Skip to content

It’s not mobile first, it’s user first

SocialBrands and businesses are scrambling to develop their mobile presence.  By 2017, mobile devices will outnumber the population. What does this mean about mobile development and the user experience?

Brands are increasingly challenged to offer a tailored mobile experience that is customized, adds tangible value to the customer and offers a compelling user journey. However, brands’ goals and the user experience don’t often align.  Users want a compelling experience that provides them additional value.  Brands, on the other hand, are trying to get the most out of their users – whether that’s capturing data, growing their audience or driving sales.  The early approach to mobile centered around optimizing a desktop site for a mobile screen.  Now, with the increase in consumer expectations for an engaging experience, brands need to rethink their approach to their mobile messaging.

To accomplish this, brands need to consider three key components wen designing a user experience: social sharing, location and customization.

Here are three ways brands can guarantee a compelling user experience:

1.  Make social sharing the hub of the experience

The ability to share content from your mobile device anytime, anywhere is one aspect that makes the mobile experience so compelling.   Brands must go beyond offering access to social networks and instead make social sharing an integrated part of the mobile user journey.  A successful mobile journey leverages geo-location functionality and delivers location-based content to mobile users.

By integrating social sharing into the user journey, brands will offer a mobile-centric approach and grow their audience.

2. Leveraging mobile-only experiences

Another way that brands can offer an experience unique to mobile, is by offering promotions that users have to redeem on their mobile device.

Starbucks is effectively leveraging mobile-only promotions to drive customers to their stores.  The brand is know for its engaging SMS campaigns, QR codes and mobile payment offerings.  Users can check their mobile balance, purchase history and receive offers that they have to redeem through their phone.  Starbucks has succeeded in delivering a mobile experience that not only delights their customers, but drives sales by

3. Customize the user journey

When designing a mobile experience, it’s important to think about how you can make the journey as easy as possible for your users. First, think about what the end goal of the [product development lifecycle].  What do you want to achieve with this app? Do you want your users to share content, upload their own content, use a promotion or drive them to a store?

The key to ensuing effective UX is by simplifying the process: keep all users actions under two minutes.  By limiting the time it takes to complete actions on mobile, this will significantly increase task completion on mobile.

7 tips for delegating your social media campaign

Delegating effectively concept in word tag cloudArticle written by: Craig Robinson works as Editor for Qwaya. This tool helps you as a marketer with all your Facebook campaigns. Besides writing for Qwaya, Craig takes part in watching and following trends within Social Media and social context.

As a business looking to take the leap to social media, there’s a lot you have to consider before you get started. First and foremost, you have to find someone to actually handle the social media tasks for your business, or to at least help you with it. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to maintain a brand and to target a market here. It’s certainly not a one person job for the majority of businesses out there, and it’s not exactly something that can be done properly without planning.

You may need different people for many different positions; however, then again, you don’t want to have too many people adding too much diversity to a brand image that should be coherent. It’s all about a happy medium; it’s all about finding the right people to handle the social media for your company.

Different Points to Consider when Delegating Social Media

1: Keep Things In-House

Social media isn’t only about marketing in a traditional sense. It’s also about constantly working with the brand; not only when it’s tied to a  specific marketing campaign. In consequence, it’s important that you delegate your social media to people intimately familiar with your company. Keeping your fan base interested while promoting your Facebook page and other social media pages is important, and only people intimately associated with your brand truly know how to deliver your message. So make sure you start and keep the search in-house.

2: Look for the Aptitude

You want people who have an aptitude for marketing, and you might find them in strange places. You never know who truly has a knack for creating entertaining posts or who has the Midas touch with disgruntled customers. It’s up to you to seek out people to fill specific roles, and you should be willing to look past things like experience. Social media is something still relatively new, so a great member of your social team doesn’t necessarily need an ivy league piece of paper.

3: Find Contributing Members

Using the above tip and finding who has the aptitude for any particular role is important, but your company may already have different departments working you can use. For instance, you can delegate social advertising to your ad people, while handing your online customer service over to your customer service department. Basically, you can just create extensions based on what people already do for your company. That being said, you still have to identify the individuals who handle social media the best.

4: Discuss it as a Company

Discussing going the social media route with your company beforehand is crucial to your success. Not only are you looking to find interested, qualified people, but this is also the start of the planning process. This is where you begin to discuss your approach and your brand image, deciding what type of company you want to be. You will find the innovative and eager people by discussing things as a whole within your company.

5: Separate Your Tasks

“Social media” isn’t just a single thing. It’s an amalgamation of different duties, such as marketing, handling customer service, running promotions, keeping up with content, watching competitors, separating base members into segments, and on and on. Remember to separate main categories instead of lumping everything in together.

6: Have a Central Hub for Data

Monitoring your different social networking sites may seem easy on its face, but you’re dealing with multiple promotions, multiple ads and campaigns, different types of markets for each product, and a never-ending stream of data. Not to even mention the separate categories and separate people you have working. You need a central hub for this variety of data. Look into a system like HootSuite or something similar to help you keep your data organized.

