Social Media + Mobile = Results

Traditional advertising channels—including print, broadcast, and online display ads—are perfect places for prompting users to text a keyword to an advertiser’s code in order to enter a sweepstakes or receive a discount coupon.

 

This has been the foundation of mobile marketing since its infancy, but today’s savvy marketers are beginning to realize that social networking via channels like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube can spread the word even faster and more effectively.

 

Mobile marketing—interactive, real-time messages sent to consumers via their mobile devices—has taken its place as the advertising world’s “third screen” (in addition to television and computer monitors), and the promotional potential is unlimited. With mobile’s appealing “act now” incentives, consumers can do most of the legwork by sharing the information with their friends via their social media networks to enable an advertiser’s mobile campaign to go viral.

 

 

Here is an example of how this might work:

A national pizza chain launches a mobile marketing campaign to offer a “buy one, get one free” coupon. The company is already running TV spots and targeted online display ads to drive awareness and interest in the promotion. With the help of its ad agency, a message will be added to the TV spot that says, “Text TWOPIZZAS to code 74642 to receive a two-for-one coupon for a large pizza!” Consumers who see these ads will text the keyword and receive, via their cell phones, a digital coupon that can be redeemed at the local pizza store in their area.

Here’s where social media comes into the mix. If it’s a strong enough offer, a consumer will tell his or her friends on Facebook and Twitter that the local pizza place is offering a great deal. Those friends will tell their friends, and so on. They’ll all end up on the pizza place’s Facebook page, where they can find other share-worthy discount coupons.

 

According to a March 2010 article in Mobile Marketer, access to Facebook via mobile browsers grew 112 percent in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347 percent jump, according to research by comScore. In the same article, comScore’s Director of Industry Analysis Andrew Lipsman was quoted as saying, “I think the key finding is that there appears to be a natural synergy between social media and the mobile platform. That we’ve seen such dramatic growth on Facebook and Twitter via mobile browsers is testament to this fact.”

 

It’s clear to both experts and observers that mobile marketing and social media are growing up together. Millennial Media’s S.M.A.R.T. Report for April 2010 revealed that social media represents 11 percent of all campaign actions on its network. And according to eMarketer in March 2010, 650 million people globally are using their smartphones for tasks such as e-mail and social networking.

 

With purchases of goods and services via mobile devices expected to reach $200 billion in 2012 (double what it is today), the linking of mobile marketing and social media is a marriage made on Madison Avenue.

 

(As appeared in Social Media Marketing Magazine, Oct 2, 2010)