Do you want to tap into the social power of mobile users?
Leveraging the power of mobile apps that are already installed on many people's smart phones allows you to connect with people you may be overlooking.
Mobile is unavoidable—that much is clear.
Leveraging these mobile social networks can be challenging.
In this article you’ll discover six engaging mobile apps and learn how to leverage your mobile presence to generate both brand awareness and ultimately new customers.
#1: Tweak Your Facebook Activities for Mobile Users
Facebook is the number-one mobile social network. In fact, it was the number-two most-used mobile app overall for the second quarter of this year, second only to Google Maps, according to GlobalWebIndex.
However, Facebook Mobile has been a tough area for advertisers and marketers to capitalize on.
Native ads were always available on the desktop version, but never the mobile interface, so companies have had to rely on their pages to be noticed by mobile users. This effort was made more difficult by EdgeRank and now by Story Bump, both of which are features of Facebook's News Feed that determine which stories are seen first by users as they open Facebook.
But do not fear! Facebook Mobile is not an uncrackable nut. Here are three things you can do to stand out from the crowd and make the most of this popular app:
Tip: Create valuable page content.
With Story Bump, Facebook no longer ranks content based on assumed preference. Instead, while stories with lots of positive feedback (likes, comments and shares) are re-prioritized near the top, the order is largely chronological. This means that any Page content you publish should be valuable, not just interesting.
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Tip: Ask questions and include calls to action to boost the amount of feedback you receive and therefore the amount of exposure your content gets. Use paid posts if necessary while you garner a following.
Tip: Post at the right time of day.
No matter what anyone tells you, there's a prime time of day for your Page to publish to Facebook. However, it can't be prescribed as one-size-fits-all. Your Page tells you the best time to publish to it if you look in the right place. It's right there in your Facebook Page's Insights feature in the “Posts” tab, listed under “When Your Fans Are Online.”
If you post according to when your fans are active, then more users—especially those on mobile devices—will see your content and be driven to your page.
Tip: Use native ads.
“Wait, but Jamie, you said…” I know, I know. But there’s good news—native ads are being rolled out for Facebook Mobile! Chances are that their appearance will be slightly more appealing to the app's users than Facebook's traditional sidebar ads, meaning more clicks and more leads. You can also read more about Facebook native ads on this blog.
A presence on Facebook is imperative for businesses, and optimizing your Facebook campaign for mobile is becoming more mandatory. Follow these tips to get ahead of the curve.
#2: With Twitter, Think Differently
Just a month ago, Twitter was averaging 360 million tweets per day. Since then, in just one month, the average has already jumped by 60 million, and most of those are mobile.
Sixty percent of Twitter users are on mobile, and those users are far more active than their desktop-using counterparts.
Naturally, this indicates that social media marketers who use Twitter should try to optimize their campaigns for mobile. Here are three ways you can do that:
Tip: Leave room for retweets.
If you want people to retweet your content, you need to leave room for your audience to add in their two cents. If you have the option, select a Twitter handle that’s easily identifiable as belonging to your brand, but is as short as possible. You should also keep your content brief, using a link shortener like bit.ly or goo.gl if necessary.
Tip: Use hashtags appropriately.
Perhaps one of the worst things a Twitter user can see is someone's tweet that's packed to the brim with hashtags, often with more characters dedicated to the hashtags than to the actual content. Some people do this with the hope that one hashtag catches on, but it ends up being annoying and leaving little room for retweets.
Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake make fun of using too many hashtags in the video below.
Do your research and select 1-3 hashtags that are relevant to your message and your brand.
Tip: Leverage Twitter for big events.
Twitter is the leader in second-screen use, meaning people are most likely to actively engage with Twitter while also watching TV or a movie. This shows that while it may not be the number-one social network overall, Twitter is seen as the best network for communicating quickly.
When your company hosts an event or something relevant is happening in the world or on TV, be involved on Twitter. Follow your followers to find out what's happening that they're interested in. Create a hashtag or participate with an established hashtag that’s already in play. Post frequently during the event, and if it's not your event, try to put a spin on your tweet that connects your brand to the existing buzz.
Twitter was born from mobile, and its mobile users are still the lifeblood of the network. Likewise, you can leverage mobile by following these tips to gain followers and grow exposure for your brand.
#3: Create an Instagram Presence
Instagram has consistently been one of the most popular mobile apps for over a year now, and there's good reason for that. It's easily integrated into Facebook and Twitter, and it provides users with the visual stimulation that Facebook and Twitter lack.
It's a mobile-only network (you can view/like from a desktop but not publish anything), so figuring out how to leverage mobile with social is crucial to businesses that want to stand out on Instagram. Here are four steps you can take to accomplish this:
Tip: Make your pictures stand out.
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High-quality pictures are essential for Instagram success. The higher an image’s quality, the more attention it gets. And since you're representing a brand, it's even more imperative that you ensure that your photo content is of the highest quality possible.
Use cutouts, overlays, etc., to make your content leap out from the page, but make sure everything is tasteful and aesthetically pleasing.
