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
Of the 104 articles published on the RGB Social blog in 2013, the following 10 received the most number of views:
Published: February 18
Creating content and engaging a multilingual Facebook community presents many obvious challenges, though none of which are insurmountable.
I live and work in Canada, which means many of the national clients I’ve worked with require that all marketing materials and content for social media be created in English and French. While this can sometimes prove to be challenging, there are a few tips and considerations that can make your life easier and help to sustain the impact of your content, no matter what language it is in… READ MORE
Published: April 4
There are many great sources of information about what Google TrueView ads are, about the value they offer, the various types of TrueView ads, and generally how to use them. However, after the searches I recently conducted, there aren’t a great number of sources to inform you about the results you can achieve with TrueView ads.
This is the information gap I’m hoping to help fill by sharing my recent experience with these ad units, and I’ll share a few tips toward the end of this article… READ MORE
Published: May 6
Do you have access to Facebook’s targeting options for your timeline posts on your business or brand Page?
Funnily enough, I’ve found that this feature isn’t enabled by default for many Facebook Pages, which means you may need to make a few adjustments to gain access.
If you don’t have access to Facebook’s timeline post targeting options, no worries.
You can fix this by adjusting your privacy settings. Skip to the step-by-step instructions below for how to adjust your privacy settings to be given access to this powerful feature… READ MORE
Published: March 20
There are amazing businesses and brands producing amazing – check that – killer content every day. This post will highlight the incredible content marketing play by Oreo, Cookies vs. Cream.
What they did
Oreo tapped an insight that consumers tend love their cookies for one of two reasons; because of the crisp chocolate cookies, or because of the smooth cream filling.
Then, Oreo doubled down on the resulting creative work on mass and social media… READ MORE
Published: July 29
Facebook recently introduced photo commenting functionality on business and brand Pages.
So, how can you use this feature on your Page?
Well, I’m sure that you, and others will devise amazingly creative ways to use this functionality in the future, but I wanted to get you started with a few creative ideas of my own… READ MORE
Published: July 1
There have been numerous examples in recent history of businesses and brands taking full advantage of timing and contextual relevance to amplify their message on social media.
Sony recently capitalized on Microsoft’s disastrous Xbox One announcement with a humourous video tutorial on how to share used games in the wake of Microsoft’s anti-used game policies (that they later rescinded).
Published: June 13
I recognize that preaching the importance of social media to businesses is a little redundant. By now, buy-in to social media marketing is near ubiquitous, but I still find that many organizations have a difficult time quantifying the value they can achieve through the strategic use of social media.
While I certainly don’t have a silver bullet response to help everyone understand the actual quantitative value of social media marketing, there are some incredibly compelling stats I’m going to share here to help you understand just how important social platforms can be to your business… READ MORE
Published: June 10
How many articles have you read about how to write the best blog titles for SEO?
Lots? Yeah, me too.
Well, here’s another idea; how about writing blog post titles with an aim to captivate and compel prospective readers to click on your post, and so that they will have some sense of what they are investing their time to reading?… READ MORE
Published: August 8
Before you put time, effort and money into creating amazing content, you should develop a content promotion plan.
For most businesses and brands, attaining a critical number of hits on their content is of utmost importance. Goals, objectives and KPIs tend to be built around audience engagement and conversion, and I hate to break the news to you, but your content isn’t going to work toward converting people that don’t see it.
Failing to properly promote your content means you’re missing out on maximizing the ROI of your social media and content marketing efforts… READ MORE
Published: April 18
Having a steady flow of engaging and valuable content is a constant challenge for most businesses and brands.
The time and effort required to produce incredible Facebook updates, powerful tweets, stunning pins, captivating videos for YouTube, and longer format blog posts is a challenge that many businesses find overwhelming.
Social media and content marketing require incredibly hard work if you are going to experience the full benefits they have to offer. That’s just a fact… READ MORE
The ability for customers to publicly share their frustrations, complaints and issues remains a great concern for businesses and brands on social media.
