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12 June 2017

What we can learn from Facebook: 3 mobile communication trends

In October 2016, mobile and tablet traffic overtook desktop traffic for the first time. Since then, we have been living in a mobile-first world. Mobile makes us communicate differently. As marketers, we are already consciously making the shift to digital. We are investing in fancy websites and new technologies for our companies. But mobile often lags behind.

Although we are very much aware that customer experience is key, perfecting this experience by communicating in the right way is often a struggle. We have not yet succeeded in making the journey seamless and in getting rid of all areas of friction.

Facebook, the holy grail of social media apps, can teach us a thing or two about the shift towards mobile, as well as the importance of the customer experience and the right way of communicating with our customers. Facebook’s advice is to be where life happens and to communicate the mobile way:

Be immediate, expressive and immersive.

Let’s see how we can implement these 3 communication trends, not only in our Facebook advertising efforts, but also in our overall digital strategy.

1. Immediate communication

Nobody likes to wait for an answer. Holding your customer on the phone for 10 minutes is no longer acceptable today. As a brand, you have to make sure you provide your customers with the answers they want, or even better, provide the answers before they even need to ask the questions. Streamlining your customer experience should be your first focus. Remove those (mobile) frustrations and delight your customers with unexpected speed in handling their issue. Do not make them plough through unnecessary messages on your website, do not insist on showing them the latest trends in X or Y if they do not specifically show interest in it. Map what each customer wants when they interact with you and hand it to them, fast.

Great example: HP developed a chatbot operating through Facebook Messenger. The HP Print Bot allows you to print by simply sending your documents and print guidelines through Messenger

HP PrintBot

Great example: Coolblue puts their customers at ease by highlighting their helplines and by giving their customer service a face. They help their customers where they are: On the Coolblue website, on social media and in their bricks-and-mortar stores.

Coolblue Customer Service


2. Expressive communication

In 2015, a LOL emoji was voted word of the year. At that point in time, marketers should have realized something was happening. A picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s include that in our communication. Amaze customers by expressing your brand visually and use the new advertising capabilities to grab their attention while they’re scrolling!

Great example: Perrier used mobile-optimized videos to make their advertisements stand out on Instagram and Facebook. Perrier aimed to boost brand image and awareness by creating short animated movies specifically for the targeted platforms. The bright-colored video ads were able to capture people’s attention and resulted in more purchases and fewer ads recalls.

Perrier mobile-optimized videos


3. Immersive communication

Today’s marketing is all about experience! Take your customers on a ride, share your dream and let them experience it with you. Use the technologies that are available. Whereas you can use immediate communication to guide your customers quickly to the right transaction, use immersive communication to tell your brand’s story. Try to associate meaningful moments with your brand, to get customers as excited as you are about your message. Check out the possibilities with Instagram Stories, 360 video, Facebook carousel and many others on Facebook’s Creative Hub.

Great example: Royal Caribbean, a cruise line operator, created a virtual tour of its newest cruise ship with Facebook Canvas. The ad created a lot of engagement (on average, people spent 72 seconds with the canvas) and helped the company to tell its story in an attractive way. Royal Caribbean now frequently posts 360° videos showing you around their destinations.



Tying these 3 communication trends together in your mobile efforts and through your whole marketing strategy will help you to have impact as a marketer. Listening and adapting your message to the needs of your audience, as well as making sure you are concise and attractive enough to actually capture your audience, are essential to getting your message across. In other words, reducing a message to its absolute essence is an art marketers should try to master, while keeping the communication needs of the customers in mind and making them feel part of the brand. Always remember Winston Churchill: “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter….”


Have we inspired you to learn more about the perfect customer experience and how to achieve it?  Take a look at the results of the Yearly Marketing Survey 2017 and check out Facebook’s Inspiration platform for more advertising success stories.

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Speech of Bart Van de Vel (Facebook Inc.) at the Vlerick Marketing Colloquium 2017, Facebook Succes Strories, @HPPrintbot Facebook Profile@PerrierUSA Instagram Profile@royalcaribbean Facebook ProfileCoolblue websiteInternet usage: Mobile vs desktop