By Kalin Kassabov, founder and CEO of ProTexting.com.
Mobile and social media are two of the biggest forces in marketing right now. People increasingly access content and sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on their mobile devices. This represents a huge opportunity for businesses to engage with their customers wherever they are. As someone who offers mobile marketing services, I help business owners set up SMS campaigns. This strategy works hand-in-hand with other online marketing tactics such as content marketing and social media marketing. I still see too many businesses creating content, both on their own websites and on social media pages, that's mainly geared to desktop users. That's why I want to emphasize how you can reach a wider audience in a more effective way by focusing on an all-around mobile content marketing strategy.
Make Sure Your Social Media Pages Are Mobile-Friendly
Today, most website design is responsive, meaning it can be accessed equally well on all devices. If you use WordPress, for example, chances are you have a responsive theme. If you outsource web design, it's likely that your designer uses responsive design. That said, it's still worth confirming. Regularly log into your site to make sure it's truly responsive.
Social media pages, however, are often lagging behind in this area. Most people create their social media pages on a desktop. Even if you log onto Facebook and Twitter from your phone in your leisure time, it's generally easier to work on these sites on a computer. This can distort your perspective, though. According to Statista, about 95 percent of Facebook users log onto the site using smartphones. Make sure you're making your content with them in mind! This means focusing on shorter posts. People on mobile don't usually want to scroll down and read long articles. If you use paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram (which run on the same platform since Facebook owns Instagram), remember to target mobile users. Test your layouts and images on mobile. When you post photos, for example, do they look good on smartphones or are they cropped? Make sure any links in your posts or ads lead to mobile-optimized landing pages.
Leverage the Power of Short Videos
A report by Cisco estimates that by 2021, video will account for over 80 percent of internet traffic. Younger people, in particular, are getting their entertainment from videos rather than television and they're likely to view these videos on mobile devices. I emphasize short videos because that's usually the best choice for small business marketing. People on mobile devices have short attention spans. Your objective isn't to get them to watch long videos but simply to bring your business to their attention. Livestreaming video is another engaging option. Broadcasting from your business on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram Live or another live streaming platform generates excitement and makes people feel part of the action.
Videos work hand-in-hand with mobile marketing. My customers might, for example, send their customers a text that leads to a video. Run contests where customers submit their own videos. Invite people to send in photos as well as videos. There are many possibilities for running contests on Instagram, such as inviting customers to send in photos or videos of themselves using your product. Publicize your contests via Twitter, via email, Facebook and on your blog as well as by text message.
Encourage Customers to Check-In
One effective way to get your customers to do some marketing on your behalf is to encourage them to "check-in" on sites such as Facebook or Foursquare. This is a free advertisement for you, as people tell all their friends they're at your business. Offer incentives such as coupons for checking in. Yelp has an app that lets you offer customers special offers for checking in. This is also a good way to motivate more people to write Yelp reviews for you. Check-ins are a powerful free method to get word-of-mouth publicity for your business.
These are just a few key strategies that help you harness the power of social media on mobile devices. As both mobile and social media continue to grow, you should come up with as many ways as possible to take advantage of these trends. Whether you're focusing on organic content such as tweets, photos or a Facebook page, paid ads or text messages, look for ways to captivate your mobile customers.
Kalin Kassabov is a founder and CEO of ProTexting.com, a fast-growing enterprise level text message suite of services.