social network designed around high school networks, based largely on Gen Z high school socialization. The network began earlier this year as a digital yearbook built onto Snapchat’s Snap Kit SDK, allowing high schoolers torn from the last weeks of their school year by the COVID-19 pandemic to leave messages for friends in a virtual yearbook. While the HAGS team kicked things off with the yearbook format, it’s staying open-minded about what comes next as it plans for the next feature launches inside its app in the coming months.


Colleges are hiring their own students as COVID-19 safety influencers. Like, subscribe and wear a mask.

Are you moving more or less these days? Learn how the pandemic is changing our exercise habits.

Unedited beauty: CVS now labels all photoshopped images in its beauty aisle while other stores are still covering up.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

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It’s been a week of companies securing more ties with the world of Big Data – from Oracle and Walmart’s discussions with Quibi and TikTok, to Fortnite teaming up with the music industry with another video launch (this time with BTS ), to retail tech classic HotSchedules coming in the top ten downloaded apps, morphing into a social platform among a unique target audience swapping tips and news. These headlines continue to illustrate the need for ongoing discussions on regulating and monitoring data use to protect both consumers and advertisers – especially as we head into busy and uncharted months ahead. And if you haven’t registered to vote yet, you can do so here.

Exposed to COVID-19? Your iPhone Will Know

A new iPhone setting offers COVID-19 contact tracing via 14-day data collected through Bluetooth. The setting records when two or more phones are within a certain proximity of one another. If one of those individuals reports a positive COVID-19 test, all of those who came near that person will receive notifications. This feature can be turned on or off at any time by switching the toggle “on” under “Exposure Notifications” in settings, and it is completely anonymous. Apple and Google have stated that there has already been success in identifying positive cases. This simple setting may help boost contract tracing and stop the spread of the virus.



If Healthcare is Going Digital, Why Not Our Homes?

Architects are partnering with health tech companies, including Delos, SilverEco and CaseOS, to incorporate wellness technology into smart homes. Sensors and features are being incorporated into toilets, floorboards, mirrors, water filters and more, with the goal of collecting and monitoring data that is uploaded to cloud-based systems. From there, data is made available to doctors and other medical technicians if an issue is detected. For example, if a homeowner has epilepsy, floorboards could be embedded with sensors to detect a severe seizure. What will they think of next?!


Free-to-Play and Here to Stay

Gaming and streaming are on the rise and do not seem to be slowing down – they have already become a $150 billion industry and are arguably among the fastest growing components of digital. Juniper Research recently reported that the video gaming industry will exceed $200 billion in 2023, and major media outlets including the Washington Post, Bloomberg and Wired have even begun investing in gaming journalism. The popularity of gaming is largely driven by F2P (free-to-play) games, like Fortnite and Call of Duty Mobile. ScreenRant notes that Fortnite has now been played longer than human ancestry has been on Earth. According to TeleAnalysis, 99% of mobile game downloads in the next three years will be F2P. Recognizing this, HypeFactory and other companies are quickly jumping on the influence of popular streamers to help launch new games. HypeFactory’s recent campaign partnered with 40 influencers to amass 6.3 million impressions. With the pandemic accelerating the global video game market, it is vital that we keep our eye on the game and maybe even our hands on the controllers.


Messaging Platforms and Chatbots Unite

Messaging platforms, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, continue to advance in capabilities, further shaping how we communicate. eMarketer found that, in 2020, people are communicating more via messaging apps than traditional social media platforms, indicating a shift in consumer behavior. With most people still at home, it makes sense that messaging platform use is growing at a rapid rate, and as a result, healthcare-specific chatbots are emerging. Furthermore, the global healthcare chatbot market is expected to rise to $542.3 million by 2026. With its large reach of 2 billion and chatbot capabilities, WhatsApp poses an optimal opportunity for advertisers as the shift from social to messaging platforms continues. If we are already activating ads on Facebook, why not catch everyone’s attention 24/7 and activate them on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp and other messaging platforms.


