Most consumers are embedded in the world of mobile technology. We can’t go a few hours, let alone a single day without using our smartphones or tablets. Now if that isn’t enough, this world we call social media also has an everlasting grip on our daily lives. Just today, I was walking down the street and noticed the beautiful sun rising above downtown Fargo. I took a picture and posted it to Facebook from my iPhone. With one post I let the whole world know that “while you’re sleeping, this is what you’re missing.” Yes…I may be guilty of being addicted to social media, but it’s the underlying fact that I posted it via a mobile device that’s important. Something so simple yet so powerful, nonetheless, most businesses haven’t even touched the tip of the Twitter tweet when exploring mobile usage in the social media world. Even though it’s in its infancy, we are already seeing the marriage of both social media and mobile marketing. It’s at our fingertips, yet we are not using it to its fullest.

The Dating Stage

To begin, we need a general idea of what mobile marketing and social media actually involves. We call this the dating stage. Mobile marketing is the use of a mobile device as a medium for marketing communication. It also relates to the delivery of any kind of promotional or advertising message to consumers through wireless networks. A few prime examples of mobile marketing tools you may be familiar with include SMS text marketing, QR codes and the very popular mobile app. But in order to use these mobile marketing tactics, one must have a mobile device. Now I know people think smartphones are the leading mobile device but there are many other types of mobile devices. Some of the most common mobile devices are smartphones, tablets, mobile phones, PDAs and pagers. I’m not sure who uses PDAs and pagers these days, but they are still around and are definitely considered a mobile device. Social media is an easier topic to understand as most people are familiar with it. Social media is the use of virtual communities of networks as a means of interaction among people in which they share information. Some of the most common social networks include: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.

The Marriage

Now that the dating stage is over, it’s time to move on to the marriage between both topics. Although it seems like we may be moving quickly, the mobile marketing and social media worlds are always continuously changing. From here, we ask ourselves, how can social media be used in the mobile marketing world? With the ability to reach people in the moment on a mobile device – and the popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter –  a combination of both provides businesses with a new way to stay in touch with potential customers, and vice versa. One of the most important marketing strategies today is to provide a way for users to connect with you on social media platforms via mobile. Moving toward a seamless experience across devices should be at the top of your to do list. You want to make it easy for people to interact with your brand no matter which device they are using and no matter where they are accessing your information.

Now let’s delve a little deeper into this union, starting with Facebook. As more and more Facebook users gravitate to mobile, new decisions need to be made. With that said, businesses generally focus on the newsfeed with the need to produce content that will be interesting enough to surface and create a buzz. Many businesses have a fancy Fan Page appearance and custom tabs when viewed on a desktop, but it’s important to realize the same design won’t transition to a mobile device as smoothly. And since it’s very hard to customize, businesses need to focus their attention on the newsfeed – where consumers see the information in the end.

In addition to Facebook, other social media sites have done a great job of integrating mobile into their sites. Instagram and Twitter lead the rest of the pack in offering photo uploads with their mobile apps allowing users to take unique photos and post using the same device. This is a great opportunity to engage customers and keep them coming back home.

“Checking in” is another clever way of integrating social media sites and mobile marketing. Checking in allows a consumer to virtually check into your business location, allowing you to build followers and feed. Through this symbiosis of social media and mobile marketing, businesses need to realize the importance of optimizing all social media campaigns for both desktop and mobile devices.

‘Til Death Do Us Part

Now that we’ve seen the marriage of these two topics, we can see why Twitter mobile users are 86% more likely to be on Twitter several times a day compared to non-primary mobile users, and 23% of Facebook users stick to the mobile-only option. According to Neilsen, Between 2011 and 2012, changes have been made to the way people are accessing social media sites. Here are a few numbers for you to feed off of:

  • Using computers to access a social media site dropped from 97% to 94%
  • Using a mobile phone to access a social media site rose from 37% to 46%
  • Using a tablet to access a social media site rose from 3% to 16%

These numbers are only going to change more dramatically as each year goes on, with more and more people trending to mobile devices. Now that we have an idea of the staggering amount of people accessing social media sites via mobile, you may want to ask yourself:

“Has my business taken advantage of the social media and mobile marketing world?” 

“Have we created a mobile website that allows easy access for users to gain information and knowledge about my business?”

If you had to even take two seconds to think about it, then it might be time to revolutionize your business. The mobile era is here, and it won’t be slowing down any time soon. Not only is it just in social media, it’s in many other places too. My advice to all businesses…take the plunge.