The shift to mobile Web has come on fast and furious. According to Nielsen’s Digital Consumer Report, two-thirds of U.S. consumers currently own smartphones, up significantly from 44% in 2011. And half of these smartphone users access social networks every day.
An array of social networks have recognized this shift, and gotten ahead of it. Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine were designed from the ground up with the mobile user in mind. As noted by comScore, new social networks are almost — or are — exclusively mobile. Even more “traditional” social networks such as Facebook are currently focused heavily on mobile feature enhancement to meet the changing way in which its users use it: the most recent data shows that only 21% of its users access it only via desktop, and mobile accounts for more than half of its ad revenue.
The mobile shift presents an opportunity for brands to reach their audiences anywhere, at anytime. While the speed at which the mobile shift is occurring may be daunting, the pace is not likely to slow down anytime soon. Solid marketing efforts mean understanding how, where and when audiences are consuming content, and social media marketing is no different: if your audience is using social media already – and using their smartphones to get there – its time to develop strategies and content that engage them across the platforms they are using on a day-to-day basis. Considerations for mobile include:
- Know your audience: Yes, this is Marketing 101, but bears repeating. It’s easy to get blinded by the technology and forget to go back to basics, looking at audience profiles and strategic goals. Analytics can pinpoint what medium people are using to access your content ad guide efforts in the right direction. For instance, if most of your audience interacts with your brand using Facebook mobile – and on the weekends that number increases because they are away from their desktops – a weekend campaign specifically targeting mobile users only can generate greater results.
- Design for the device: Social on mobile needs to look and feel different than social on desktop. Consider screen sizes, load times, and even attention span differences when thinking about mobile use. Mobile consumers don’t want to scroll through heavy text, battle with designed-for-desktop layouts or spend hours fiddling with their screens if faced with unsupported file formats, un-clickable content or large downloads.
- Embrace the Convenience Factor: Mobile is all about convenience, meaning it’s not only about how and how often consumers access social media, but also how relevant your content is in that environment. Mobile device users may have more frequent, but shorter session times, so a pitfall to avoid is applying the same rules about content length and type that you would for a desktop environment. Yes, content is still king, but visual content rules in the mobile environment.
Understanding that users are moving towards a mobile world is the first step in staying ahead of the curve. But beyond all else, continue to be social. Your traditional marketing channels may always be more focused on pushing out what you do, who you are and what you’re selling. But social media marketing presumes you are social. If you are not prepared to engage and interact with your audience, then neither mobile nor desktop-focused social media marketing will work for you.
Learn more about the evolution of mobile and social at this year’s conference. Tickets go on sale July 1st!