YouTube’s Leap Forward in Contextual Targeting

YouTube continues to make inroads into the TV advertising market by increasing the ways marketers can manage their CTV campaigns, offering increased access to additional inventory and introducing new advanced targeting capabilities. While contextual targeting has been around since the first wave of digital advertising, YouTube is taking it to another level with its new advanced contextual targeting (ACT) capabilities, which allow advertisers to dig deeper into the content that audiences are watching. Instead of broadly targeting topics like sports, travel or wellness, ACT understands sub-interests within a category (e.g., Super Bowl highlights or OTC treatments vs. Rx treatments). This targeting update comes amid growing concerns about audience targeting and data privacy but adds new opportunities to more effectively reach viewers along complex patient journeys as they seek related content.

Sources: Ad Exchanger, Marketing Dive, AdWeek

Making a Brief but Lasting Impact on Gen Z

Gen Z is no stranger to online advertising. As members of the first truly digital native age group, they have spent their lives engaging with brands online. And it shows. Snapchat, in partnership with Kantar, recently released a study demonstrating Gen Z’s ability to recall ads faster than their elders. 55% of Gen Z’ers who watched a skippable ad for less than 2 seconds remembered it correctly compared with only 46% of Millennials and 26% of Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers. This younger generation is quickly becoming an influential power in the spending space, presenting a great opportunity for brands to tap into online.


Facebook Returns to its Roots: Introducing Campus

Students around the country continue to settle into a socially-distant on-campus college experience, and social media platforms are stepping in to help form lasting connections. Though young adults have recently flocked to newer platforms – TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram – Facebook is now making a play to get back in favor with the demographic it originally intended to reach through its new offering, Facebook Campus. Campus will operate as a separate, enclosed network for users at an individual college or university, and require a .edu address to use, reminiscent of Facebook’s early days. While Facebook was a pioneering platform for college kids when it started, its popularity has waned with younger generations. This new offering could be a way to re-engage with this influential group. If it succeeds, Campus could help provide new insights into the behavior of this demographic during an unprecedented time, before these students go make their mark on the world.



Voting gone viral? How TikTok Creators Plan to Influence The 2020 Election.

The Italian Mafia is on TikTok. And it’s an insight into the changing world of organized crime.

General Mills taps into audio marketing toward children. Have kids, or just feel like a big kid yourself? Join Lucky’s Magical Mission on Your Smart Speaker.

The future of everything – health data after Covid-19: More Laws, Less Privacy.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

Get the latest marcom news directly to your inbox! Sign up to receive The Scoop updates here.

This week, like many, has been filled with disinformation* fueled by social media. To counter that, we are sharing news from our feeds showing good and innovative ideas. Ideas like that from the amazing Yes Theory team, which collaborated with our favorite app Headspace to launch a podcast designed to spread inspirational messages. And this out-of-this-world prototype from Synapse, which uses machine vision as context to help improve audio experiences for apps like Alexa or Google home. But if those don’t pique your interest, there’s always our default: the Apple (virtual) event was yesterday 🍎 😊 !

*Our newsletter content is curated from a variety of industry-leading resources and/or reputable news organization or thought leaders. We link to articles we are referencing.

The Ethical Tight Rope of Back-to-School Advertising

Increased scrutiny is being placed on the predatory methods higher-education institutions are using to attract enrollees amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A report from The Century Foundation, a nonpartisan thinktank and consumer watchdog, found some institutions are aggressively marketing healthcare programs, while others are leveraging questionable safety messaging – such as Park University’s “Stay Safe. Study Online” slogan. Institutions also are using keywords associated with healthcare, even when their programs lack a healthcare connection. According to Bob Brock, president of the Educational Marketing Group, the prioritization of degree programs perceived as in-demand and playing on student concerns over contracting COVID-19 is “a lazy way of advertising that doesn’t do your brand any good.” We agree.