Tip: Use hashtags appropriately.
Hashtags on Instagram are not the same as hashtags on Twitter. In fact, they're generally more acceptable. Use hashtags that describe what's in the picture, not what the picture is about. Encourage your followers to use a particular hashtag that you can then monitor (and maybe even use for a promotion). Use popular hashtags that are searched for often.
Lastly, consider posting the picture with only one or two hashtags and then include any additional hashtags in a comment below.
Tip: Make sure videos are professional.
Instagram videos are tough to produce, partially because of the mobile recording concept. Smartphones have yet to be truly optimized for video, so tread with caution. You may decide to forgo video altogether, and that's fine. But if you do choose to transition into moving pictures, make sure you follow basic video production practices like making sure the camera is steady and including some kind of audio element.
Tip: Integrate Instagram with other platforms.
Publishing to Instagram includes the option to publish to other platforms like Facebook and Twitter. If you're using any of these platforms and your content is appropriate for multiple channels, select this option. Your job is easier and your content is more widely seen.
Instagram adds a crucial visual piece to the mobile networking puzzle, so it should be given extra attention. Follow these guidelines to make the most of your Instagram presence.
#4: Gain Brand Exposure with Foursquare
Foursquare lets you tell people where you are, what you're doing and how often this happens by “checking in” on your mobile device. However, the app has evolved past what was basically an automated status post and has transformed into a hub for recommendations and reviews. Follow these two tips to leverage Foursquare for your brand:
Tip: Make sure people can check in with you.
If your brand is a store or has a physical location visited often by customers, make sure people know how to check in at your location. Whether through signage or social media awareness, use a strong call to action to grab your customers' attention.
People should know how to share with their friends that they are engaging in the most personal way possible with your company. You can even create a check-in point for events, which can be a great way to show off customer attendance.
Tip: Monitor your reviews.
A lot of companies set up check-in points, but few go as far as to monitor what people are saying about those points. Read the reviews and recommendations that your customers leave you. Then tweet, message or contact your customers in some other casual way to thank them for visiting.
Likewise, be sure to respond to any negativity in a timely and professional manner. Your engagement with those who check in with you shows that you are a brand that cares about your customers' experiences.
Foursquare's use is evolving, and your company should evolve with it. By following these few simple rules, you can be sure that your brand is positively represented on Foursquare, and that exposure to your brand increases.
#5: Optimize Your Deals with Groupon and LivingSocial
Coupon and voucher services have really picked up steam in the past few years. With shows like Extreme Couponing and Doomsday Preppers, it's no secret that people like to save money. In fact, they make a game out of it as much as possible.
And with platforms like Groupon and Living Social, these savings are moving past food and household items to incorporate services and luxuries. These companies have highly successful mobile apps, and leveraging their social aspects can really help your company with sales. Here are two ways to make the most of them:
Tip: Take advantage of sharing discounts.
Many sites like Groupon and LivingSocial offer discounts for sharing (e.g., “Share your deal with your friends using this custom link, and if three buy, yours is free!”). Some of them allow you to have input into what these promotions look like. At the very least, you could offer a bonus product or service in the event that someone refers business to you via these sites.
Tip: Include as much information as possible.
These sites usually have an aspect of geolocation targeting, so being thorough about where your coupon is redeemable is key. If multiple locations are available, create multiple listings. If there are variations within your deal, again, create multiple listings. This helps optimize your deal for in-site searches, since customers often have a very specific idea of what they want.
These sites are great ways to bring in new customers, so if your business is set up to handle promotions like these, they are an excellent opportunity for creating growth. Optimize your deals with thorough information and reward your customers for sharing, and you will reap the benefits of these services.
#6: Gain New Customers with Localmind
Lastly, there's Localmind. Many people are turning their attention to thinking locally, from shopping to business services. Localmind offers the opportunity for customers to review and recommend their favorite businesses based on location.
This mobile app provides a great avenue for gaining new customers; just follow these two tips to leverage it to your advantage:
Tip: Promote community involvement.
Does your company sponsor a Little League team? Do you participate in Adopt-a-Highway or volunteer for Make-a-Wish? These are the kinds of things that Localmind users care about. When you share these experiences with Localmind users, you're more likely to gain exposure within the network.
Tip: Highlight existing partnerships.
If you’re already in partnership with another business in your same locale—whether they’re a vendor, an agency or a philanthropy partner—make sure those relationships stand out. This earns you favor with Localmind users who see that you are focused on local partnerships and growing the local economy.
Localmind presents a great opportunity to show off the community-centered aspects of your brand. By highlighting the parts of your company that already reflect that local-mindedness, you gain favor within the network that brings about recommendations and ultimately new business.
There are hundreds of mobile apps with entire networks of customers behind them, but these six apps illustrate the opportunity you have to leverage mobile and social together. If you follow these tips, you'll be well on your way to increasing brand exposure and generating new customers and business leads.
What do you think? Are you using mobile to connect socially with your customers? Are you having success with mobile apps? Please leave your questions and comments in the box below.
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