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Social networking via mobile devices is growing each day. How well does your social strategy incorporate mobile?
Do you access Facebook or Twitter from your mobile phone? If not, you’re the exception.
New studies show the number of people using their mobile phones to connect on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is growing rapidly and becoming the dominant way to access social networks.
A report from comScore found that 72m Americans accessed social media from their mobile devices in August, a 37% increase compared from the prior year. Even more telling is the fact that 50% of these users are using social networks on a daily basis via their mobile device.
As expected, the comScore report found Facebook leading the mobile charge with 57m monthly mobile users in the US (a 50% year-over-year increase).
Twitter’s mobile user base follows, currently at 13.4m, a staggering 75% increase from last year.
Social and mobile are natural partners. Mobile devices are already the focal point of how people communicate with their circle of friends directly and social networks are a simple extension. With the saturation of smart phones, social networks are now accessible to us at any time, anywhere.
As a marketer, it’s time to make sure your social media strategy is built for the mobile world. Here are tactics to understand so your brand participates in mobile social media.
1. Understand the interaction: Mobile apps or mobile web?
Both Facebook and Twitter have apps for all the major mobile platforms (iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry), yet the majority of mobile traffic still comes from the mobile web.
In his post, New Data: 33% of Facebook Posting is Mobile, Dan Zarella studied a snapshot of public posts on Facebook and found that 33% of all posts were made from mobile devices.
Breaking this 33% down further, we see that the mobile website (m.facebook.com) leads mobile usage with 57%, and access via apps contributed to the remaining 43% of content added through mobile.
With numbers like this, it’s easy to understand the driving force behind rumors of Facebook’s Project Spartan and their move toward a full HTML5 version of Facebook in order to optimize their mobile web experience for the majority of users accessing the site directly instead of through mobile apps.
The key take-way for marketers?
While device-specific apps are undeniably a big part of any mobile strategy, the mobile web is absolutely essential. It’s how people discover content through search and shared links and it’s the natural means to access your brand.
2: Women rule social media
With the exception of LinkedIn, women are the dominant users of the top 10 social media networks, spending more time, contributing more, using mobile more and buying more than their male counterparts.
- A Pew report found that women make up 56% of all social media users, and they lead in email, blogging, instant messaging, and photo sharing as well.
- Women comprise 64% of all Twitter users and most new Twitter users are female.
- On Facebook, 16% of women comment on posts several times a day compared to only 8% of male users.
- Between 2008 and 2011 women increased their dominance of social media, rising from 53% of users to 56%.
This doesn’t mean a marketer should wrap their social and mobile campaigns in pink bows and diet tips. But it does mean that your social strategy needs to give women credible things to care about and share with their broader social network.
To succeed, your marketing needs to be able to answer the question "why?" Why share this? Why care about this? Why does this matter?
Savvy marketers offer campaigns and messages connected to issues and topics that resonate with their audience. Demand that your marketing answer the "why?" questions before your audience asks them.
3: Make it easy to share the love
As marketers, we all want to be loved. We all want to be shared and have people advocate on behalf of our brands. Nothing beats an authentic recommendation.
Perhaps you’ve produced great content for your web and social sites, or had a story written about your company in the press. Maybe you have a campaign that requires multiple people involved to make a decision, like the purchases of travel, automobiles or entertainment.
Ask yourself how are you helping people share content across mobile, tablet and desktop platforms? How about across iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and other devices?
The foundation of successful social media marketing is the link. Your marketing requires a clean and consistent URL structure that people can use and share. Links are the currency you need to invest in for social media success on mobile.
Make the links do the hard work, handling all visitors consistently, and avoiding using the dead-end “m.dot” proxy which results in mobile sites becoming disconnected from the desktop website.
When people share your site, whether from mobile or desktop, you want to ensure a smooth experience that just works.
4. Mobilize everything
If you plan on marketing through social media make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices.
Any social object, be it a photo, an infographic, video, article share, or social coupon, will ultimately drive traffic to your website. We know people are finding social objects through social media on mobile devices and if you’re successful, next they’ll be coming to your website on their mobile devices.
Will your website be ready?
Here’s a specific example of what can happen. In September 2011, a company offered a fantastic deal via Groupon. On that day, mobile traffic to their website spiked 150% and mobile revenue exploded, up 6000% because people wanted to act and they were on their mobile device.
What would happen to your website with that level of interest from mobile users?
Consumers are connecting to your company throughout the day and with all types of mobile devices. They expect to have a great web experience no matter how they connect or what device they use.
A good experience will accelerate the virtuous circle of discovery, sharing, traffic and additional sharing. A poor mobile experience will result in a lost opportunity for revenue, brand engagement and customer loyalty.
With mobile traffic playing such a prominent role in social media, creating a long-term strategy to engage in this field is critical building a successful business.