Leveraging mobile social networking

Mobile marketing is gaining momentum, especially since current trends indicate that mobile internet usage is on the increase. Businesses can leverage mobile as a marketing platform to achieve their business and marketing goals. ComScore’s study on mobile social networking usage, from January 2009 to January 2010, showed an increase of 112% in mobile Facebook users, and an increase of 347% in mobile Twitter users.

An interesting point to note, is that most social networks have a mobile component use API that can extract important information from users’ profiles, sending updates across various networks. For example, Twitter tweets can be published on Facebook, and Twitter friends can be added to Foursquare. Consequently, users don’t need to build full profiles on all the social networks on their mobile, saving them a lot of typing. This is also a big plus for brands who want to take advantage of social networking in their mobile marketing campaign.

Social networking is a popular activity for users with internet-enabled phones and many businesses have succeeded in utilising social networking build awareness and loyalty for their brands.  How to go about it?  Start by creating, optimising and linking all your branded business social accounts. Here are some pointers for Facebook Twitter and Foursquare, which are the most popular social networks in use.

Facebook

It is easy to aggregate all your social networking activities on Facebook, which can be done by integrating it with your blog, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube and Flickr accounts. This is especially useful for your mobile and non-mobile fans.  Even if your website is currently not optimised for mobile phones, focus on your Facebook fan page, which is easily accessible on mobile browsers.

Facebook fan pages are basically mini-websites for those brands that show high engagement, and fan pages are accessible via the web interface as well. These pages rank well in search results and the more fans who “like” your profile, engage with your brand, post on your wall and link to your Facebook notes, the better. These users can also view photos on your brand’s fan page.  Coupons that can be redeemed in-store or mobile downloads can all be featured on your fan page with images and links.

Twitter

Most Twitter users access Twitter via their mobile phones, and this makes it necessary for all brands to have a mobile strategy for Twitter. Your brand can keep Twitter “followers” engaged with interesting 140-character messages. The idea is to keep your users engaged through an enjoyable user experience. Twitter offers automation tools that brands can leverage to keep their audience engaged.

Foursquare

As a location-based social networking service, focused on mobile devices and accessible via mobile websites or apps, Foursquare can help brands get an insight into their visitors. This social network can be a good starting point for mobile-based contests and other activities such as a new product launch. Brands can easily use the mobile phone to keep their audience engaged and inspire them to interact through innovative campaigns and reward them for the effort.  You can award custom badges to your users or offer discounts to those who check in at their locations.  Through your Foursquare page, you can keep your fans engaged.

Fortunately, you don’t need a big budget invested in mobile technology to reach your brand’s mobile user market, since these popular social networks have made it easy for you. Your success is in the way you leverage – know what motivates your audience and be creative.

 

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