How to Mobile Optimize Your Institution’s Social Media Marketing

Mobile is the predominant channel for social media. However, most social media marketing strategies are designed with a mobile-last mindset. This creates a poor customer experience and diminishes results. To lift your institution’s social media results, you need to think mobile-first, and optimize your marketing strategies for mobile while gathering results that demonstrate ROI.

Mobile devices have changed the way we discover, consume, and share content. We now spend more time on social media in mobile channels than ever before, and when we do, we are nearly twice as likely to share what we find.

In 2014, we reached the mobile tipping point when more searches were conducted from a mobile device than from a desktop computer. In April of 2015, Google announced the “Mobilegeddon” update to their mobile search algorithm that would reward mobile-friendly websites with higher mobile search rankings. Then Google announced that they will increase the importance of mobile-friendly websites in their next update.

Think Mobile-First for Social Media Marketing

For financial marketers who have embraced social media in their marketing mix, switching to a mobile-first mindset is the next step. To prove the business case to mobile optimize your bank or credit union’s strategy, consider these statistics:

  • Americans check their phones 8 billion times per day collectively (an average of 25 times per day per person)
  • One-fifth of all digital media time is spent on social sites/apps
  • Almost 80% of all social media time is now spent on mobile devices
  • Social media users are nearly twice as likely to share via a mobile device versus desktops or laptops

If you don’t already believe mobile is the most important channel today, then you better start paying attention. Fast.

(Sources: ComScore, Deloitte’s Fifth Global Mobile Consumer Survey, Pew Research Center, ShareThis)

Find Your Mobile Pain Points

In order to figure out what needs to be optimized for mobile, you need to identify the mobile pain points. Give your channels an audit and find the areas that need improvement. Look at your institution’s social media pages, content, contests, mobile apps, social media advertising, blog, videos, landing pages and websites to find all of the potential trouble spots that may exist.

When you are giving your institution’s social media presence an audit, look for these key areas throughout your digital assets that may not be mobile-optimized:

  • Visuals designed for desktop users that are cut off or skewed on mobile devices
  • Messaging doesn’t make sense or get truncated on mobile phones
  • Calls to action that are hard to find or non-existent
  • Social media contests that aren’t viewable via mobile Lack of sharing widgets on blog, website, landing pages, etc.

After you’ve compiled your list, the next step is to prioritize and optimize these areas according to best practices. As you work through these changes, make sure to measure the impact that your optimization has made to demonstrate the effectiveness and impact of what you’ve implemented.

Optimizing Social Media Visuals & Copy

When creating images for social media, remember that one size doesn’t fit all channels and devices. Designing according to the specs will help ensure that your visuals translate well across all channels. For example, there is a mobile-safe area in the middle of Facebook cover images.

Another best practice is to limit the amount of text that you add to your visuals (i.e., don’t turn every image into an “ad”). Sometimes the message you are trying to get across does not come through when people see the in-stream preview or mobile version when they can only see half of the image.

Copywriting is another area where you should optimize for the mobile experience. The old adage “less is more” goes a long way in the mobile channel. Studies have found that there is a direct correlation between character count and engagement. Tweets with fewer than 100 characters and Facebook posts under 40 characters were found to be more engaging than those with more.

The best practices for writing for mobile are usually the best practices for writing… anything. Try to write as concisely as possible, eliminating unnecessary words. Edit, edit, edit. Always be thinking about how you can present the user with as much on-screen information as possible without requiring them to swipe or tap or need to click “See More” to read the full message.

How to Optimize Social Media Contests for Mobile

If you are running a social media contest for your bank or credit union, you’ll want it to be as easy as possible for people to play and enter. If you’re using a third-party app, make sure to find one that offers a mobile-responsive experience. Avoid sending traffic to Facebook tabs because they don’t display on mobile devices. Additionally, be sure to test your contest on a array of different smartphones and tablets prior to launch so you can ensure everything looks right before your entire audience sees it.

Drive Traffic to a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page

If you are directing traffic from social media to a landing page, website or blog post, you’ll want to make sure you are sending people to a responsive or mobile-friendly page to get the best results. If you drive traffic to a webpage that’s not mobile-friendly, people won’t stay as long on the page, they probably will not complete the desired action, and most will not share. This can make your social media audience appear to be less lucrative and worthy of investment.

Here are some questions to begin thinking about how to optimize your landing pages for mobile:

  • Is the content concise with clear calls to action?
  • Are you driving to a form that is mobile optimized?
  • If the action is to contact your institution, can you click to call from a mobile device?
  • Do you have a “thank you” page for when someone completes the form?
  • Do you have tracking code to be able to measure conversions from mobile devices?
  • Is your content shareable?

Google has been updating their algorithm to increase the importance of mobile-friendly websites to make sure people enjoy a great experience. Here are a few of Google’s best practices for mobile-friendly websites:

  • Use text that is readable without pinching & zooming
  • Avoid software that is not common on mobile devices, like Flash
  • Place links far enough apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

To find out if your website, blog or landing pages are deemed mobile-friendly by Google, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.

And, if you already have a mobile-friendly or responsive website, the next step should be A/B testing your landing pages to determine which variables lead to higher conversion rates.

Sharing is Caring

Last but not least is the importance of social sharing. Once you’ve convinced your user to engage with the content on your website or blog, are they able to share it? If not, then you may be missing out on a great opportunity for organic referrals and awareness. Remember, mobile users tend to use social sharing twice as much as desktop users.

Make sure to also include social sharing widgets on website content that you think would be share-worthy. Pick a prominent position to add your sharing buttons to so people can find them easily. However, avoid placing follow and share widgets too close to each other to avoid confusion and distraction.

Dawn Melesko is a Senior Account Manager at ZAG Interactive, a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT that has built hundreds of bank and credit union websites. To discuss your institution’s website redesign questions or needs with ZAG, call 860.633.4818 or send an email.

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