Mobile Social Media Marketing: The do’s and (definitely) do nots

Why should companies engage in Mobile Social Media? Well, here are a few reasons:

  1. 77% of Australians own a Smartphone.
    • It’s a good way to reach your consumers and offers new opportunities to individualise messages to your target consumer. In other words you can engage in one-to-one marketing as opposed to one-to-many.
  2. 70% of social media users do so via their smartphone.
    • Consumers are using their phone to engage in social media and when they do they are generating content, discussing and sharing things they like (what you want to be) and things they don’t like (what you do not want to be).
  3. These days companies are spending much more on mobile advertising than they are on Magazine advertising.
    • Clearly there is something to this whole mobile marketing thing. Your competitors are doing it, you should be doing it. Go be a lemming!

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 BUT, before marketers mindlessly jump on the social media bandwagon they should beware that stock standard, or ill conceived social media marketing could do more harm than good.

An astounding (ly awful) example came from Food Magazine, Epicurious, who through some seriously misguided logic, saw it fit to advertise scones and breakfast recipes through the tragedy of the Boston Marathon Bombings …

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Um, what?!! Yes, that actually happened, and no the brand is not thriving anymore (they should definitely fire their brand manager)! Sometimes, and especially in the case of tragedy, it is best to say nothing at all unless there is a specific connection to the brand and words are chosen very VERY carefully.

Click here for more spectacular social media marketing fails.

NOW, on a slightly more positive note, there are things marketers can do to avoid such epic blunders and hopefully make their mobile marketing campaigns on social media more efficacious. To this effect, some golden rules are described by Kaplan (2012) and can be summarised as the four I’s of social media marketing, namely: to integrateindividualise, involve and initiate. You will see how these points all link up as shown below.Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 11.54.23 PMIntegrating

People don’t have mobile phones and social media for the purposes of receiving marketing. This point is key and yet often oddly overlooked. Mobile phones offer more personal marketing, but also the potential to annoy and breach privacy and this should be avoided at all costs to maintain the relationship. By integrating social media marketing into the consumer’s life you make it something they want to engage in rather than forcing a barrage of unsolicited messages upon them.

Individualising

Mobile phones are personal devices, seldom shared between users. This has huge implications for how marketers can individualise messages to certain groups of people, their preferences and interests. One way of doing this is to individualise based on geographic location. For example, by giving incentives for people close by to check in to a retail outlet and by doing so sending them a discount voucher that they can use in the next few hours. Individualising is key to a successful campaign as generic marketing is often not relevant to consumers and can make them switch off. Furthermore, it has less potential to be integrated into their lives and instead is seen as an intrusion.

Involving

The very best campaigns will be interactive and engage the consumer in meaningful dialogue. By doing this the brand creates experiences by engaging the consumer in some way, for example through a story. This experience is then tied to the brand and may be shared to other people in the consumers social network thus initiating user generated content (UGC).

Initiating

Much of the power of social media comes in it’s ability to snow ball marketing efforts through positive word-of-mouth (and hopefully not negative). Therefore, initiating UGC is the final hurdle which will hopefully lead to a campaign going viral aka the holy grail of social media marketing. Encouraging and rewarding UGC is a must. However, if you have ticked the boxes for the aforementioned 3 i’s, it is more likely this will happen. Remember to watch out for negative UGC, because this can do big brand damage.

I’ll leave you with a few more tips here to peruse at your leisure. Let me know of any good ideas you have for a mobile social media marketing campaign. Or, if you have already done one what you have found.

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A/B Testing: The science of marketing

Did you just read ‘science’ and vomit a little bit in your mouth? That’s OK, I did too. But Hopefully I can explain the nuts and bolts of A/B testing in the least scary way i.e. with the help of Ron Burgundy, Ryan Gosling (you’re welcome) and a Crafty-Homeless-Guy. A/B testing is actually far less hideous than it sounds and it is imperative to understand it if you want your online marketing efforts to pay off.

First thing you need to know: Content Matters!

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Thanks Ron.

Seems obvious yeh? But how do you know which content is best? A gut feeling? Aesthetics? Industry experience? Ron’s mustache told you? Unfortunately, most marketers tend to judge the efficacy of their online content based on intuition or what looks best, however, none of these techniques necessarily work (except for maybe Ron’s mustache). To know what elements of your online marketing tools work best marketers need to do an A/B test.

What is A/B Testing? A/B testing is where you compare two variants of online material – whether that be a website, an email, a social media post, an advert or a landing page (nearly anything which alters viewer behaviour can be tested) – to determine which one works best. For example, when testing your website you might want to know if blue font (Variation 1) works better than your current black font (Variation 2). To do this you would split the traffic visiting your website into two and for a specified period of time half your visitors would view Variation 1 (blue font) and half would view Variation 2 (black font). To define what ‘best’ looks like a measure of success must be chosen. For example if we were a clothing site this could be a visitor seeing the confirmation page following a sale. After a period of time Variation 1 (blue font) is compared to Variation 2 (black font) in terms of this measure of success (seeing the confirmation page following a sale). The variation with the biggest score in terms of the measure of success (i.e. going through with a sale) wins and is therefore the better version that should be used in the future, until a better version (as determined with an A/B test) is found.

Here’s a Crafty-Homeless-Man A/B testing religion

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If, like this man, you feel the urge to immediately A/B test something at any point whilst reading this blog feel free to click here for a step-by-step guide to developing your own A/B test.

Why use A/B tests?

A/B tests are critical because our intuition can often be wrong – I’ll show you an example in a second. By using A/B testing you remove both your conscious and unconscious bias in decision making for an objective measure of what ‘best’ looks like for the measure in question. What this means is that your marketing works better without working harder and your bottom line improves.

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Just to show how faulty our intuition can be which landing page do you think resulted in the most conversions? Post your answers in a comment to compare what other people thought.

Version A:                                               or     Version B:

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If you thought Version B, you were with the majority. However it was actually Version A (the one with the image removed) that got a 24% increase in form submissions! This shows how important it is to A/B test to differentiate your intuition from what is true. For more surprising A/B test results click here.

A/B testing has revealed some astounding insights into how small changes to call-to-action buttons can have big impacts for marketing’s effectiveness. I’ve included a few interesting ones below.

Changing copy on payment page button

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In this scenario including the words ‘get started’ added an extra benefit, as consumers were often in a rush to start writing. This resulted in a 31% increase in conversion.

Is bigger better

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Not necessarily, especially when it comes to call-to-action buttons as can be seen above.

I hope I have dispelled some of your fear regarding A/B tests. They are less scary and easier to create than you would think and most importantly they are indispensable in today’s marketing environment where information overload is the norm.

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Don’t forget to comment and say which version of the landing page you intuitively would have picked.