Some businesses relieve this concern by jacking up their privacy settings to keep unhappy customers from being able to openly express their feelings on official social channels. On blogs and websites they’ll prohibit comments from being posted. And they’ll outright ignore using social media platforms that don’t allow for heavy censorship.
These, of course, are not productive solutions. If customers cannot express their discontentment on business’ official social media channels, they’ll express their discontentment elsewhere, where it’s more difficult to monitor, track and address.
So, how can businesses effectively provide customer service on social media while not having their profile be overrun by negativity?
Provide a better, more reliable product or service
Obvious, I know, but if you are finding that your business’ social media channels are being overrun by negativity, maybe it’s time to consider making a few changes to your business to mitigate this. Listen to what the complaints are, document them, identify trends, and make some adjustments. Your customers will be happy that you listened to them, and new purchasers will have greater confidence that you will work to assure their confidence in your product or service in the future.
Respond to customer service concerns publicly
For many businesses, chances are high that if one customer has a certain issue, that many others my have similar concerns. Responding to customer service issues publicly can help to mitigate the chance of issues being repeatedly expressed, as the solution provided to one customer will work well for any others with a similar problem.
Create an archive of responses for easy search
Building on the previous point, consider collecting and archiving customer service complaints and resolutions in an easily searchable format. Not only will you be creating a valuable ‘self-serve’ customer service or troubleshooting resource for other customers, but you’ll effectively build trust by being transparent, and not trying to hide every bit of negativity about your business.
Treat each concern seriously
Customer service is an opportunity to interact at a one-on-one level with your customers, which for many businesses, can be a rare opportunity. This is a chance to renew their faith in your product or service, resolve issues they have, show them that you are willing to support and stand behind your offering, and show them that they are your number one priority. No matter the scale of customer service issue you are dealing with, it should be treated with import and care.
Track responses and follow-up to ensure problems were resolved
The adage, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’, should not apply to your social media customer service efforts. Over deliver on expectations by tracking customer service issues, and follow-up within a reasonable time period to ensure that no further problems have arisen since your last interaction. Over delivering in the area of customer service is a tremendous opportunity to convert negative experiences to trust, brand loyalty, advocacy and more.
Have a process in place to speed up response times
Counter to what I would have initially expected, recent studies indicate that satisfaction ratings for customer service via voice, chat, and email still remain higher than through social media. Customers demand real-time, or near real-time responses to their customer service inquiries, and not many businesses or brands are able to live up to those expectations via social media. Do your best to keep your customer service speedy by having a well planned process in place to ensure your community managers are equipped to confidently reply to your valued customers quickly and accurately.
Have you had any great experiences with social media customer service?
Have you had any terrible experiences with social media customer service?
How do you provide customer service through social media?
Do you have any additional customer service tips to share?
It would be great to chat with you more about this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
No matter how much time you spend thinking about every conceivable scenario that might play out on social media, it is impossible to think of them all.
Opportunities arise, competitors emerge, trolls attack, sites go down, preferences change, and sometimes, pigs fly.
This is the nature of social media and the world in which we live and our businesses operate. Things change fast. Really fast.
And this dynamism sometimes makes stakeholders, colleagues, management, clients and coworkers uneasy – all of this unpredictability. Sometimes it can even make those managing and overseeing social media marketing uneasy.
The good news is that there are ways to plan and prepare for those events that can seem impossible to prepare for.
With a little forethought, you can be ready to tackle uncertainty with confidence and great effect.
Following are a few ideas for how to plan for the unplannable:
Have a social media leadership team in place
When the unplannable happens – be it positive or negative – you’re going to need to react smartly and swiftly. Having a team in place with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for addressing these types of scenarios is of critical importance. You can’t afford the time of organizing a team when opportunity or crisis occurs, and you can’t afford indecision. For this reason, ensure you’ve got at least one member of your organization’s senior leadership team on board and available to make tough decisions, provide top level insight, and grant approvals when you need them.
