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April 22, 2014

What’s Your Mobile/Social Strategy?

By Karen J. Bannan

Social media can help organizations pull prospects deeper into the sales funnel. Consumers, especially, are looking at social media as a way to find information about potential purchases in the form of reviews or product information. Increasingly, they’re finding this information with their mobile phones, according to a new study by the Local Search Association.

According to the study – the 2014 Local Mobile Trends Study – more than 85 percent of shoppers of all ages are using smartphones to search for information while in-store because it “helps them decide what to buy” or because “it makes them a much smarter shopper.” Another key trend: more than 62 percent of all shoppers are willing to share location for loyalty offers with 71, 68, and 64 percent of Gen Y, Gen X, and young Boomers (44 to 53) reporting this, respectively. Meanwhile, 97, 91, and 81 percent of the same demographics respectively reported they rely on their mobile device at least “sometimes” when shopping in-store.

Social marketers should consider this information when creating online communities or planning their own social outreach programs such as threading or seeding popular social sites. This data is proof that a company’s social and mobile strategies should be tied together, and that the teams working on these programs need to be communicating and planning collectively – if they already aren’t. At the very least, organizations should make sure that consumers can respond to a call to action on a mobile device. They may also want to revisit any app work they have done since, in the future, consumers may want to interact with your brand or service via a dedicated app. Finally, since the mobile Internet has overtaken desktop Internet use, all social media content should be optimized to be viewed, shared and saved via mobile device. In addition, companies should give consumers a way to create user generated content so that all those mobile shoppers have something to find when they’re searching in-store.

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