How to use social media and mobile to grow your business

With the mighty hand held device probably in your customer's hands right now, one of the things they will probably do when they next look at their phone is check their text messages and have a browse through their social media accounts

March 24, 2015

The power that social media and technology can have on a business when used correctly can be incredible. Enough to cement a brand's complete ethos and personality while offering a platform of engagement with customers, both can boost sales and promotional activities to produce unrivaled results. 

In recent years, 'The Year of the Mobile' has been predestined, each year surpassing expectations to grow into a more powerful necessity in a marketer’s toolbox. 

With the mighty hand held device probably in your customer's hands right now, one of the things they will probably do when they next look at their phone is check their text messages and have a browse through their social media accounts.

So how can a business harness the power of these two marketing giants? The answer lies in not treating them as separate entities but as a whole, with a consistent brand message which is easily distributed on various platforms and in-turn promotes the other platform to spread engagement and messages like wildfire. 

An example of a retail store promoting in-store products:

- Construct a text or graphic that is consistent throughout the campaign message and promotion.

- Set up a mobile marketing account with a virtual mobile number or short code which easily identifies your business or brand and easily allows your customers to respond or contact you via SMS.

Posting your campaign on Facebook 

An example of a campaign to get 20% off new season stock on Facebook would be the following text and image used across the entire campaign:

Designed to generate more likes for your Facebook page, as the post is shared around the social media platform, this text and image also features a voucher code for use in text messaging helping you build up a database of mobile numbers for future mobile marketing campaigns of news and offers. 

Using the 'Boost Post' button on Facebook can also help to increase the outreach of the post, targeting various types of audience. In this post we have selected our targeted audience by selecting both male and female, their age range and interests.

What’s the best time to post on Facebook?

Various research has been conducted into the perfect timing of Facebook posts when in reality it is all dependent on a range of aspects such as industry sector, client base and follower activity. 

Their research suggests that engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursday's and Friday's as people wind down for the weekend. 

Times of day are also temperamental with suggestions that lunchtime and early afternoon are often the best time to post.

However, with Facebook's recent algorithm update, regular postings throughout the day could mean more impressions, with a further likelihood of more likes and in turn further shares.

Posting your campaign on Twitter  

The Twitter posting for our campaign will incorporate a similar text to our Facebook post; however the 140 character limit on posts will mean a slight modification:

Encouraging people to Follow and Retweet (RT) increases brand and business mobile number awareness, while a hashtag (#) can also be used to create a viral following for fans if you have enough characters remaining. 

What’s the best time to post on Twitter?

Similarly to Facebook, there is a minefield of resources to suggest the perfect time for tweets and direct messages in various industry sectors. It does appear from Twitter statistics though that engagement rates are generally higher between Thursday and Sunday and between 1pm and 9pm.

There are tools out there which can analyse your followers and how and when their accounts are most active such as Moz's Followerwonk, however testing the posting process for yourself will often give you an idea of what works best for your client base. 

Sending your supporting mobile marketing message

If you already have a database full of your customer’s mobile numbers then you can send them an effective marketing message via text just to hammer home your message.

As a personal device, messages on mobile should be written on a more personal level to avoid damaging the relationship between customers and the business. 

However when written correctly you could receive the response rates and ROI's that you have always dreamt of. 

The opening line of the text message should be an attention grabber that will engage a customer enough to read on and drive an emotional response. Humour, originality or answering a question are general rules to follow:

A new season, a new you!

The perfect opening phrase that is enough to inspire.

To follow, a simple, strong and persuasive offer to tempt customers with a clear call to action:

...text back your name and we will send you a 20% off code

A URL link to your website or contact phone number is always a good thing to put in your text message, however when putting a URL in your message, make sure that the chosen landing page is responsive to mobile access in order to increase conversions and reduce your bounce rate. 

With all mobile marketing you also need to include an opt out option for the customers who do not wish to receive your messages anymore. Your mobile marketing provider should provide you with your own unique opt out code and this can sign off the message.

If you have the information then it might be worth personalising your mobile marketing message with their first name for that finishing touch:

Hello Jane we have a little offer on that we thought you would like...

Personalization in your messages, of any kind, will make your customers feel special and can hopefully turn happy customers into loyal customers.

What time to send your message?

No one is going to want to order a pizza on a Monday morning, so why send a text promoting your pizza offer at 9am?

Think about your customers and when your powerful call to action will be best received.

A restaurant or fast food outlet might want to send a message around 3pm - 5pm as customers will already be starting to think and make food plans for the evening.

A retail outlet might want to send a message around 10am - 1pm on a Saturday morning as customers decide and plan out their day, your offer may just be what they're looking for, or tempt them enough to pop in to your store. 

A final thought...

As a generation obsessed with mobiles, technology and social media, our love affair with smartphones is the perfect opportunity to communicate and engage with your client base. 

Offering convenience and welcome communication channels, mobile marketing and social media marketing are the perfect complement to any business marketing campaign.

Thanks to social media today


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