We all know that mobile social is kind of a big deal.
On average, consumers are spending 37 minutes daily on social media, which is a greater amount of time spent doing any other activity on the Internet – email and porn included.
Of those 37 minutes, 60 percent of that time – or 22.2 minutes – is spent on mobile social media.
There, probably enough said.
It’s clear that engaging your business’ audience on mobile social media is becoming increasingly critical.
The trouble I find many businesses have isn’t about realizing that mobile is an important platform on which to have a solid presence, however, it’s how to establish that presence, and where.
Facebook is a mobile juggernaut
On desktop computers, determining where to socially engage an audience is pretty clear for most businesses. With over 1.2 billion active users, and significantly more time spent per user on the site than any other social media network, Facebook is an obvious social media starting point, and for many businesses, serves as a hub of social activity.
On mobile, as it pertains to users and usage, Facebook is actually a great place to be as well.
In fact, it was revealed in Facebook’s Q4 2013 Earnings Report that the platform had 874 million mobile monthly active users. What that means is that of Facebook’s 1.2 billion active users, 72 percent of them were also active on mobile, or were mobile-exclusive users. Which is huge.
But there are other players you need to pay attention to on mobile
Unlike on desktop computers, where Facebook is the far and away the attention and time consuming champion, the mobile social media landscape is much more fragmented and competitive.
While Facebook on mobile is still commands the most of time spent on site per user out of all mobile social networks, there are a few key players that demand significant attention as well.
When you combine monthly time spent on Instagram (3 minutes, 40 seconds), Twitter (3 minutes, 7 seconds) and Pinterest (1 minute, 39 seconds) – all heavy hitters in the mobile social arena – it actually amounts to more time than is spent on Facebook (7 minutes, 43 seconds) (source: Nielsen Digital Consumer Report)
And all of this makes sense. Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest offer streamlined and focused experiences that are well suited to mobile engagement and are aligned with mobile user expectations, whereas Facebook has shoehorned its platform into a messy and notoriously sluggish mobile experience.
This isn’t to say that all of these platforms might be right for your business and target audience, but it clearly demonstrates that there are networks worth paying attention to beyond just Facebook, despite their efforts to provide stronger mobile experiences with the introduction of standalone apps such as Paper.
So, what should you do with this information?
For starters, I recommend thinking more openly about which social media platforms you choose to engage your targeted audience on. Mobile social’s fragmentation means there is no obvious choice of social network to serve as the hub of your mobile social activity.
Figure out which platforms your audience using and for what purpose, determine the value that you can provide through engaging them on those platforms, and what benefit that will yield for your business. If you fail to do this – simply put – you’re missing a tremendous opportunity.
Also, on Facebook, it’s increasingly important to consider mobile when developing your social media and content strategies. Determine which types of content resonate most strongly with your audience on Facebook’s mobile apps, and think about mobile technological limitations and opportunities when prompting them for interaction.
Taking a photo and sharing on mobile is a relatively simple ask because mobile devices have the tech built-in to easily facilitate that interaction.
Asking for essay-length comments or responses to your content, however, is a terrible idea because typing anything of any length on a virtual keyboard is a sub-par experience.
How have you adapted your social media and/or content strategies for mobile?
Are there any social media platforms that you use to engage a mobile-specific audience?
It would be great to chat with you about this more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Remember the early days of YouTube and the first viral videos you saw on the platform? Do you remember how amazing you thought that was? That anyone could create a video, upload it to YouTube, and have it be viewed millions of times?
Do you remember thinking things like that?
I’m sure you do.
You know what I did after being amazed at the power of YouTube and viral videos? I recommended to a Client that we upload a video, so it too could achieve stratospheric levels of success online.
But that didn’t happen.
Sure, we uploaded what we thought was going to be a great video on YouTube, but man did it tank. I don’t remember how many views it received, but it sure didn’t classify as ‘viral’. I don’t even think you could classify it as being a blip, or hiccup.
It tanked because creating a viral video (I dislike many use cases of that term by the way… people don’t create viral videos, they create videos that go viral – I digress) isn’t that simple. For most of us, and the businesses and brands that we work for or with, creating content that goes viral requires an amazing idea, top-tier execution, serious investment, an awesome content promotion and distribution plan, remarkable luck, or some combination of the aforementioned factors.
I’m recounting the early days of being amazed by viral videos because I feel that in a sense history is repeating itself, this time with real-time marketing.
Last year, Oreo crafted an amazing tweet in real-time in response to a high-profile happening at a high-profile sporting event. You know the one I’m talking about.
