Facebook Wants You to be Healthier, so they Would Like you to See Less of Them

Mark Zuckerberg says that he wants people to spend less time on Facebook so that the time spent on his social platform is truly focused on encouraging meaningful connections between people in order to promote well-being.  Many people don’t seem to be reacting too well to this statement, accusing him of either being untruthful in his statements, making excuses to cover up already reducing activity on his site, or of meddling with their newsfeed, which they designed the way that they like.

I am undecided as to how I feel about his message of well being.  Is it an honest message?  If so, then I applaud his altruistic efforts.  However, I would be curious to know how Facebook plans on measuring whether their users who have reduced their Facebook time have improved their quality of engagement with others.

Until then, don’t forget to set your favorite pages as “see first” so that you don’t miss too many of their posts.
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fzuck%2Fposts%2F10104501954164561&width=500

Facebook Says Those Actively Engaged on Social Media Feel Better

36164908_s

Image source: 123rf.com

Facebook recently posted findings from independent research and their own analysis which suggests that if one is less actively engaged in connecting with others on Facebook, that they tend to feel worse.  By ‘engaged’ they are referring to liking, sharing, commenting on posts.  The research in no way is encouraging more time to be spent on Facebook or social media for one’s well being, but rather actively engaging in the conversations within the media so that you experience meaningful interactions.

We’ve all been at a party where we sometimes feel less engaged with the other attendees, and at other times we have connected with the others that were there by chatting and communicating.  Which made you feel better or worse?  Is social media all that different?

Here is a short caption of the Facebook post.  You will find the post in its entirety here.

What Do Academics Say? Is Social Media Good or Bad for Well-Being?

According to the research, it really comes down to how you use the technology. For example, on social media, you can passively scroll through posts, much like watching TV, or actively interact with friends — messaging and commenting on each other’s posts. Just like in person, interacting with people you care about can be beneficial, while simply watching others from the sidelines may make you feel worse.

Facebook provides a few examples on how meaningful interactions on social media may benefit one’s well being; connecting with friends and relatives that are long-distance to you, getting help in finding an organ donor with the help of Facebook groups, sharing health experiences with others in that live with a similar health condition and helping somebody who may feel suicidal.

Some are calling this Facebook blog post self-serving.  I do not believe that it was meant to be a manipulative post to get you to spend more time on social media sites.  Instead, I got the sense that the post was meant to provide some data that might assist some users to establish a more meaningful experience while using social media sites.  In no way are they suggesting users to use the site more often or for longer periods.  Instead, Facebook is suggesting that you might feel better about yourself if you connect with others while you’re using the site, just as you would if you were at a party.

Facebook and Twitter to Make Ads Visible to the Public – Impact on Healthcare and Pharma

Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Twitter will soon be making ads visible to anybody who wants to see them.  Yes, anybody!  Patients, healthcare providers, competitors and advertising regulatory bodies.

This new ad transparency on social media is a result of the Russian ads that were placed on social media during the last American election. Tisk tisk!

Up until now, you saw ads on social media that were targeted to you based on the advertisers’ filters when placing the ad.  But very soon, you will be able to actively search and find ads by specific users with just a click of a button.  This is both exciting and unnerving for advertisers in all industries, including the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

What are the social networks doing to make advertising more transparent?

Facebook, Messenger and Instagram will be starting this process near the end of 2017 in Canada first and then will roll out to the United States by July 2018.  There will be a “View Ads” button to click on a Page to view the ads that the Page is currently running.  As such, all ads will need to be associated with a Page

Twitter will work a bit differently.  There will be an Advertising Transparency Center that will become public in the coming weeks.  From here, you will have access to the following information:

  • All ads that are currently running on Twitter
  • Amount of time that the ads have been running
  • Ad creative
  • Ads targeted to you, as well as personalized information on which ads you are eligible to receive based on targeting

Viewers of the ads on any of these platforms will be able to give immediate feedback and report ads.

