Whether you want your app to be discovered or your brand to be heard, the key opportunity in the shift toward mobile is engagement. Mobile users not only log in more frequently; they also spend more total time on social media sites. And, as devices integrate social media more deeply (for example, making it easier for users to upload photos from a mobile phone to a social site), the connection between mobile and social is reinforced and amplified.
A recent eMarketer report, Social Media Marketing On Mobile Devices: Turning Challenges Into Opportunities, confirms what we have long suspected: mobile and social are forever intertwined. Most of us (as much as 91 percent in India, compared to 42 percent in the U.K.) access social networking sites from mobile devices. Little wonder that the number of mobile-only Facebook users is on the rise.
In its second annual Mobile Messaging and Social Networking Survey, the research and consulting firm YouGov finds that Brazil is more socially connected, with 77 percent using social networks via their mobile device; more than any other country. Russia closely follows with 69 percent, then U.K. (65 percent) and lastly the U.S., with 53 percent claiming to use social networks via their mobile device. The time we spend on social sites via mobile is also on the rise.
Against this backdrop, the key question is: How do you make the social experience for people mobile at the core? The easy answer is to make your content/experience accessible by mobile phones, mobile apps and all the other devices (tablets) that have become part of our daily routine.
If you don’t have a mobile app yet, then consider the hard truth that is it going to be the next necessary (translated: inevitable) step in your comprehensive multi-channel strategy. If you are mapping out your mobile app approach (as you should), then it’s important to attack social and mobile in tandem.
My recent white paper, Communicate, Connect & Curate: 3 Ways You Can Encourage Mobile App Re-Engagement, offers advice to companies on how they can leverage the power of mobile (and our long-standing addiction to messaging) to not only build a strong social presence, but also drive real returns for their app business.
The key to achieving this: Bake social into your apps.
Employing messaging in its many forms has clear benefits. Making it easy for people to tell their friends about your awesome app/content/brand, goes a long way toward solving the discoverability issue. It also allows you to extend your reach and recruit app/brand advocates who will help you spread the word to their networks — and beyond.
As I point out in my regular column over at EContent, engagement enters the picture when you turn messaging into a conversation. At a basic level, this means employing SMS and/or app push to listen, inform and show that you are genuinely interested in cultivating and curating a community around your mobile app.
Click here to read the complete EContent column.
Analysts predicted that apps would dethrone messaging, but the advance of mobile apps has in fact helped move messaging to a new level of growth and innovation. The bottom line: messaging has morphed and new ways to measure its effectiveness are paving the way for companies to raise their mobile profiles, rise above the noise and retain customers. My current projects and upcoming reports examine the strategies around messaging (on the device and to the device) that companies and brands can employ to encourage engagement and build stickiness into your app.
Click here to download my mobile app engagement guidelines in Communicate, Connect & Curate: 3 Ways You Can Encourage Mobile App Re-Engagement (registration required).