BOPIS May Be the “Seatbelt” for Shopping

While convenience and cost were defining factors for retail shopping in the past, an unsurprising 71% of people surveyed say safety is a top consideration when choosing where to shop. Buy Online, Purchase in Store (BOPIS) allows for customers to participate in contactless shopping, without having to wait for items to be delivered. The top three categories for BOPIS are restaurants, groceries and pharmacy. As retail stores are declining and e-commerce is projected to grow by nearly 20% in 2020, inclusive of e-pharmacies, many are leveraging BOPIS to continue driving traffic. Walmart’s e-commerce sales were up 97% last quarter, and the company has now expanded its BOPIS offerings with grocery pickups. As stores continue to find ways to navigate this new normal, we’ll see how independent and chain pharmacies apply these new retail trends into the healthcare space.


Envisioning Digital Healthcare 2.0: Technology Integration

As telehealth and digital healthcare technology continue to mature, COVID-19 has become a catalyst for increased innovation in the space. While there already are multitudes of programs for patients to track health habits and set up appointments, and record-keeping tools for healthcare professionals, Lumeon, Teledoc and other companies are seeking to integrate multiple systems or merge platforms for better usage. Lumeon, for example, aims to improve care, reduce costs and deliver better outcomes by using its AI tool to monitor patients’ data from clinical test results or devices and automatically follow up to schedule necessary appointments. This new technology serves as autopilot between multiple systems to coordinate teams, which is helpful for meeting growing demands associated with the pandemic. However, some are concerned that the pivot to support innovation around COVID-19 is outside some companies’ expertise and will not pay off in the long run.


The Comeback Kid: Influencer Marketing

At the start of the pandemic, the financial outlook for many industries was questionable. Influencer marketing was no different – in fact, many even suggested that this would be the end of an era due to the growing skepticism of the tactic. Fast forward to today, branded content is up 21% from March, with total engagements more than doubling to 57.2 million actions. According to Shafeablee’s CEO Tania Yuki, this might signify that the increased use of social is driving the higher engagement rate – or that people are just bored. While we can’t pinpoint the exact reason for the steep uptick in engagements, influencer marketing appears to be more resilient than expected.

Sources: ADAGE

Instagram Wants You to Scroll and Stay a While

Instagram has unveiled another new platform function, this time providing suggested posts to users who have reached the end of their curated newsfeeds. Instagram experts claim users seek out more content after exhausting their feeds, so now, new content can be continuously viewed in the same place. (Hey, TikTok – sound familiar?) Instagram users have not been shy about their negative opinions about the update and have taken to other platforms to share their thoughts. With more platforms and increased competition for user engagement, the question becomes: should companies make assumptions based on user behavior data, or should they directly ask users what they’d like to see next?


What Happens to Fall TV Budgets if Fall Sports are Not the Same?

While the NBA, MLB and NHL all relaunched their seasons recently, with mixed ratings results, there is massive uncertainty about the state of the NFL and college football. College football captures over $1.5 billion in TV ad spend and, as the playing status of each conference is in flux, 38% of advertisers are considering pulling funding completely without reallocating their budgets. Those that are reallocating are focusing on digital formats, which allow flexibility and support e-commerce or different, creative ways to reach fans on social media.



Esports is the new frontier for competitive entertainment. Early-adapter Amazon is quick to capitalize with a new HCBU Esports League.

Love it or hate it? Why Netflix built its first global brand campaign around one of the most hated parts of its UX.

There’s always more that can be done. So Instagram is providing expanded efforts to address systemic bias within its systems.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

Get the latest marcom news directly to your inbox! Sign up to receive The Scoop updates here.

We’re into our third refreshed Scoop and would love to hear how we’re doing.

You know what’s catching our eye lately (besides the fact that AI is now writing blog posts that go viral 🤯)? We continue to see Facebook struggle as a social network leader, as it juggles managing millions of eyeballs seeing mountains of health misinformation with trying to help drive systemic changes, per its announcement to help support Black-owned businesses, Black creators and nonprofits serving the Black community. And for the most imitated platform of late, TikTok, we continue to see companies vying to buy it. What an exciting time to be in digital marketing!

