Marketing to Moments That Matter

Every day, everywhere, people are connecting around millions of moments that matter to them—from wedding announcements to birth announcements, from birthdays to beach days and from training for a marathon to watching a TV marathon.

Over the past several months, Facebook IQ has examined insights around these moments that people share—and share in—on Facebook and Instagram every day.

The conversation that follows is between 2 thought leaders on the Global Consumer Insights team at Facebook: Erin Sills, Director, and Ann M. Mack, Head of Content and Activation.

Check out the full set of insights in our Moments That Matter white paper.




Ann: The mobile revolution is at the center of our Moments That Matter research. You have called it the single most important medium shift since the advent of TV. What do you mean by that?


Erin: When I started at Procter & Gamble over 25 years ago, we bought magazine, TV and radio advertising as a way to reach a large number of consumers with marketing messages. We bought these based on demographic surrogates for the people we thought would be interested in our products. We bought based purely on contextual relevance because of what they were reading, watching or listening to. Back then, we bought around appointment-driven media and the 15- or 30-second spot.

Now, thanks to this device in our hands, everything has changed. Mobile has created a highly personal media world based not only on a person’s demography and context but also on their individual passions, behaviors and interests. My passion happens to be motorcycling. That is something that you would never know based on my demographics: female in the 35- to 49-year-old age group.


Ann: And you share your moments around motorcycling on a regular basis—whether it’s sharing on Facebook about a race at Bonneville or capturing a ride along the High Sierras on Instagram.


Erin: Which speaks to another change. We’re moving from a time of fewer, bigger, longer moments—moments like the Super Bowl—to a time when people are creating and consuming many moments in rapid-fire succession. This is happening every minute, every day, 365 days a year. When you consider all of these moments en masse, something the magnitude of a Super Bowl is playing out on Facebook and Instagram every single day.


Ann: On any given day, people are connecting around once-in-a-lifetime moments, like getting married or having a baby; those once-a-year moments, like the holidays; and those everyday moments, like eating or shopping …


Erin: It’s really fascinating when you think about how things have changed. When my brother got married in 1985, he and his wife waited weeks for the wedding photographer to deliver their professional proofs, which they then shared with a select few in a physical photo album. When I got married in 2013, my husband and I shared the photos instantaneously on Facebook. Teens used to define their identity by what they wore at school, now they’re sharing on Instagram with #OOTD. Something as simple as a birthday has changed dramatically. Just 15 years ago, you celebrated with nearby friends at a nearby restaurant and took some pictures that would be developed months later. Now you wake up to hundreds of birthday wishes from loved ones both far and near from your past and your present.

While people have always had these moments in their lives, marketers have never had the opportunity to take part until now. Mobile is giving brands the opportunity to capitalize on and leverage these very important, highly personal, uniquely relevant moments. Delivering the right creative to the right person at the right moment has never been easier.


Ann: Exactly. One of my favorite findings came from our research around everyday moments. We found that people in the US are gourmets on the weekends, with 52% of cooking and baking posts happening on Facebook Friday through Sunday.1 What that means for brands is that they can adjust marketing to address different needs on different days, whether it’s pre-prepared meals and delivery options to get them over the mid-week hump or recipes to inspire the weekend chef.

On the surface, these might seem like ordinary moments, but they’re really quite extraordinary. They can unearth insights around shifts in consumer behavior and inform strategic, creative and media planning.

For instance, in looking at seasonal moments, we found that people in the US are “friendlier” in the summer, accepting more friend requests than in any other season.2 This has both strategic and creative implications for brands: they can use this insight to inspire messaging and activations that facilitate new friendships and celebrate existing ones.


Erin: It always goes back to the fact that, if we can understand more about the moments that matter to people, we can deliver experiences that matter more to them.


Download our Moments That Matter white paper.


1. Facebook internal data, US only, Mar 5–Apr 5, 2015 (accessed May 2015). 2. Facebook internal data, US only, May–Sep 2014 (accessed Apr 2015).