Whether you’re ready or not, mobile is quickly replacing desktops as the primary way consumers access information. 74 percent of Americans own smartphones, and more than one-third of users say it’s their primary Internet device. For a brand, this presents a massive opportunity to excite and engage customers.
Over the past year, almost every major social network has launched a redesign focused on improving mobile activity. Twitter gradually added better functions to mobile, improving everything from search to promoted accounts. Facebook’s updates helped show off more local businesses, while Google+ rolled out a unified web and mobile experience.
As social networks prepare for more of their activities to take place on a mobile device, brands need to be similarly prepared. Here are some tips on how you can optimize your social media presence for mobile.
Pay Attention to Image Sizes
Visual content has been strongly encouraged across social media platforms. But before you hit the upload button, consider how those images will appear in-stream on both computer screens and mobile devices. Twitter, for example, automatically crops image previews to a confined 440 x 220 pixel space. As a result, the picture you upload might not display in-stream how you imagined it would.
To remedy this, make sure that your Twitter uploads are optimized for mobile by knowing how to compose them. Taking a few extra minutes to tweak your image will ensure that the best parts aren’t cropped off. This pro tip isn’t limited to just Twitter either; you should be aware of the ideal image specs for sharing on Facebook Pages and News Feed as well.
And remember to use everything in moderation. On smartphones, images take up an even larger percentage of screen space. If you want other content — such as text-based updates — to be noticed, don’t clutter your feed with over-powering images. That’s why developing a content strategy is so important, so you can strike a happy balance across screen sizes.
Websites Should Be Mobile-Friendly, Too
Visuals aren’t the only things that should be optimized for mobile. Consider the other content you’re sharing through Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and Twitter. When someone clicks a link in one of your updates, they’re taken to your website, blog, product page, or campaign landing page. Chances are your team has put a lot of time and effort into building a spectacular experience for those visitors.
But imagine what type of user experience will be had if any of those pages weren’t optimized for mobile. Don’t deliver a subpar experience by sending mobile users to broken websites. At this point in time, people expect brands to be mobile, and not meeting those expectations can have dire consequences for your credibility. Fifty-seven percent of consumers wouldn’t recommend a business with a bad mobile site.
As we stated earlier, a one-third of Internet users rely on smartphones as their primary Internet device. Take Facebook for instance — its News Feed, the hub of the social network, is responsible for driving massive referral traffic to websites and various landing pages. Did you know that of the platform’s billion users 189 million of them are mobile-only? Imagine the effect it would have on your bottom line if nearly 200 million consumers were directed to broken sites.
Take Advantage of Mobile Ad Targeting
Not only does Facebook have millions of members who don’t access it from desktop, but mobile users generate 30 percent of the social network’s ad revenue. And by 2015, it’s expected that 60 percent of Twitter’s ad revenue will come from mobile ads. As a result, social networks aren’t just tweaking their designs to be more mobile-friendly, but their ad offerings as well.
For example, Twitter has added many mobile-specific features to its ads, including the ability to target by device and new products for app developers hoping to increase downloads. Facebook, on the other hand, offers advertisers a variety of mobile-specific options, from mobile-only ads to device-specific targeting.
Still not convinced? 25 percent of smartphone owners ages 18-44 say they can’t remember the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them. In fact, 63 percent of smartphone owners keep their phones with them for all but an hour of their waking day. Obviously mobile devices have become a critical tool for connecting with friends, family, colleagues, and yes, even brands every single day. It’s clear that mobile is a growing space that marketers need to pay more attention to. Make sure that your social presence clearly shows that you are.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.