When it comes to merging social and mobile, we have gone beyond the point where it is simply a good idea. If you do not have a plan in place to connect your social media and mobile businesses, you are quickly falling behind the curve (and if you do not have a mobile strategy in place at all you are dangerously close to falling off the map altogether!) While simply building a mobile site that links up with a well designed mobile-optimized landing page will get the ball rolling, business owners that want to really take things to the next level need to find ways to maximize the ROI their mobile-social marriages can provide.
The secret to getting the most out of social and mobile is to capitalize on the inherent benefits each individual platform possesses. More and more, new social sites are being developed specifically for mobile, but that certainly doesn’t mean the old standbys don’t have immense value to your mobile business:
We have all watched Facebook’s struggle in monetizing mobile and its seemingly almost desperate buying frenzy targeted at solving the problem. While the social giant continues to purchase mobile-first software and personnel, there are plenty of powerful tactics businesses can use to leverage the tools Facebook already has.
The connected nature of Facebook, combined with its tenure as a market leader have allowed individuals and businesses to amass enormous networks of followers. This makes for a fantastic outlet to run special offers and deals, which can be linked directly to a mobile landing page built specifically to pay off the offer. These offers can also be connected to out-of-home media such as print ads or display pieces, giving your marketing efforts three dimensions.
The reason Twitter is out-performing Facebook in its mobile monetization efforts on a consistent basis, is that when the service was designed, it never specified an ad format. This allowed Twitter to mold its advertising strategy to mirror the market, which of course is leaning towards mobile. So aside from sponsored stories and mobile advertising, how can the savvy business owner merge Twitter and mobile to maximize their returns? The answer is simple streaming.
When you build your mobile landing pages or full mobile sites, a great weapon to employ is to drop in a streaming feed. When we built FiddleFly, this was a no-brainer for us to include in our platform, and anyone constructing a mobile site should see the massive opportunity it presents. Not only does streaming Twitter feeds allow businesses to offer their customers constant updates and up-to-the-minute news about what is going on, it allows those customers to engage with the brands they love from anywhere, anytime.
With new photo-sharing services popping up all the time (and Facebook buying them up), Pinterest has quietly slipped under the radar of late. Well, despite the lack of headlines these day, Pinterest remains one of the most underrated social sites in terms of its benefit to mobile.
Pinterest is great as a photo-sharing and media organization tool, but its real value in mobile is as a marketing collateral catalogue. By filling your Pinterest boards with graphs, infographics, statistics, and marketing materials, you can supplement your action-driven mobile sites with instant links to an endless supply of supporting evidence. This will give customers the ability to choose the level of statistical support they want to absorb, rather than throwing it in their face and risking turning them away.
Of course, these are just a few of the many social sites that have their own unique benefits to the mobile user. LinkedIn, for example, is a great way to attract tablet users now that its new app is designed so smoothly for the iPad. Location-based social networking programs like FourSquare and the short-lived (but surely soon to be revived) Find Friends Nearby app offer a great way to push messaging to users. And as new social networks arrive on the scene, they will inevitably not only have specific benefits for mobile, they will almost certainly all be designed mobile-first.
No matter what the social program you are using, your main focus should be finding creative ways to take advantage of what it can do for your business, and since the mobile web presents endless connected possibilities, there is almost always another creative tactic you can use to bring the two mediums together.
How has your business tied social media and mobile together?