7: Speak with the Same Voice

Before you start figuring out how to get a Facebook fan base or how to get more people to opt-in with a promotion, you first have to figure out your brand image and the tone you’re going to take. It has to be consistent not only among your different social sites, but also among your employees and different people in charge of different aspects of your social media. A brand needs a congruent voice, so work this out before creating a social presence.

There is no right or wrong answer one could write down when it comes to whom your social media will be delegated. It’s a process you must go through; a process which will reveal those individuals who fit best in the specified spots. And it all starts with looking in-house and gauging interest.

4 rules for “thinking big” when creating a mobile experience

In the digital age, a brand’s marketing strategy cannot be separated from the tools they use to communicate with their consumers.  These tools are social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, as well as their branded mobile app.  When designing marketing campaigns, brands need to think about how this digital medium shapes the way they communicate.  Two-way conversations between brands and consumers are becoming increasingly more important than top-down conversations from brands.

Instead, brands need to think holistically about how their app opens up new ways to communicate with their customers. Here are the top four rules when creating a mobile experience:

1. Create meaningful experiences

Have you ever used an app that has a sleek, delightful user experience?  How has that experience affected how you feel about the brand that created that app?  Simply making an app usable isn’t enough; it’s a basic requirement for a compelling user experience.  Instead, brands need to think about the bigger picture and how this digital experience will change how their users feel about them.

2. Show the features benefits

Your users want to know whey they need to use their app, not what the brand gets out of their fans engaging with their product.  What does the product enable them to do?  Does your app have an interactive element that’s fun for users to engage with or interesting content that they might want to share?  Understand the primary reason that your audience wants to engage with and craft experiences to maximize user engagement and interest.

3.  Give them a reason to engage

As with other social media channels, brands cannot force people to use their app.  In fact, even encouraging them to use to app and share content may be detrimental to engagement.  The mobile experience has to be something that your users enjoy using, sharing with friends, and, most importantly, returning to.

4.  Focus on goals not numbers

Before designing your digital campaign, think about what you want the end goal of the product to be.  Do you want to get feedback from a core group of fans? Increase engagement through mobile by targeting a larger audience segment? Or, maybe you want to entertain your customers through interactive digital experiences that are designed to build engagement and long-term loyalty.  Most brands focus on metrics before they think about qualitative measurements like customer loyalty and engagement.

Earned media and the new Facebook marketing strategy

folded-ribbonA successful Facebook marketing strategy has a balance of paid, earned and own media.  It’s not enough to pay for Facebook ads and ask users to “like” your content, believing that it’s building your overall social media strategy and fan engagement.  Now, brands need an integrated approach that balances paid (Facebook ads), owned (announcements on Facebook) and earned (word-of-mouth, shares, likes and recommendations).   Earned media is the most valuable type of Facebook content because it’s authentic word-of-mouth marketing.

Why is earned media so important?

Just how valuable is this content?  Well, 78% of users trust recommendations from friends, while only 14% trust ads.  However, earned media is the most difficult type of content for marketers to develop because they can’t directly generate “likes,” shares and recommendations from their fans.  They have to rely on their users to organically create content and share it, comment or “like” it with their networks.

Also, the more recommendations and shares from your users, the more trust your brand will earn and the more engagement you’ll have on your Facebook page.  By getting your fans to do the sharing for you, you’ll get a lot more out of the campaign that a Facebook ad.  In fact, earned media campaigns have a longer life cycle because content sharing continues even after the initial campaign has ended.

So how do I get your users to share your content?  For marketers, this means creating campaigns that are designed for engagement and sharing activity from your fans.  Here are four easy ways to build a social media campaign to generate earned media:

1. Each user is unique

Brands are increasingly turning to branded applications (apps) on their Facebook page in order to boost organic conversations about their content.  According to a recent Facebook engagement study, users are more likely to broadcast their results if the content reflects their style, interests or personality. Top users of Facebook apps are likely to share their results for quizzes, pick-your-favorites and trivia.

When putting together your next social media campaign, think about how your users will express themselves.  If you’re putting together a trivia question, for example, think about how you can ask questions that allow users to express themselves or share an opinion.  Also, make sure that there is a button to share the results on their Facebook page.

2. Give them incentive to share

Popular Facebook campaigns – like giveaways, coupons and sweepstakes – are likely to get users to access your app, but the entrants are less likely to share this information on their Facebook wall.  Therefore, the earned media value of these campaigns is low because they generate less user engagement.

The reason that the entrants are not sharing your content because they have no perceived value to share. However, this does not mean that you should stop these campaigns entirely.  A robust social media marketing campaign includes constant updates and varied content that is designed to elicit different types of user interactions.

3.  Keep it simple

What are you asking of your users?  Do you want them to upload their own content, enter a sweepstakes or invite their friends to join your branded app?  Make sure the instructions for the activity is clear – your users have a short attention span and will quickly move on to different content if the activity is too confusing or time consuming.

4.  The age of influence

Not all users are created equal.  Marketers want to get users to share their content and grow their network, but they also want to make sure that they’re attracting the right people.  Make sure that you are recognizing the fans that are sharing your content the most and give them an incentive to come back.  Also, if you’ve asked users to enter a sweepstakes, recognize the winners on your page and give them the option to share that they’ve won with their network.

