Eighty-four percent of mobile owners say they use their devices while watching TV to socialize with friends and surf the Web. Of those, more than one million a day use Twitter to comment on the programs they’re watching.
What does this point to? It points to the fact that the days of considering social and mobile as two separate items are over. There is no social or mobile. There’s only social and mobile.
Here’s another fact worth considering: Facebook has nearly a billion users who access the platform via a mobile device. Even more amazing is that the majority of Facebook’s revenue comes from mobile ads. That’s right – Facebook makes more money off of mobile than they do off of desktop.
The starting point is to wrap your mind around mobile marketing in general. By understanding the fundamentals of mobile marketing, it’ll be easier to see how to use social and mobile to connect with your prospects and customers.
Let’s start with a key fact-we’re a nation of multi screeners. In other words, we don’t simply use TVs or computers or smartphones or tablets to gather information about products or services. Instead, we use TVs and computers and smartphones and tablets to gather information.
Given that, it’s important that any mobile campaign integrate seamlessly into a larger marketing program. Traditionally, this meant that a mobile campaign would be reverse-engineered to fit back into the larger marketing program. In other words, businesses would develop their marketing campaigns and then insert a mobile marketing campaign into the larger program.
But a more sophisticated approach is to actually think mobile first. After all, in the very near future, the primary way your consumer will connect with your brand will be via mobile device. In other words, mobile should be thefoundation of your marketing program, not an afterthought.
It’s important to consider the environment your prospect will be in while using their mobile device. Will they be entering a restaurant and using their smartphone to check in on Facebook? Will they be using a tablet to tweet to friends while watching TV? Or will they be uploading a photo to Instagram while on vacation?
The likely result is that they’ll use their mobile devices in all of the aforementioned scenarios and many, many more. After all, part of what makes mobile relevant is that people have their mobile devices with them virtually all of the time. That includes while they’re at the store, while they’re watching TV, and while they’re in the office.
So, it’s your job as a marketer to engage them with your brand in a contextually relevant manner. In other words, it’s your job to provide them with information about your brand that takes into consideration where they are at the time they’re receiving your messages.
One of the biggest challenges for many marketers is that they don’t have a sense of the tools that are part of the mobile toolbox.
They might understand what a mobile website is and might even understand how it differs from a mobile app, but they still haven’t had a chance to see all the tools at one time. In other words, they haven’t explored each element to see how it might work with the other tools available to them.
Although new mobile tools are coming online with relative frequency, several are particularly important. What follows is a brief summary of each:
- Mobile websites – This is a simplified and streamlined version of your desktop website that has been designed to appeal to a mobile visitor who is using their smartphone or a tablet to connect with your brand. If someone reads a Facebook post from their smartphone and clicks through on the link, you want them to land on a mobile-optimized web page, not a desktop web page, so the starting point for any effective social/mobile campaign is a mobile-optimized website
- SMS and MMS – Short Message Service and Multimedia Message Service are systems that enable brands to send texts or rich media (graphics, video, audio) to prospects and customers.
- Mobile apps – Not to be confused with mobile websites, these mini software programs reside in the smartphone or tablet and can be used by brands to provide information or e-commerce with prospects or customers. All of the major social media platforms have mobile apps. And some of them, such as Snapchat and Foursquare, are mobile-only social/mobile platforms.
- QR codes – These are small checkered square icons you see on posters, ads, and other printed materials. Only 19 percent of the U.S. population has scanned a QR code, so they’ve never really gained widespread adoption. Even so, some companies still use them quite effectively.
- Mobile display ads – These are also known as mobile banner ads and are a great way to drive new prospects to a mobile website. The CTR on mobile display ads is often 5 to 10 times greater than the CTR on desktop display ads.
- Mobile paid search – Identical to desktop paid search, except for the fact that it’s customized for mobile. The largest and best known players in this field are Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.
Action steps for you.
Here are some immediate action steps to help you dive in to social/mobile. For detailed descriptions or for customized solutions to fit your own goals and objectives, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
- Start using social/mobile. You’d be surprised how many people have never clicked through on a mobile display ad, updated their Facebook page from a smartphone, or used Instagram to connect with friends. You won’t fully understand social/mobile until you use social/mobile.
- Run a kick-off campaign. Running a native ad campaign on Facebook has never been easier. And, of course, using Foursquare, Yelp, or some other social/mobile platform is a piece of cake. Just dive in!
- Test your way to success. Because all social/mobile platforms are digital, it’s easy to track your results. By doing so, you’ll be able to see which platforms work best for your business. Just remember to give your campaigns enough time to get some statistically viable information. (For example, running a campaign for one week probably isn’t enough time to get an accurate read — unless it’s a total failure. A more appropriate time is anywhere from one to three months.)