Blooming Mobile Trends: 3 Tips to Help You Flourish

| RBOA + Digital Opps | Written by: Kristen Burke

Facebook has had a busy few weeks. On Monday, the newly-public company released its iOS app for brand pages. While pages have always been accessible through the standard Facebook app, this is specifically designed for administrators. It allows for push notifications, posts and comments from the page, edits to Timeline information and even the lastest insights – to be optimized for receipt on your phone.

Naturally, social media coordinators around the world are cheering over the ability to handle their clients’ pages from their iPad or iPhone from virtually anywhere with cell phone service, but this new app is just the one blossom in a field of new mobile opportunities.

Facebook was smart to recognize the need for mobile optimization, but they are certainly not the first. According to Edison Research, 44 percent of the U.S. population owned a smartphone as of May 2012. As we become more tech savvy, we look for ways to get content quickly and efficiently, which often means using these devices for web browsing.

In fact, trends in every digital market are moving toward mobile usage. Ninety-one percent of all mobile use is social in nature, which means the content we share for our brands needs to be optimized for mobile and standard screen sizes. The change is coming quickly, and web developers and marketers alike are now having to ask themselves – will this work on my phone? This can be seen in the decline of Flash Players and the increase in responsive web designs. WordPress alone has seen over 400 new themes that are either mobile designs or responsive to any device.

Smartphone Usage Infographic

Whether you’re ready or not, the time for mobilization is now. Resist the temptation to panic at the idea of mobile optimization and follow these simple tips to start your smooth transition to mobile-friendly digital marketing:

Take out your phone, access a browser and go to your website. What do you see? Do elements of the design lose functionality? Is the font difficult to read? Do you have to zoom in and out to navigate? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you need a strategy to go mobile. Depending on your web design, this may be as simple as adding some CSS modifications or installing a new plugin. Regardless of the effort involved, the change will be worth your while when your audience or customer has access to your information in the palm of their hand. Don’t forget – not all mobile phones are created equal! Be sure to test your new site on multiple platforms and brands of smartphones using one of the many free testing tools on the internet.

Some of the content you share for your brand will come from a source other than your own website. While you can’t control the format of the other website, you can control what you post for your audience. In order to build engagement and foster interactions, your audience must be able to access the information from their preferred device. Be aware of which sources have optimized websites and use that content before pages that won’t work on a mobile device, such as Youtube over sites using Flash players.

While a quick switch to a mobile-sized frame will keep your website functioning on all devices, it takes much more to become optimized. Just like the difference in reading print compared to web, mobile has its own set of readability rules. Consider what your end goal is. Are you looking for unique visitors, new members or increased sales? Choose your most important goal and use that as the focal point of your mobile website. Check out these examples for some inspiration.

Many predict that our mobile devices will become our primary source of web browsing in the next ten years, with computers becoming stationary devices once again. Don’t wait until your website is the last one standing, start your transition now to optimize your digital marketing presence.