If you follow these simple tips, you’ll build seamless Facebook campaigns that generate more engagement than paid or owned media.  However, keep in mind that a successful earned media campaign is just one component of your overall social strategy – paid and owned media content is just as important to build engagement.

Instant engagement or long-term campaign?

iStock_000007070391XLarge copyMany brands use one-off Facebook campaigns to drive traffic to their site, grow the number of fans, generate new leads, or increase conversion.  By offering a special promotion, they can often create a spike in sales while the campaign is running.  The drawback to this approach is that while the campaign can generate a significant increase in Facebook traffic, it isn’t building overall engagement or long-term brand loyalty. While brands may be bringing fans to their page and generating sales, they are missing out on the long-term engagement possibilities that Facebook (and integration with other social media channels) can offer.

The value of instant engagement

Many brands opt for a one-off campaign because they can see instant engagement and ROI.  However, these fans may only be accessing the page to get access to a special promotion, not switching their brand loyalty.  In fact, a recent study by AisleBuyer found that 75% of consumers would switch to a different brand if the brand offered them a discount or special promotion.

What are some of the reasons that brands would run a one-off campaign?

– Promotions to drive traffic to retail stores:  Some brands offer special promotions to their Facebook fans to generate more foot traffic to their stores or to see an overall increase in their Facebook fan base.

Fan gate to increase “likes”:  Some campaigns provided gated content to capture “likes” or emails to build a fanbase and generate leads.

Competition:  Running a competition such as a photo upload or brand story can be an excellent way for brands to capture Facebook likes and receive unique content from fans.

Not all engagement is created equal

Fans will invest more of their brand passion into submitting user-generated content than liking your Facebook page.  Also, by actively managing your Facebook engagement and cultivating a passionate community over a long period of time, you can build a foundation of brand ambassadors.  A proactive approach that is centered on improving your fans’ experience with the brand can build a more of a buzzing community.

Here are some of the benefits of long-term engagement versus a one off campaign:

Authentic conversation versus pacify criticism: Do you use your Facebook page as a customer feedback platform?  While this can be a great way to communicate with fans in real-time, you are reacting to the conversation instead of managing the dialogue. By building up a relationship with your fans around unique content and one-on-one communication, you can steer the conversation from complaints to more involvement with the brand.

– Is your content starting a conversation?  With more involved campaigns, you can ask feedback from your fans, run campaigns to generate their own content to share with their extended networks or get them involved in the co-creation of new products.

– Asking questions of the community: Using your Facebook page to get feedback in real-time is an often underused benefit of this social channel.  As we’ve discussed before, Facebook is an invaluable platform to co-create with fans on products.  You already have a base of fans who know your product inside-out, why not use their expertise to mold the product?

Do you know of any great Facebook engagement campaigns? We would love to hear your feedback!

What can users expect from Facebook Home?

How to install Facebook Home on Android 4.0 or higher_Onsoftware_20130423-143830Facebook Home hit half a million downloads this weekend.  This is only a fraction of the more than a billion active Facebook users as well as Android’s billion active user base.  In other words, less than 0.001% of users have downloaded the platform.  The slow adoption has been attributed to the limited number of devices that Facebook supports, such as Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, HTC One X, and the HTC One X+, along with the HTC First.

This application is trying to position Facebook at the center of mobile users’ digital lives. This is a strategic move considering the amount of time people access their mobile devices.  According to Mark Zuckerberg, the average mobile consumer looks at their screen at least 100 times a day.

Location and content will be a new opportunity to track behavior

If users adopt this technology, advertisers will be able to interact with consumers in new ways: geotargeting will give them opportunities to reach customers through the places they frequent and access to friends’ interests will give advertisers the option to show customized recommendations.

Many users originally joined Home because of the attractive design but found that the app’s ability to tap into all aspects of their social network overwhelming. The app may be prioritizing social features over the basic user experience, such as making calls or accessing other apps.  Also, there is no ability to curate content that your friends are posting. So everyone can see your friends’ embarrassing photos on your lock screen or home screen.

Is this an app or an operating system?

What does this app mean for the consumer?  The app is off to a rocky start with mostly negative reviews and some cumbersome functionality. Also, it may be facing challenges because it fits somewhere between an operating system and an app.  Wired has given it the appropriate title as an “apperating system”; others have labeled it a “launcher.”

What can users expect from Facebook Home?

– Newsfeed ads that include page posts and sponsored stories

– Uninterruption in brands’ ability to show ads.  Consumers can access their friends’ content and be served relevant ads through the “Cover Feed” and home screen

– Cover Feed that shows your friends’ activities

– Texts and Facebook features all in one places

– Profile features let group chats seem more personalized

– For multi-taskers, you can now chat from anywhere on your device, even if you’re surfing the web or watching a video.

For advertisers, Home is an exciting opportunity to access users by providing content that taps into their personal experiences. For users, Facebook takes over their phone, which many people find cumbersome and invasive.  Are you a Facebook Home user? What do you think of the user experience?