January 9, 2019

4 More Ways Behavior on Social Media is Changing in 2019

Photo of Mac laptop and iPhone with Facebook on phone screen

As we said in part one of this focus on succeeding in social, it’s critical that you understand your audience and their behavior on social media to reach them at the right time in the right context. In part two, we look at the role of storytelling, managing privacy concerns, staying relevant, and making your message resonate in the face of competition. Read on!

Be the Story

Behavior: Everyone craves the ephemeral, authentic nature of stories. Both story-based functionality and usage has skyrocketed.

What it means for brands: Stories are a great opportunity to get real. Show behind the scenes; highlight employees to illustrate the humanity behind your brand; showcase event attendance and even have a patient or influencer do a channel takeover (again, with appropriate regulatory guard rails in place). The beauty of stories is the less-curated feel they provide. It’s more authentic by nature. It’s also an “opt-in” type of content. Users actively click on stories to view them, giving brands a great opportunity to connect with an engaged and receptive audience.

Be More

Behavior: People are a little uncomfortable with the amount of screen time in their lives, and they’re getting savvier about online privacy. They’re taking breaks from social media, deleting apps and posting less. In fact, 44% of Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 29 have deleted the Facebook app from their phone at some point in the past year. This isn’t reason to sound the alarm that social media is going away — use continues to grow across platforms, and new platforms pop up every day. In fact, 74% of Facebook users still use the platform at least once a day.

What it means for brands: With the rise of apps that measure screen time and growing concerns about data privacy, along with the adoption of digital assistants, consumers are beginning to budget their time on social media. This gives brands an even more limited window to capture user attention. To retain interest from an audience that is more and more likely to disengage, content must be valuable.

There’s a lot your brand needs to say and important objectives to hit on; however, consumers are better than ever at sniffing out content that only serves a brand. Think about your own browsing habits and how quickly you can find another brand, publisher or website that has the information you need when the current one isn’t cutting it. Be sure to give your audience a reason to stick around or visit your site again by going the extra step to provide more than your competitors — more information, more assistance, more value.

Be Relevant

Behavior: Who doesn’t want to feel special? We all want our needs met quickly and conveniently. If what you’re offering isn’t personally relevant to your audience, they’ll scroll right past.

What it means for brands: This is good news for brands – particularly pharma brands. Through data analysis and social listening, pinpointing patient needs becomes much simpler. Brands can now know what patients are talking about in real time. While pharma brands may not be able to craft and deploy messaging in real time, it’s a good opportunity to build a content library to activate quickly on common questions and year-over-year trends.

This also creates an opportunity for brands to get smarter about segmentation. As you know, social media is pay-to-play more than ever, and smart paid placements are vital for successful segmentation and personalization. The opportunities are endless, and it will require constant evolution to maximize this tactic – but the juice is worth the squeeze.

One of the more impactful paid social tools is targeting (and retargeting.) Target different audiences (e.g., patients versus caregivers) with different creative based on demographics like age, income, location and more; site-based activity; content they’ve previously engaged with. The more relevant your content, the more likely you are to achieve your brand objectives while also serving your community.

One key to achieving personalization and relevance is to build a solid retargeting audience. Let your audience qualify themselves with personalized lifestyle content like relatable videos, influencer content, memes or “listicles.” By engaging with this content, your audience is essentially raising their hands to let you know they have interest in your brand or the community you serve. Visitors to your website are doing the same thing. Tip: Use Facebook Pixels to capture and retarget to this audience, too.

Be Well-Rounded

Behavior: People scroll through their social feeds at the speed of lightning and almost never visit a brand’s social media page.

What it means for brands: The social media space is cluttered, and more content doesn’t mean more results. In addition to providing value and paying attention to what influences your audience, you must consider how different content types achieve different goals, relay different messages and perform within platform algorithms. A good place to start is harnessing trends from within your community, like Gifs, memes and 3D photos. Here are a few content types that will help your brand make a lasting impact:

  • Video: Facebook has emphasized video for a few years now. It performs better in feed and has additional retargeting capabilities, which also means a lot of brands are utilizing this tactic. Consider how you can create videos that stand out.
  • Gifs: Particularly popular among younger audiences, Gifs can be a powerful tool to capture attention. Gifs are also becoming a part of how social media users communicate with one another. Consider Giphy’s integration with Facebook and the numerous Gif keyboards available for smart phones. Make Gifs useable and unique. Help your community express themselves with Gif content.
  • 360 Photo, Video and VR: 360 technology is relatively new but has been used on social for a few years. Step up your 360 game by integrating interactive elements and even virtual reality to really make a splash.
  • 3D Photos: 3D photos arrived in Facebook newsfeeds at the end of 2018 and so far haven’t been leveraged by many brands. Born out of the iPhone “portrait mode,” this type of content is low-cost to create but high-impact in feed.
  • Mobile-Only: Fish where the fish are, right? Smartphones have driven an astronomical increase in mobile digital consumption. Content designed for mobile can bring added interactivity and give your brand a bigger presence on a phone screen.

Ready to step up your social media game? Reach out to your Intouch representative to explore how we can help identify key insights about your audience through in-depth social listening and build a strategy founded on behavioral insights to maximize results.