Can Social Media Really Help Treat Mental Health?

The uptick of mental health conversations among Gen Zers has created an untraditional space for experts to provide support. With 90% of Snapchat users between 13 and 34 years old, Headspace is attempting to reach this previously untapped doomscrolling audience with the addition of Headspace Minis. Users can participate in group meditations and send encouraging messages to positively boost friends in need. Despite the positivity and increased employer partnerships, experts are worried that users are relying too heavily on the app’s offerings in lieu of other support for serious mental health conditions. Some experts see this as a “both-and” problem – ensuring specialized access for those in need and meeting demand.


…And with Mental Health Apps Comes Privacy Concerns

The increased demand for and use of mental health apps yield questions around user privacy and the utilization of health data. Talkspace, an app offering programs tailored specifically to managing COVID-19 stress and anxiety, has been flagged for its conflict between the core values of professional therapy, including strict confidentiality and patient welfare, and its startup mentality/practices. Private user-therapist conversations are being mined for research and analyses to improve the app and advance new customer targeting. Many users may be unaware that legislation around privacy for these types of apps has not yet caught up to privacy rules in hospitals, so until privacy laws are passed, consumers are left to educate themselves on how their data is collected and make their own decisions about using these tools.


B2B Ad Spend Is Growing – Where Is It Being Spent?

Since we reported in our last scoop on a 56% year-over-year uptick in medical and pharma ad spend, specifics of what’s driving the accelerated growth are continuing to emerge. While telemedicine and PPE have proven to be solid drivers, exclusive eMarketer research indicates B2B marketers are also making big contributions, citing a 22.6% year-over-year increase in B2B digital ad spend and specifically calling out the healthcare industry as a leading category. Where are the dollars going? Marketers say budget allocated for in-person events and traditional B2B tactics are flowing into search, LinkedIn, publisher partnerships and podcasts.


Let’s Get Political: Video Advertising Across the Political Aisles

Advertising for primary elections and the upcoming general election has provided a lifesaver for some media companies. Forecasters expect between $7 billion and $15 billion in additional spending this fall and, given the TV production challenges, we expect an increase in advertising competition and costs in September. We also expect to see an increased investment in Connected TV platforms to target hard-to-reach voters. Political campaigns are faced with similar limitations as healthcare companies. Both rely heavily on TV ads and face additional limitations around targeting and content due to the nature of the content, requiring consistent innovation versus that of “mainstream” brands.


Gen Z Is Positive that Social Media Can Be a Good Influencer

Market research has often shown that younger consumers prefer to purchase products from brands that align with their values. A recent study revealed social media works the same way. 75% percent of Gen Zers reported TikTok helped them learn more about social justice, politics and activism, with 94% saying they believe TikTok has generated meaningful action for various social movements. Several brands have recently used TikTok for social movement-inspired campaigns that have been positively received, including Chipotle’s Pride Month campaign. TikTok’s ability to hold interest and spread information among younger audiences is unparalleled, and this study shows the power the app can have to affect users’ actions, when taken with the right tone and focused on their concerns.


15-Second Multi-Clip Videos and Dance Trends Replicated: TikTok Should Feel Flattered!

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, a concept taken to heart in the social media industry (hello, Instagram Stories/Snapchat, Zoom/Facebook Room and Pinterest/Facebook Hobbi). TikTok is the latest to be replicated, with the launch of Instagram’s Reels and now Snapchat using TikTok influencers for dance challenges featuring AR Lenses. Copycats are nothing new, and it remains to be seen which platform users will ultimately take hold of, based on which has the best user experience and which fosters the deepest, most loyal influencer relationships.



Your old radiator is a pandemic-fighting weapon. How coronavirus revived the role design plays in fighting diseases.

Educational slideshows are the new sunset pics on Instagram. How “PowerPoint activism” took over social media.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

Get the latest marcom news directly to your inbox! Sign up to receive The Scoop updates here.