So how will this impact social media advertisers within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries?

    • Transparency means that people can see everything, so expect exactly that!  Expect competitors to come snooping around more often to see what you are advertising.  As you will probably use this as an opportunity to do more thorough competitive advertising reviews as well, right?

 

    • In the past, we could only estimate how much a competitor was advertising on social media.  But now we will have access to all the details.  If one realizes that competitors are way more active than what was previously thought, it is possible that we will see a surge in advertising by others, especially if their strategic objective is to target the users of a specific competitive brand.  However, I don’t anticipate this to happen for the Canadian pharmaceutical industry because of the restrictions in direct-to-consumer advertising.  In Canada, it will really still just be the market leaders who will benefit the most from these types of ads.  But in the United States, it is a possibility.

 

    • Expect more feedback and possibly reporting of your ads by either consumers or competitors.  Hopefully you will get positive feedback, but beware, because even your test ads will be visible now.  In speaking with Ad Standards (the organization that reviews Canadian consumer advertising for prescription drugs, OTC, medical devices, natural health products and very soon vaccines as well), they do not expect any significant changes to the number or type of complaints that they usually receive either from consumers or competitors.  Personally, I’m not so sure about that.  Some competitors are fierce about trying to stop advertising by others, but we all know that that usually ends up biting them right back in the you-know-what.  But we all know that some will absolutely be taking that chance anyways.

 

    • Speaking of test ads, we may find that advertisers test for shorter periods of time in order to limit the window of opportunity of competitors seeing their draft ads.  We all know that we need to test our ads, but who wants to do that openly?  We won’t have a choice, but I cannot imagine that many of us will be comfortable with that.

 

These are nothing more than guesses, so it will be interesting to review the impact a year from now to see which of these turned out to be correct and which did not.

Competitive review of social media ads:

Call me crazy, but I love finding healthcare-related ads and analyzing their creative and copy, and now I’ll be able to see a bit of their targeting features as well.  Woohoo!!!  I am looking forward to finding new pharmaceutical and healthcare ads on social media and sharing some of them with you so that you can share your thoughts on them.  Below, you will find a few that I spotted during the past few weeks on Facebook.  Enjoy!

If you would like a thorough social media advertising review for a particular therapeutic area or specific competitors, then please contact me at nat@marketing4health.net .  Truth be told, it would be my absolute pleasure to be your eyes and ears on social media!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Funny Medical and Science Sites on Social Media

If you are like me and enjoy having a good laugh while sometimes learning a little something at the same time, then the following medical and science sites might give you a giggle.  You will find their social media links below so that you can easily follow them if you wish:

  1. Antibotic resistance joke

    Source: Beatrice the Biologist

    Beatrice the Biologist is one of my favorites because her comics are educational and can be used with a target audience (in my case, my children) to lead into great discussions.  Her jokes make the core message very memorable.  You can find her on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

2. The Awkward Yeti, which features, Heart and Brain, is a funny comic strip which sometimes delves into sciences.  It is meant more for leisure than education, so it is a perfect science humor site if you are looking to relax. They can be found on FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr and Reddit.

3. ZDoggMD features Dr. Zubin Damania, MD.  Dr. Damania produces entertaining videos expressing his frustration with the healthcare system.  These videos would appeal to stressed out healthcare professionals and frustrated patients alike.  You can find ZDoggMD on FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

4. And if you are like me and you cannot get enough of Dr. Damania’s videos, then you might also enjoy his Doc Vader persona where he shares his darker humor on FaceBook and Twitter.

5. GomerBlog is self-described as “Earth’s finest medical satire news site”.  They might be right, but you must have the right sense of humor to enjoy their content.  I’ll admit that I am a fan!  You can find them on FaceBook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram and Pinterest.

There are plenty more entertaining medical and science websites out there.  Tell us which is your favorite and we just might include it in a follow-up blog post.