Just yesterday a client of mine commented to me on how he realized that his B2B company was having a hard time keeping up with client service in social because his customers were increasingly mobile users on social. Welcome to the world of SoMo (I think I just made that up), where mobile users are leading the way in social conversations. What we need to ask ourselves is where are our organizations in this movement that is not going away (ever)? In this column, I will share some solid techniques you can use to integrate social and mobile in your organization.
Let’s first review the facts. There are five billion mobile subscribers around the globe. Of those, there are one billion (2013 stat) using smartphones and accessing social apps on a second-by-second basis. In fact, the average smartphone user checks her social media accounts via mobile 20 times a day. In addition to smartphones, there are over 70 million tablet units in usage today, with the iPad leading the pack. Mobile device sales and mobile Internet usage both are outperforming computer sales and browsing.
Specifically on the social front with mobile, here are some even harder facts:
- 96.5 percent of time spent on Twitter is through a mobile app.
- 80 percent of all Facebook usage comes from a mobile phone.
- Facebook is the number one mobile app downloaded from the App Store.
- IDC predicts that global downloads will reach 76.9 billion in 2014 and will be worth $35 billion.
- Revenue: sale of apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions across smartphones and tablets is expected to reach $36.7 billion by 2015.
- Social apps are preloaded on most iOS devices (Google+ for Android/Motorola).
So now let’s look at what you can do concretely to meet the social needs of your mobile customers. First, you certainly need to make sure your website (which in most cases, if not all, is your main source of revenue and qualified lead generation) has a mobile version or is responsive. Making a website responsive the right way is crucial for website readability and engagement. This means doing responsive design clean and simple and developing for the leading mobile devices, including, but not limited to: iPhone, iPad, and Samsung Galaxy. Having a site that is responsive is very important because once your target is finding you in social, she will then more than likely visit your website from that same mobile device.
Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, you can take advantage of QR codes as a way to drive new fans to your social pages. Creating QR codes with offers supported by fan development in social is a huge opportunity. These work well in the following areas: in-store/point-of-purchase, ads in tradeshow, signs on exhibit booths, table top cards, billboards, and in store windows. When using QR codes, again, it is important to test before deploying so that scanning works on the major devices. QR codes plus incentives are an excellent way to drive brand loyalty, so these need to extend into the social experience. A QR code that leads a prospect to a fan landing page can be an opportunity to not just win one fan, but many, including email addresses if tied into a specific campaign.
A mobile app – to have or not to have? That is the burning internal question. Owning a mobile app as a way for your customers to connect with your products and services remotely is becoming hugely important. This is not, however, an action companies should take without thought, a process, and specific goals. Owning a mobile app for productivity and convenience purposes should be born of the needs and demands of your mobile audience around current services that you provide.
With app ownership, if for entertainment or philanthropic purposes, your organization has the opportunity to truly connect with users via social. Entertainment-based apps can provide social logins and social shares by user. Non-profits can use apps as ways for supporters to check in to and share related events. Obviously, this can easily tie into social pages for event registration and provides further social sharing opportunities.
If you are managing social within your organization you know how important it is to have a solid way to monitor and manage your social media marketing program. So how do you do this in the SoMo world? Luckily, there are social media monitoring tools offered by social media marketing suite providers, like Viralheat, which I mentioned in a previous ClickZ column. Viralheat recently launched an iPhone app that is worth mentioning here. The app brings social media management, engagement, publishing, and analytics capabilities to the mobile world. Tools and apps such as these need to be staples of any organization that is serious about participating with mobile customers in social.
If you are running an organization without a social-mobile plan, you may get left in the dust. To get started, check to make sure your company website is responsive and has great mobile usability across the iPhone, iPad, Galaxy, and other devices. Review your analytics and sales statistics to understand which of your leading products or services has the opportunity to be developed into a productivity app that can inspire brand loyalty and viral social sharing. The same is true for ways to entertain your audience via the app experience. Finally, make sure your social media management team is armed with appropriate mobile tools to manage the customer social-mobile experience. Take stock today – where are you in SoMo?
Image on home page via Shutterstock.