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Facebook: mobile is not a technology, it's a consumer behaviour

Social network gives pharma marketers attending ThinkDigital some tips

Facebook pharma healthMobile is not a technology, it's a consumer behavior - that was one of the messages from Facebook to the pharma marketers present at the recent ThinkDigital event.

The social network told the audience at the Digitas Health Lifebrands event in London last month to look at the wider trends that technological advances were enabling.

“You shouldn't be talking about mobile, you should be talking about mobility,” explained Nick Pestell, agency partner, global marketing solutions at Facebook.

“The best example of this is that if you were to spend £100 on Facebook, then £73 of that would end up on a mobile device - that's not just Facebook pushing it out to mobile devices, it's because that is where the consumers are.”

It is also a trend, Pestell told ThinkDigital, that applies to all demographics. “We're starting to see the [number of] people who exclusively access Facebook on a mobile device continue to rise.

“It's now about 40%, up from 35% a year ago, and in certain demographics it is as high as 85%. The data that is being generated from all of this activity - especially on the smartphone level - has increased exponentially.”

June Dawson, managing director of Digitas Health LifeBrands, said: "Customers are driving much of the demand for mHealth technologies and applications. Mobile apps are helping to improve overall consumer engagement in health care by simplifying the access and the flow of information; lowering costs through better decision-making, fewer in-person visits, and greater adherence to treatment plans; and improving satisfaction with the service experience.

“Facebook gave us an Insight into health care consumers' behaviours and attitudes at ThinkDigital14 - this is critical information in an environment where health care is moving rapidly towards patient-centered care where individuals ARE active participants in managing in their own health care.”

A growing number of pharmaceutical companies use Facebook, which has built a global user base of 1.2 billion people in its first ten years, and the social network's Pestell offered a few tips on how to do so more effectively.

  • Think 'stories' not 'facts': consumers, in healthcare as elsewhere, engage emotionally through stories rather than dry facts 
  • Develop 'atomised' content: Facebook's users generally don't visit every day, so you need a strategy that enables them to dip in and out of your posts – so that whenever they visit they can still know what's going on
  • Stories need themes: Create 'ownable', repeatable things that users can engage with, Pestell advised. Acknowledging it was not a healthcare example, he highlighted McDonald's rich, engaging, real-time video-led Facebook campaign that was developed for this year's football World Cup in Brazil 
  • Audience pockets and targeting: Make data - either your own or that provided by companies like Acxiom and Datalogics - work for you by unearthing either a new audience or an existing customer base.

Pestell concluded by revealing that the single biggest question asked of Facebook is 'what is good creative on Facebook?'.

“The easiest answer that,” he said, “ is that good creative is just good creative - it shouldn't be adapted for Facebook - and it definitely does not need to be a cat or a dog or something cute.”

24th October 2014

From: Marketing

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