It caught us all off guard. Real-time marketing wasn’t new, but we didn’t have such an amazing singular example of what real-time marketing was capable of, and the attention it could garner.
That tweet went on to earn major attention for the brand, win huge awards for the agency responsible, and inspired numerous agencies to try to replicate some of that success for their Clients this year.
But this year there was no ‘Oreo – You can still dunk in the dark’ tweet.
Oreo nailed it last year, and while it wasn’t hard to decipher the formula for why it was such an amazing success, many businesses, brands and agencies ignored that it represented a magical moment when all of the right pieces fell into place.
This isn’t to take anything away from the tweet, or the smarts, strategy and planning that made it possible, but you just can’t replicate that kind of magic, which is probably why Oreo and their agency 360i kept quiet this year. They were smart enough to understand the amazing circumstances surrounding their own success.
But all of this isn’t to say that the pinnacle of real-time marketing was reached last year, or that it’s a waste of time to pursue marketing efforts in real-time; quite the contrary.
Real-time marketing is here, and it has been here, to stay. There is huge opportunity for businesses and brands to interact with their audiences in real-time.
Businesses and brands, however, shouldn’t one day per year get a ‘real-time war room’ together and hope for some serendipitous opportunity to present itself, or worse, shoehorn their message into a less than memorable moment.
What we need to be doing is build strategies that are inclusive of real-time tactics. Long-term approaches and processes are needed to allow businesses and brands to seize opportunities when they arise, find ways to provide value in real-time, and generally be more organized on an ongoing basis for real-time marketing activity.
Similar to how I’m sure many of us published our first video to YouTube thinking it was going to be the next viral sensation, and later realized that there is much more to it than that, we need to take a step back and think smarter about real-time marketing on social media, and stop stepping up to the plate once per year for one big swing.
Do you have real-time marketing built into your social media strategy?
How do you provide value to your audience in real-time?
What do you think the future of real-time marketing has in store?
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Over the last several years, I’ve had a sense that Super Bowl advertisers have been increasingly adopting a strategy of debuting their big Super Bowl TV spots in advance of the big game. And I’m sure I’m not alone here.
This intuition was recently validated in a TechCrunch article revealing that video measurement and analysis company, Visible Measures, reviewed every Super Bowl campaign since 2010 and found that an increasing number of brands are following the strategy of debuting their TV spots ahead of the game in their entirety, or as a teaser online.
Not only has this been an increasingly prevalent trend, but also its adoption rate has been swift;
2010 – 13 brands debuted their Super Bowl spots early.
2011 – 27 brands debuted their Super Bowl spots early.
2012 – 34 brands debuted their Super Bowl spots early.
2013 – 42 brands debuted their Super Bowl spots early.
2014 – 30 brands were tracked to have debuted their spots early, though this was reported well in advance of kickoff, so it is likely that this number will increase when final numbers are reported.
With brands investing an average of $4 million for 30 seconds of media space, and who knows how much on production and talent for their spots, you might think that they’d want to build anticipation and suspense and release their spots during the actual Super Bowl game.
This approach, however, means missing a tremendous opportunity to provide value to brands’ digital and social media audiences.
To capitalize on this opportunity, Super Bowl spots are being treated less like TV commercials, and more like multi-channel video content, which has proven to be effective.
Visible Measures reported that Super Bowl ads saw a total of 370 million online views last year, and ads released ahead of time received between 200-600 percent more impressions than those that didn’t
So, this is all well and good, but what can be learned from this phenomenon and applied to your business?
There is more value for consumers in predicting the future than reflecting on history
By and large, people are information hungry. They want to know things the moment they occur, take pride in knowing things sooner than others, and revel in sharing breaking news and updates with their social media audiences.
Because of these behaviours, consumers are naturally going to see greater value in content before they perceive it to have been widely released and known.
Being aware of shifts in conversation can help build momentum
Leading up to the Super Bowl, anticipation, excitement and speculation builds. Who is going to win? How is the halftime show going to be? Which ad will be the best?
As soon as the game ends, the conversation shifts from a feverish buzz, to a relatively docile recount. It’s over, and therefore there’s less to talk about, and this applies to the ads as much as anything else.
There is clearly huge opportunity to inject your brand into conversations during the upswing of momentum versus at the peek. When you wait until the conversation is at its height, there is no momentum to build, and nowhere to go but down.