So much has happened in a short amount of time. There has been an abundance of headline news on our favorite platform TikTok, spanning everything from banning, buying, journalism and race. Last week also saw app Triller rise to the top of the charts. On the topic of data and privacy, Google announced the “chrome cookie” is finally being phased out and will focus on trust tokens. With all of that going on, do you know what impressed us most? Pharma’s reputation has soared during COVID-19, proving relevance remains a key strategy for helping pharma align with stakeholder expectations.

Winners & Losers: Q2 Earnings Highlights

Living through a quarter inclusive of a pandemic and civil unrest, it would be safe to assume that advertising spend would be down on all platforms. But based on recent earnings calls, the results were mixed: Twitter was down, Facebook was up and Google was in the middle. Twitter ad revenue dropped 23% year-over-year. On the flipside, Facebook saw a 10% ad revenue increase. Even so, it’s worth noting that advertising on the platform is still relatively inexpensive, which can be directly attributed to the economic impact of the pandemic. And on Google, there was a 10% decline in Search and Network year-over-year, whereas YouTube was up 6% year-over-year, highlighting one constant throughout 2020 so far: when it comes to advertising, video reigns supreme.


Up, Up & Up: Pharma is Spending

Medical and pharma ad spending is up: there was a 56% increase in spend year-over-year in May alone. Prescription drug brands are among the largest drivers, with budgets 123% higher than typical spending levels, highlighting telemedicine and PPE. Biotech spend surged with ads targeting professionals with messaging focused on COVID-19 antibodies and testing.


Is the Era of Network TV Heading Off a Cliff?

COVID-19 has accelerated the changing landscape of TV. New streaming platforms quickly emerged (we see you HBO Max, Peacock and Quibi!), and streaming viewership is at an all-time high. As the pandemic continues to put production on hold, many broadcast networks are forced to adjust their fall programming while streaming competitors such as Netflix are seamlessly continuing to parse out their catalogue of shows lined up for release into 2021. Despite the uptick in streaming, newer platforms have premiered with lackluster results. With limited video inventory across mainstream networks and ad-free streaming sites, we’re eager to see the evolution of traditional video advertising on social media platforms and emerging channels.


Social Platforms Seek Treatment for Misinformation

Social platforms have struggled with how to address COVID-19 misinformation, even as understanding of the virus grows around the globe. Recently, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have taken firmer stances against accounts sharing information on cures proven inaccurate, going as far as banning accounts and adding a “false information” caption on content, respectively. While official policies have not been implemented around COVID-19 misinformation yet, it’s clear that social platforms are working to maintain public confidence amid myriad false claims as the pandemic continues.


Is COVID-19 Driving Micro-influencer Engagement?

The influencer marketing industry is set to reach up to $15 billion by 2022. But as audiences turn more attention to social media, niche or micro-influencers are seeing higher engagement than their macro-influencer counterparts, with 22.2 times more “buying conversations.” The demand for these niche influencers is symbolic of the types of content that audiences want today. Sources: FORBES, BUSINESS INSIDER, BUSINESS 2 COMMUNITY, WWD


Raiinmaker, a new influencer marketing platform that utilizes blockchain technology to provide traceable, secure data transactions, recently rolled out its beta release. As one of the first companies in the industry using this technology, Raiinmaker believes that it will reduce the cost per influencer for brands, better measure impact of campaigns and create a better experience for influencers by rewarding them fractionally based on their engagement and performance.


Frequent handwashing and an abundance of anti-bacterial wipes aren’t only for us earthlings. How NASA spent the last 7 years protecting Mars from humans.

Want to change the world? This mobile game lets you build ecosystems that will help solve real-world ecological problems.


W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

Get the latest marcom news directly to your inbox! Sign up to receive The Scoop updates here.


After a critical pause, or as a close colleague referred to it back in March as “The Great Pause” a la Cuomo, we are back as The Scoop.

