Engaging with your customers through mobile social media is an excellent idea, and has the potential to add a lot of value for your customers and further enhance the relationship of your customers to your brand. According to this article from LukeW, some sources project that the mobile use of social networks (Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, etc.) will surpass desktop web as early as this year.
Mobile is the perfect platform to engage with your customers through social media.
Here is why:
- You have a chance to capture your customers attention right at the moment of engagement and in the context of browsing your ad or opening the wrapper on your product. This allows people to immediately share their experience (good or bad) with their friends on the social media.
- Most people already use mobile phone as the primary device to access social networks, making engaging with your brand simply an extension of their existing mobile pattern of use.
- Most social networks already have excellent mobile websites and apps on iPhone and Android platforms. And social media sites are constantly striving to improve the mobile experience, making them some of the most robust and reliable ways to engage your customers through mobile devices.
- It’s easy to create social media pages and keep them updated. This means that in most cases, you have to do very little infrastructure work to create engaging mobile social experiences. The social networks already done all of the heavy lifting, all you have to do is provide the content.
So how do you engage your customers and enhance the (hopefully) pleasant memory of use of product or viewing of an ad by en equally easy and fun social media engagement process? In the 7 Ways to Whip Up Viral Value Through QR Codes: #6 Connect Through Social Networks, part 1 (A.K.A. Printed Buttons Must Die) we mentioned that printed buttons like the one below simply do not work:
Instead, I recommend using a QR Code to help connect your customers with your social media offerings. Here are four tips that will help you make the most of the QR Code technology:
Tip #4: Connect with only a single social network in each campaign.
This may seem obvious, but for many companies, it’s far from that. Just consider all of these silly “buttons” used by a Williams Sonoma ad:
We discussed why these “buttons” is a bad idea in Part1 of this article, Printed Buttons Must Die. Simply converting these 4 buttons into 4 little QR codes is an equally bad idea. Instead,
figure out which social network produces the desired result and which one is most appropriate for this campaign, based on the value proposition (more on this below).
Tip #3: Provide a URL anyway.
Even though most people will scan the QR code, occasionally, some will want to by-pass it for some reason (camera is broken, crinkled paper, low light conditions, etc.) and engage directly.
Allow customers to do that by showing something like this: twitter.com/designcaffeine
Of course, the URL you show will almost never be the URL that the QR code will go to, because QR code URL must go through some kind of analytics engine as we discussed in 3 Secrets for a Successful QR Code Campaign.
Tip #2: Brand the QR code. Make it Fun.
Printed QR codes don’t need to be uniform black squares. They also don’t need to be social network brand logos, as the silly printed “buttons” in the Williams Sonoma ads.
Social networks are doing just fine. They don’t need you to advertise for them on your own printed materials.
Instead, take the time to beautify your code to make it more fun and match your campaign. Up to 30% of the area may be obscured by a logo or picture appropriate to your print content. In addition, QR code itself can be done in various colors and other embellishments, like this amazing QR art work from Mashable.
Tip #1: Make Value Obvious.
The most important thing you can do to ensure a satisfying experience for your customers is to provide as much value as possible up-front. Ask yourself: why would anyone engage with your company through social media? The kind of value you provide will also determine the best social media channel for your campaign.
The value does not always have to be monetary (though it helps).
To use some examples from the Part 1 of the article:
- Williams Sonoma could provide recipes and links to new products when customers follow them on Twitter, and instructional videos, such as cooking, knife sharpening, house cleaning, etc. on YouTube.
- Simply Lite chocolate bar company could use Twitter to provide ideas for healthy lifestyle and tips for type II diabetes sugar management, along with a healthy dose of support and encouragement.
- Hotzie spa could showcase testimonials from previous customers, special discounts and spa service packages if customers follow them on Facebook.
Whatever value you choose to showcase, make sure it is appropriate and obvious for the customers you are trying to attract into your network.
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Which social network should you choose?
Which is the best social network? This will depend solely on what you are trying to do and the kind of value you are providing.
At the moment of this writing, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube seem to be some of the best choices for companies to engage their customers.
However, no channel is perfect, and
The up and comer Google Plus may be the juggernaut in a gorilla suit that will dramatically change the landscape in the next few years.
Google recently allowed companies to create Google+ presence. If Google makes it easier to build and maintain HTML pages without the need for the silly F*$%edup Bullsh*t Markup Language (otherwise known as FBML) and make the profile pages simple to customize and maintain (the way WordPress does for example) they further drive market network adoption.
However, the key will be rethinking the consumer experience as a mobile-first integration with the Android devices, unified inbox dashboard and other services I wrote about in One Circle to Rule Them All: Winning the Battle for Social Network Domination.
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