ROI can be greatly enhanced with a content promotion plan
Gone are the days of television spots running through the duration of their respective media buys, coming off air, and quickly being forgotten. Television spots now appear as pre-roll advertising, are posted on websites, and are published on any social media network that will host video. This includes YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, DailyMotion and MetaCafe to name a few.
Formerly thought of as being strictly for television, TV spots are now viewed more as video content, and therefore require a more comprehensive content promotion plan to maximize ROI. YouTube alone boasts that more 18-34 year olds watch video on their platform than any cable network, so if you want to get your message in front of a targeted audience of scale, for many marketers, publishing video online and on social is a simple decision.
While debuting hotly anticipated Super Bowl spots in advance of the big game can be a bit of a letdown to those like me that look forward to the ads more than the game itself, it’s clear that the strategy of pre-releasing spots is paying dividends.
There are also a number of key lessons that can be learned here, and applied to your business. Before pushing content out, think about how the timing of publication can affect the value your audience receives from it, consider how broader conversations may or may not play a role in maximizing the contextual relevance of your message, and finally, think long and hard about how to best promote your content by creating a comprehensive content promotion plan.
What do you think about the trend of Super Bowl spots debuting in advance of the game?
Do you think it is a smart decision to do this?
If you think about this strictly from the standpoint of a viewer, does that affect your opinion?
How do you maximize the ROI of your content?
It would be great to hear your thoughts about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
In effort to shed some light on how Twitter can help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Twitter engaged Market Probe International to conduct research in hopes of proving how their platform can lead to real business results.
Some interesting findings emerged that – surprise, surprise – demonstrate that Twitter can indeed have a positive impact for SMBs.
So, following is a compilation of the resulting stats (because we all love stats, right?) and a few ideas for how you might consider acting on this information to supercharge the value of your Twitter followers:
74 percent of people who follow small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) follow to get updates on future products
Find compelling ways to not just blast your audience with new product or service announcements, but involve them in the journey that results in the launch of a product or service. If you sell high-interest products or services, your audience will surely be thrilled with behind the scenes previews, ability to influence product development, teases about announcements, and anything that builds anticipation and contributes to a compelling story.
47 percent of people who follow brands are more likely to visit the company’s website
Makes sense. By following your brand on Twitter, a person has demonstrated at least some level of interest in your business, which may then drive them to visit your website. Make this easy for them by including a URL to your website in your profile.
Also, ensure that your website isn’t a giant letdown when they get there by providing the types of content your audience is likely to be looking for, and that it is set up to convert that traffic and interest into sales, store visits, emails, phone calls, or whatever a meaningful conversion is to your business.
70 percent of SMB followers retweet because they like the SMB’s content
Provide tremendous value. Before publishing anything on Twitter – or any social media network for that matter – ensure that your content provides value to your targeted audience. If it does, proceed. If it doesn’t, then don’t publish it. Monitor, measure and optimize your content on an ongoing basis to ensure the value you are offering is high, and in line with, or surpasses, consumer expectations.
There is a 30 percent lift in recommendations of an SMB after following or interacting with them on Twitter
Online and social media recommendations and reviews are hugely influential to people making purchase decisions. Doing anything and everything possible to bolster the number of recommendations and positive reviews your business receives is monumentally important to driving sales.
86 percent of users are more likely to visit a business after it has been recommended by a friend
This is just further proof of the importance of earning positive reviews and recommendations. It doesn’t get much better than driving foot traffic to your business from social media (unless of course you’re set up to handle ecommerce). You can’t ask for much more than this, so be sure to invest time to figure out how you’re going to get more reviews, and increase the number of people recommending your business on Twitter and other social media platforms. It’ll pay dividends.
72 percent of followers are more likely to make a future purchase
A follower is only a follower so long as they’re following your business or brand (follow what I’m saying?). Goofy, I know, but the point is that there is value in building and sustaining loyalty on social media, so be sure that you’re publishing nothing but awesome content, and having meaningful interactions with your audience. Keep them just as excited (or more!) about your business into the future as they were the day they decided to bestow their allegiance via a ‘follow’ to you.
84 percent of people who follow/interact with SMBs mention an SMB to share a positive experience
Take every opportunity to provide positive experiences for your customers, and don’t overlook anything. Every time you interact with them be it on social media, on your website, in your store, over the phone, unboxing your product, with your service reps, or sending them an invoice, find ways to make the experience a positive one.
61 percent of people follow to interact with SMBs to share ideas and provide feedback
People don’t tend to share ideas because they don’t like the ideas they’re sharing. They share ideas because they see value in their possible implementation. So, take your audience’s ideas seriously, because who knows, maybe there’s a nugget of gold in there.