During these last several months, we as people and team members have evolved so much personally and professionally, it only made sense to realign our newsletter. So, without further ado in these accelerated times, we’re here to bring you a more personable and valuable piece of content to meet your MarCom needs. And in the spirit of authenticity, transparency and engagement, feel free to reach out with suggestions, comments or praise!

Storytelling in the Time of COVID-19

Since the height of COVID-19, nine in 10 marketers have reported adjusting their creative messaging. Sharethrough Research Labs analyzed 70,000 creatives within 3,000 campaigns to provide clarity on how brands are better aligning messaging with their audiences – and the measurement data highlights how they’re doing it. Empathetic headlines, unedited real-life stories, corporate social responsibility promotion, and content featuring home-oriented products led to higher click-through rates and video views. Have you made the shift, too?


Ready or Not, Influencers are Unionizing

Content creators are looking for ways to standardize brand deals to ensure fairness across the board. This started among influencers within the fashion industry (and it’s only a matter of time before this consumer category trend trickles down to healthcare) through the creation of unions that foster transparency around wages and provide added protections via standardized guidelines. By forming unions, influencers hope to close the wage gap and increase representation for diverse groups, who are often underpaid.

Source: VOGUE

 “Unpacking” Mental Health on Social Media

Regardless of whether backpacks will be worn to schools or kitchens this fall, back-to-school staple JanSport is finding relevance with Gen Z thanks to its #LightenTheLoad campaign, intended to help this generation tackle mental health challenges. A YouTube testimonial video series and Instagram Live videos feature mental health experts discussing isolation, compassion fatigue, uncertainty and family. Twitter and Instagram are also making strides to prioritize mental health: Twitter added a new feature in its help center specifically for reporting tweets mentioning self-harm. Instagram announced a new Guides feature focused on wellness content, including tips for managing anxiety and grief.


Platform Usage Soars in an Effort to Keep Off the “Quarantine 15”

As COVID-19 shut down gyms and group fitness classes nationwide, audiences are turning their attention to social media to stay in shape. Popular programs and fitness instructors/influencers are livestreaming classes and sharing workouts via YouTube, Instagram Live, IGTV and TikTok (with TikTok-ers dubbing this new content “FitTok”). The virtualization of fitness is reaching users where they already “live” on social and has contributed to the increased usage of Instagram’s Live content: a 70% increase in use of the feature was seen in April alone.


TikTok is Taking Over and We’re Just as Shocked as You Are

TikTok continues to prove it’s not a flash in the pan as its explosive growth continues. Reaching 2 billion downloads in the last quarter, it’s the most downloaded app of 2020, and it has surpassed Reddit, Twitter and Snapchat’s  monthly active users at 800 million. COVID-19 lockdowns may have helped spur this growth, as individuals of all ages stuck at home turn to the app for entertainment and connection through various “stay at home” dance challenges and other meme videos. In the United States, kids’ average TikTok usage time hit 95 minutes/day during stay-at-home orders.


Dancing for a Better Tomorrow: How Alex’s Lemonade Stand Found the Spotlight on TikTok

Do you feel better when you’re dancing? The unanimous answer from TikTok users is “yes.” Since early July, brand and platform influencer participation in the #DanceWithALSF challenge has swept the platform, helping the campaign garner 97M+ hashtag uses (transitioning over to Twitter, too!) and raising $40,000 in just one week. The #DancewithALSF trend is one of the first healthcare awareness campaigns to gain widespread traction with Gen Z on TikTok.



A new app called Repixel can expand your retargeting reach without significantly expanding costs, while also allowing brands to send social ads to individuals who recently visited another brand’s website. Repixel will create a marketplace of businesses that are willing to partner with brands that are complementary, but not competitive.


Measuring passion and enthusiasm! What Counts as a Streaming Hit? A Start-Up May Have Answers

Maybe the future is already here? From floating guts to ‘sticky’ blood – here’s how to do surgery in space 


W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

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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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Want to chat? Drop us a line.


1. Business Twitter Blog
2. LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog
3. Omnicore Agency

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


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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