Saturday, 10 November 2012

Merging Social and Mobile to Maximize Your Reach

Windmill Networking
Jun 18th, 2012
If the past few weeks have taught us anything, it is that now more than ever, social media giants have officially realized mobile is here to stay.
Of course, the obvious example is Facebook, which continues to struggle to convince users it can be profitable in the mobile landscape by rolling out major purchases and initiatives seemingly every day. Facebook is by no means alone in its adoption of a mobile-first mindset, as major players such as LinkedIn, Google, and Twitter have all launched new projects targeting the mobile web.
With such a heavy emphasis being placed on mobile by all of our favorite social networks, it stands to reason that there is plenty to be gained by businesses that follow suit. So the question then becomes, how can we leverage the power of mobile to not only build our social presence, but also translate that into increased business?
I’ve written abut this before and I will surely say it again, but if you have not optimized your website for mobile, you are miles and miles behind the curve.
Building an optimized site is not only crucial for keeping customers satisfied, it is crucial in keeping your social media channels busy. An optimized mobile site gives users an efficient and painless browsing experience, as well as allowing you to link all your social networks to simple, tappable icons. These icons can either drive users to your social networks, or allow them to share your content through their own.
Connect out-of-home advertising to social networks using mobile.
Getting creative with your advertising can instantly draw the attention of potential customers, and using mobile technology is a perfect way to take your social presence beyond the web. That might mean finding an interesting way to utilize QR codes, like the folks at Guinness, who designed signature pint glasses with a QR code scannable only after the glasses were full. Once scanned, the QR codes checked users into Foursquare, tweeted about their pints and updated their Facebook statuses.
The mobile web opens so many possibilities for connecting the natural environment with the online social environment. We have seen this work on a massive scale with the campaign for Jay-Z’s autobiography, which utilized Twitter and Facebook to issue clues to users about the location of individual pages of the book that had been printed on strategic landmarks. Users could take photos of the pages with their mobile phones and assemble digital copies of the book. Of course, out-of-home marketing can work on the smallest of scales as well with simple things like hidden contest entry links or invitations to check in at places for deals.
Build microsites for individual initiatives.
Anytime a business launches a new product or embarks on a campaign that relies on user interaction (such as a contest or sweepstakes) there is a risk of customer apathy. A great way to fight this is to create an exciting campaign around the initiative, and then build landing pages specifically designed for the campaign. These landing pages can be built quickly for very little cost, and can be individually linked to and from specific social media pages. You can then use analytics to track user interaction with these pages and adjust or abort them accordingly, thereby saving time, money, and effort.
Make mobile your digital business card.
One of the great things about the mobile web is that it allows you to have access to the connected world in your pocket at all times. Although we have grown accustomed to trading wallet-sized bios at conventions and conferences, by building personalized mobile websites, we can make that old ritual obsolete and actually create a much richer interaction. Your personal site should not only have all of your relevant business and contact information, it should also have links to your personal and business social media accounts, giving the recipient instant access to connect via LinkedIn, “like” your page on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, and share your content.
If you prefer to keep things classic with the paper card, mobile still can be a perfect complement. Simply add a QR code to your business card that links to your new personal mobile site. The site then easily becomes an extension of the personal interaction, which, let’s face it, is the true goal of the mobile web.
Of course, as with all things mobile, we have miles and miles to go before we reach the true potential of what social media and mobile can really do. These few tricks and tips are a great starting point, but the people who really reap the benefits of mobile in the social media realm will be those who fully embrace mobile as a launch pad and are willing to light as many fuses as they can to watch their businesses take off.
Has your company started to merge the mobile web with the social media realm?
Alex Kutsishin

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