Also, feedback, whether it’s positive or negative, is a sign of connectedness to your business. People don’t provide feedback because they don’t give a damn about your business; they do it because they do. Take advantage of this and ensure that you build on this connectedness and parlay it into advocacy and evangelism by demonstrating that you’re truly listening.
While we do need to be wary about the precision of these stats – they are from a Twitter-commissioned research study after all – there are some interesting nuggets here. Not only do these stats work to demonstrate the rough value of a Twitter follower, but they can be more broadly applied to support the value of engaging a targeted audience on social media, which is great.
What, if any, of these stats do you find to be most interesting? Why?
Have you seen any direct correlation between social media marketing and your SMB’s success?
What role does Twitter play in your social media strategy?
It would be fantastic to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on – you guessed it! – Twitter @RGBSocial
Job Description – ‘A formal account of an employee’s responsibilities’. Thanks Google.
In my experience, job descriptions tend to kind of just… well… be job descriptions.
What I mean by that is that they’re not exactly the first thing that businesses think about when conceiving of ways to push their business forward, promote and lead innovation, build and sustain brand advocacy, and ensure employees and coworkers are driving forces behind organizational social media success.
Job descriptions – largely – are a missed opportunity and are fairly uninspired.
They shouldn’t be throwaway documents that are part of a routine employment package, however. They should be thoughtful, well planned, and tremendously strategic.
Because of my area of focus, I’m going to focus this article primarily on some ideas for maximizing the success of your social media and content marketing efforts through well crafted and enforced job descriptions, but as I’m sure you’ll agree (perhaps when reflecting on the current state of your organization’s job descriptions), that there is tremendous additional untapped potential here as well.
Before getting into a few thought-starters that you may want to consider when writing, or perhaps re-crafting, job descriptions for your organization, I’ll note that I’m not suggesting you forget to take care of the fundamentals when crafting these documents. Everyone should have a clearly articulated document to guide their work to know exactly what is expected of them as it pertains to every aspect of their job. They need to be set up for success, which may mean that asking more of people in one area, means asking less of them in others… I digress.
Now, some ideas that you may want to consider before making your next hire:
Content distribution and promotion
In a world where there are nearly a half billion Facebook status updates posted daily, it’s needless to say there is incredible noise on social media. Having a solid content promotion plan has never been so important to maximize your ROI by ensuring that a targeted audience is absorbing the content you create.
Chances are reasonably strong that the very people you work with or employ are representative of your target audience, as are their social graphs, so consider tapping them as part of your content promotion plan. In a job description, you don’t need to make content sharing mandatory, but perhaps it can be a consideration.
Driving social media engagement
Consider including a point about social media engagement when crafting new job descriptions. Your employees are experts in their field, and are hopefully passionate and enthusiastic about what they are doing with their professional lives. This can make them hugely qualified to share informed ideas, opinions, answer questions, ask questions, and generally improve the quality and dynamism of your audience’s interactions within your communities.
Granting time for employees to read, watch, listen, and otherwise interact and engage with your organization’s content can be an effective method to ensure everyone is working toward the same strategic goals, keep everyone informed about the latest industry happenings, share interesting new ideas, and much, much more.
Again, consider indicating in job descriptions that a certain amount of time is earmarked each day, week, or month to allow them to stay in tune with the amazing content you and your team are pouring their heart and soul into. Additionally, it can be equally as important that they are taking time to absorb content being created by others that is relevant to their continuing professional development.
Crowdsourcing relevant content ideas and content curation
Your coworkers are likely chock-full of awesome content ideas for your social media and content marketing efforts. Consider including participation in a content curation and idea generation program into job descriptions to set expectations from the get-go. Setting expectations tends to be a much simpler task than changing behaviour.
There are, of course, a number of additional social media considerations you may want to take into account when crafting job descriptions. There is tremendous opportunity here to maximize the effectiveness of your social media and content marketing efforts, inform and engage your own employees, encourage a more open dialogue between your organization and targeted audience, distribute content, and so much more.
Take some time to review your social marketing and business goals, and think about all of the ways that your employees’ involvement on social media can help you to achieve greater success.
Have you included social media responsibilities in your organization’s job descriptions?
How might deeper organizational involvement on social media help you achieve your goals?
When is the last time you revisited, or influenced the rethinking, of job descriptions in your business?
It would be great to chat with you about this with you further in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial