A majority of people today are accessing social networks from their mobile devices, which has significantly helped increased the scale at which social media has grown in the past few years and will continue to do so in the future.
However, with many mobile trends to account for it can quickly become confusing as to what to pay attention to as a business actively using social media marketing to reach its customers.
As of January 2014, 58% of American adults had a smartphone, using it to spend more time on social media than they do on desktops and tablets. According to Statista, 68% of time spent on Facebook is from mobile, followed by 98% on Instagram, 93% on Pinterest, 90% on Twitter, 48% on Tumblr, and the list goes on.
This shift in mobile usage of social media is happening rapidly across almost every major social channel, especially when considering that of the over 2 billion active social media accounts today, 1.5 billion are active social accounts on mobile.
Whether from WeChat or Google+, it’s important that your business anticipate how your social content comes across to your audience on the mobile devices they prefer to use.
This could be require extensive optimization of your content as you continue to scale or making a few simple changes to set up now that can help better align your social strategy with your audience’s preferences for the future.
Here are a handful of concerns your business should be aware of when using mobile marketing as a part of your overall approach to social media.
1. Analyze existing data for mobile consumption patterns.
When using any social channel on behalf of your business, it’s important to start by doing your research and understanding the overall behaviors of a majority of users on a particular network, especially how they behave on mobile.
Having accurate customer profiles is really important for this process, since your research on the behaviors of the users on each social network should be highly informed by your audience and their unique needs and preferences.
According to Salesforce, nine out of ten consumers say that having access to content on their devices is somewhat or very important. Therefore, it’s critical that you’re using the data available about mobile consumption to ensure the content you’re sharing on social media is readily accessible across the devices consumers are using.
Use one of the many data rich resources available online for greater trends in market behavior with mobile devices like eMarketer, Pew Research, Forrester, and L2 Think Tank, all of which offer free content to dive into in addition to their paid premium reports.
In addition to industry-wide research, it’s important to remain aware of the patterns in behavior of mobile users on your own properties using a tool like Google Analytics.
From this report in Google Analytics, it’s apparent that traffic sent to this website is coming from iPhone users who are encountering your content on both Facebook and Pinterest.
This then informs your team to dive deeper into the actions you’re taking as a business on these social channels to see what is driving traffic from mobile users as compared to visitors coming from desktop computers.
Asking questions like the ones below can help your business drive additional value from your data and continue to take action to improve your customer’s experience with your content on mobile devices.
- Do mobile social users interact with more content from my business?
- How long do mobile social users stay on my website as compared to other referral traffic?
- What’s the bounce rate on my website or content from mobile social users?
- Is the traffic generated from social networks on mobile devices new or return visitors?
2. Be where your audience is active, ensure a cohesive experience across devices.
After analyzing the data from the marketplace at large and from your own data sources, you’ll have a much stronger understanding of where your mobile audience is active across social media.
Knowing where your audience wants to engage with your business from both the perspective of which social networks and types of mobile devices, should help inform how your organization allocates its resources for the future.
It’s important to not spend your time being everything to everyone and having an active presence on every social network on the web, but instead focus on where your business can make the most impact based on your audiences preferences.
Fortunately most of the important social networks are optimized for mobile devices, in addition to having a mobile app. It’s then important to ensure anywhere you’re driving traffic in the future is optimized as well, which will likely be your website.
One way of doing so is to focus on responsive design or creating a mobile friendly version of your website. This way no matter what social channel or mobile device a person is coming from, they arrive at your website with a rich mobile specific experience.
Keep this in mind when driving traffic to any of your online properties or the destinations of others because there’s nothing more frustrating for a person mobile to get driven to a poorly optimized website.
According to Android Police, Google is also testing the use of an icon appearing next to the listing of a website to indicate if it is mobile optimized or not when a person is viewing the search results, further stressing how important it is for any destination you’re sharing on social media be optimized for viewing across devices to help drive more engagement.
3. Post content that displays images, text, video and other media properly.
When sharing content on social media, whether its links, videos, blog posts, infographics, podcasts, etc., make sure it’s optimized for viewing across all devices.
Take a moment and review what each type of content looks like on social media from a mobile device compared to a desktop computer or laptop. This way you’ll be able to keep in mind the right dimensions for visual content and how each type of content is emphasized on different screens.
For example, here’s what a tweet with an image in the Twitter timeline looks like from the Twitter mobile app as compared to how it appears on desktop.
As you can see the image is prominently featured on both the tweet on the desktop and mobile app, but it takes up much larger portion of the screen when viewed from mobile, which presents a better opportunity for having your content viewed by your audience.
Therefore, it’s important to consistently share visual content, including video to help your social posts stand out from other content in the feeds on these networks.
According to Cisco, two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video in 2018, further suggesting that the content your business is regularly sharing on social media should include video, amongst your variety of shared content.
Continue to share different forms of content across your social channels that resonate more effectively on mobile like visuals and video, while making sure all other content shared is easy to access as well.
4. Allocate your paid advertising budget accordingly.
To ensure your content is continually seen and interacted with by your audience online, it’s essential to allocate a part of your budget to paid advertising on social since it performs much better on mobile, especially with Facebook ads and Twitter ads.
Again, when targeting your paid social ads on mobile devices, they take up a majority of the screen a viewer is looking at, which helps increase the likelihood that your ad campaigns will produce results.
In the beginning stages of your use of paid social advertising, try allocating a portion of your budget to serving ads on desktop and mobile.
Once the campaign is live, monitor the success of your ads on both mediums to see which drive more results and therefore, needs more of your budget dedicated to it throughout your campaign. As organic reach on social media slowly starts to fade, it’s important to incorporate a strong emphasis on paid advertising to reach your customer base on their favorite social networks.
5. Use the proper tools to manage mobile marketing effectively.
There are a plethora of tools available to help better impact your social media marketing efforts on mobile. The key to finding the right tools for your business is to be open to experimenting on a consistent basis to see which tools and technology are best suited to help meet your company’s needs as they arise.
Take the following steps when evaluating what tools to regularly for your social efforts on mobile.
- Create a list of the existing pain points in your social media strategy. These could be issues related to creating content, posting from mobile, uploading video effectively, measuring your efforts, etc.
- Once you’ve got your needs identified, explore the category of tools that best address that particular problem. For instance, search for mobile video tools if you’re looking to take higher quality videos from your mobile device for use on social media.
- Try three to five different tools within a category to see what best works for your organization’s particular mobile needs, some will likely be free and others will require signing up for a free trial in order to properly test the tool.
- Work with these given tools for approximately a week as a part of your mobile social strategy to see how their use can impact your day-to-day efforts as you begin to narrow down the best options.
- If none of these tools properly addressed your issues, then select another three to five tools in that category and give them their own test run.
- If one or a few of these tools did help address your mobile and social efforts, then decide upon using them on a regular basis. This is also the best time to understand the cost associated with these tools to properly factor them into your budget.
- Review the usefulness of these tools every six months to ensure each one is still improving your company’s experience running a mobile friendly social media strategy.
What’s your most successful mobile strategy to date? What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced using mobile to reach your customer base? Share your experiences below.
Images courtesy of Statista, We Are Social & Android Police.
Updated November 21, 2017.