Digital Well-Being & Social Media
Ever feel like you can’t disconnect from the digital world even when you’re drowning in it? Without a doubt, smartphones and social media promote feelings of FOMO (fear of missing out) by creating an urge to stay connected on trending topics, people, things, media, email, etc. at every moment of the day. In fact, the latest data from GlobalWebIndex shows that the average internet user now spends around 6 hours each day (roughly one-third of their waking lives) chasing away that FOMO. The answer to this epidemic? Digital well-being. What does this corporate phrase mean for your brand’s social media presence? Let us explain.
Tech companies are building initiatives that focus on helping consumers understand their tech habits to create a healthier balance of time spent online vs. offline. Why? Because even though it seems counterintuitive for Facebook or Instagram to tell people to spend less time on their platform, they actually prefer you to spend quality hours on their platform vs. a high quantity of hours.
“Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.” -Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram on Twitter
For example, earlier this year Facebook announced they were shifting their KPIs (key performance indicators) to promote better digital well-being. Facebook wants to get back to its roots by giving priority to family and friends over brands and digital-media publishing companies in our News Feeds. “The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health,” writes Mark Zuckerburg in a post.
Apple and Google are the latest to join the movement, rolling out new controls that will allow users to monitor how much time they spend on devices, set time limits on app usage, and control the distraction of notifications and the device usage for their children. A few other ways tech brands are working to help fix digital addiction are:
- YouTube’s “Take a Break” feature: Allows you to build in custom reminders to step away from your digital device.
- Facebook’s “Youth Portal”: Encourages young people to take a healthy break from social media.
- Facebook’s “Your Time” feature: Allows you to see how many minutes you spend on the app each day, set daily reminders for yourself, and mute Facebook notifications.
- Instagram’s “Time Spent” feature: Manages your time spent on platform to prevent over usage.
The Quick Strike:
So what does all of this mean for marketers? It means we need to focus on quality vs. quantity in every aspect of marketing. Whether or not you believe the altruistic intentions of these companies or think spending less time on social media is a good thing, it may lead to a decrease in scrolling times. Some things to consider as you’re creating your social strategy and content plans:
- Now more than ever, brands need to develop tailored content that will resonate with organic and paid audiences (but hopefully you were doing that already).
- Set qualitative goals to supplement your quantitative goals, such as sentiment and customer retention. Numbers alone just don’t paint the full picture.
- Most importantly, focus on making meaningful and memorable one-on-one connections online and offline to increase brand loyalty.
The balance between caring for our consumers and moving the needle will always be a delicate one. But one thing will never change—content is king, but quality reigns over all.