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!


 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 …

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 3.56.23 PM

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.


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.


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).


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.


2 thoughts on “Mobile Social Media Marketing: The do’s and (definitely) do nots

  1. Great content!
    I found that the information was quiet helpful, however since you are talking do and don’t it might be simpler to make a clearer separation between the two instead of one paragraph in each topic.

    Also, what do is a key part of making it an effective solution for marketers to attract customers effectively? Do you have any conclusion or reflect you can share? 🙂

    Good job!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment. Breaking the content up would be a great idea, I’ll consider that more in future posts. I don’t quite understand your second question. Could you please clarify? My main conclusion would probably be to ensure marketers are not just using mobile social media marketing for the hell of it. It needs to be used in ways that are relevant to the brand and at all costs should not damage your brand. Ways to do this are to follow the 4i’s. I hope that helps.


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