People now spend more time on their smartphones than desktop computers, according to KPCB’s latest data on Internet trends. Though many users rely on mobile devices to check email and text, many also use mobile devices to connect with their social networks. In fact, a study conducted by IDC and Facebook revealed that 70 percent of all Facebook users surveyed interact with social networks on their mobile device at least part of the time — and 61 percent do so each day. Similar research by comScore reveals that 92 percent of Pinterest users are mobile, as are 86 percent of those on Twitter.
Here are a few ways businesses can incorporate mobile marketing into a social media strategy to reach new customers, and deepen engagement with existing ones.
1. Customize your social media profiles for the mobile user.
If you haven’t checked out how your social media profiles look on desktop platforms, and iPhone and Android devices, it’s critical that you do so. Not only will this research allow you to gain a sense for the current user experience, you’ll see how your profile layout, content and format may be better optimized based on the specific social media network.
While many social media channels automatically make business profiles mobile-friendly, they don’t know which aspects of your business are most important to prospects and customers based on your unique brand attributes, and the competitive landscape. Customize your social media profiles to ensure that mobile users form the impression you want them to about your business. On Facebook, for example, this may mean “pinning” your most relevant post to the top of the page, so that content is always featured. Additionally, social media users place high value on referrals and recommendations from people they “know” — even if that relationship is limited to social media. Structure your social media profiles so mobile users see the recommendations and “check-ins” that others have left.
2. Optimize profiles so mobile users can find you.
Research by Google reveals that three out of four mobile searches result in some kind of customer activity — more than half of which takes place within an hour from the mobile search. Because so many mobile users check social media to find suggestions about nearby businesses based on their need and location at any given time, the ease with which your prospects and customers can find you on social media is key. Confirm that all of your social media profiles include your correct business location, hours of service, price range, and business category. Because customers may not know to search for your business by name, the accuracy of your category listing can act as a breadcrumb path that leads them to your business.
3. Tailor your social media posts to a mobile user’s day.
Google research reveals that the majority of mobile search activity takes place from 3 p.m. and midnight. Tailor your social media activity to involve mobile users during these hours based on their search activity and location. Not only will the content be actionable for the mobile user, it can help you overcome your own business hurdles in the moment. If your restaurant experiences a lull in between lunch and happy hour, for example, a “flash sale” on social media that’s valid only for the next hour and targeted to users within a certain radius can help you drive traffic when you need it most.
4. Monitor social media engagement and react appropriately.
Social media listening tools allow you to monitor what’s trending on social media, and know when customers comment on your business. Track what your audience is talking about so you can be part of the conservation in a way that’s highly relevant. Use social media tools like Instagram and Vine to capture images that create a sense of place, mood and ultimately, familiarity for your mobile audience.
Social media and mobile now work in hand in hand — to the great benefit of small-business owners. By combining the mobile insights you have about your audience with your social media activity, you can customize your marketing messages to reach the exact audience you want in ways that are relevant, personal and strategic.