Define a process for the unplannable
While there is no way for you to know the exact nature of the opportunities and challenges that will present themselves, there are some constants that you can build process around. For instance, you know that there will be opportunities and challenges (obviously). You know that creative and divergent thinking will be required to address those opportunities and challenges. You know that you’ll need approvals, potentially from senior leadership, legal, or regulatory bodies. You know that content will need to be created, or that responses will need to be crafted. These are all things that can be planned and that can be incorporated into a process to ensure your team will have a plan of attack when duty calls.
Believe in yourself, your brand, your audience and objectives
Having a firm belief in yourself, your brand, your audience and objectives can help you to think clearly and act with confidence. Without this firm understanding and belief, opportunities will be missed or not fully capitalized on, and challenges will hit you with greater impact than they should.
Avoid complacency and never think of social media as being ‘done’
Embracing the fact that changing market conditions, global events, pop-culture, and any number of events can, and will, throw your social media marketing efforts for a loop will help to keep you ready and prepared to deal with uncertainty. Continue iterating on your processes, strategies, tactics and tool sets. Never stop thinking about how things can be managed and executed with greater efficiency, or to address changing conditions. If you can work this into the culture of your social media team, you’ll be better equipped and educated on dealing with change, even when it is abrupt.
Sometimes the unplannable is only so because not enough thought has gone into it
Plain and simple, sometimes the things that catch us off guard only do because we haven’t spent enough time thinking about things from every possible angle. Thinking about, and planning for, opportunities and challenges is a worthwhile endeavor and shouldn’t be overlooked because of a lack of immediate return. All of the planning, preparation and thinking that you put into these types of scenarios will pay dividends when they need to be acted upon.
How have you planned for the unplannable on social media?
When has your preparation for opportunity or crisis paid off?
What types of scenarios have you planned and prepared for?
Have you ever been caught off guard, completely unprepared?
It would be great to chat with you about your answers to these questions, and discuss any additional thoughts you have in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Determining the ROI of social media marketing activity is a convoluted and complicated challenge that many – if not most – businesses and brands struggle with.
In an effort to better measure the value of social media marketing, a recent Business Insider article reports that, ‘many brands are moving away from metrics that purport to measure ROI on social media’.
This indicates that even many of those businesses and brands that thought they had a formula for placing a monetary value on their social media marketing activity have since reevaluated their methods and abandoned them as a result. This is likely due to a realization that their own valuation criteria were fraught with issues.
The article continued, ‘They’ve realized that social media isn’t a transactional engine or sales machine, so they’re dropping half-baked indicators that gauge secondary effects, such as financial return. Instead, the new metrics evaluate social media strategies in terms of audience-building, brand awareness, and customer relations’.
For most businesses, correlating social media activity directly to sales is a difficult task due to the non-linearity and complexity of many consumers’ purchase paths.
What I find most interesting about this is why an organization would attempt to make this direct correlation in the first place. After all, there are many factors that contribute to making a sale, some of which include brand awareness, brand affinity, price, distribution, shelf placement, availability, seasonality, economic conditions, customer support, loyalty, prior brand experience, brand trust, perceived referral value, and many, many more.
There are a huge number of factors that contribute to consumers making a purchase decision.
Measuring sales as a return on social media activity is equivalent to measuring the sum of all influencing factors for those sales, many of which can be directly impacted by social media.
So, to accurately measure the activity required to influence a purchase – in this case social media activity – you actually need to measure the various influences to that purchase – brand awareness, affinity, loyalty, and on.
Perhaps the problem many of us have with determining the ROI of social media isn’t with how to measure ROI, but is instead with how we define ‘return’.
If we stop thinking about the ‘return’ of ROI as end sales, and start thinking about ‘return’ as a sum of the value of all of the relevant aforementioned factors – which ultimately lead to sales – then calculating an ROI of social media can be much more achievable; not simple, but achievable.
In the cases of the businesses represented by the Business Insider article, I actually don’t see them abandoning their ROI calculations so much as I see them taking the beginning steps in redefining how they see a ‘return’, which is a step in the right direction.
How do you measure the business success of your social media marketing activity?
What ‘returns’ do you look for from your social media marketing efforts?
It would be great to chat with you about this further in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial