July 17, 2014, 2:17 PM

Four ways retailers can get their share of mobile social sharing

Increasingly, consumers interact with their online friends from smartphones and tablets. The director of social media for Zog Digital recommends four strategies that can help retailers attract these mobile sharers.

New data is showing a trend that will impact the social media strategy of retailers everywhere. In May 2014, comScore estimated that 60% of all digital media time was spent on mobile devices. According to ShareThis, mobile social sharing from smartphones and tablets went up in Q2 2014 compared to the first quarter. Specifically, sharing on smartphones went up 27.8% and up 3.5% on tablets. During the same time, social shares on desktop computers went down 5.5%.

The majority of this growth in mobile social shares has been for Pinterest and Twitter. The data show that 75% of pins and 71% of tweets come from smartphones and tablets. Quarter-over-quarter, mobile shares for Pinterest went up 1.3% while Facebook’s mobile shares went down 3.9%.



With more people using their mobile devices to share social content, either from a brand, web site or friend, it’s imperative that retailers adjust strategies to accommodate this trend. By optimizing social media posts for mobile users and creating engaging content that they’ll want to share, retailers can organically influence target audiences more effectively.

4 Best Practices to Maximize Mobile Social Media Engagement

1. Connect with your web site

With the use of Pin, Like and Tweet buttons, retailers can connect their web site with the social media lives of consumers. By making sure to include social media buttons on a retailer’s responsive design, mobile-optimized web site on each product page or content post, users will have more chances to easily share that content from their mobile device. Pinterest just debuted a new button which allows consumers to pin an item from a retailer to a board without having to leave the retailer’s web site. Retailers should utilize these options along with the similar buttons offered by LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

2. Be Visually Stimulating

Images and videos are king on social networks, with both types of content getting the more engagement than posts with only text. For example, videos on Facebook averaged 2,183 interactions in January 2014, just under double the rate of photos, which averaged 1,358 interactions, according to Quintly. Also, 44% of Facebook users say they are more likely to interact with brand posts that use images. For retailers, content used for social media posts must be engaging, optimized for small screens, interesting and colorful to maximize the amount of engagement and sharing on mobile devices. To increase potential engagement even further, brands can create audience specific content and then pay to push the content to those audiences using the targeting tools available on social networks.

3. Be Mindful of Timing

Retailers that want to maximize mobile social media engagement must think about the timing of each post. IAB research looked at when consumers are most likely to use social media on their smartphones and found that consumers are most likely to use their phones to look at social media at certain times of the day. Specifically they log on when they wake up, when they first get off work, while watching TV and while waiting. Retailers should also test to see which types of posts work best at different times of day. While Facebook might work best before noon, Twitter may work best at two in the afternoon. The key is to continually monitor engagement rates to optimize each and every opportunity.

4. Always Be Testing

What works for one retailer won’t necessarily work for another. While some companies like Old Spice succeed with mobile social media users by creating humorous content, other companies may not. It’s important for retailers to test different types of content, including images, videos and polls on various platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter to see what gets the most engagement.

Conclusion

With the growth of mobile social media sharing, it’s important for retailers to provide content that consumers want to share. By following the best practices outlined above, retailers can maximize mobile social sharing, helping extend the reach of each social media post and driving engagement with active target audiences.

Zog Digital is an independent digital marketing company based in Scottsdale, Ariz. Zog's services include search engine optimization, social media marketing, paid advertising, and design and development.

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