A staggering 543 million people worldwide access Facebook from mobile devices– more than one-half of the social network’s total audience. Of those users, 399 million access Facebook exclusively from their mobile devices. Facebook has done a remarkable job of capitalizing on its growing mobile user base, which accounted for over $3 billion in revenue in 2013, and the social giant has publically stated that they aim to capture even more of the mobile market over the next five years.
As users continue to turn to their smartphones and tablets as their primary means of consuming online content, brands must be able to keep up pace, ensuring that their Facebook pages and posts are optimized for this growing user base. In order to connect with mobile fans, brands should consider the following five steps:
One: Your Links Matter More than You Think
When it comes to choosing links for mobile, brands must take some extra steps to ensure those links are effective. Deep links are essential when posting content to Facebook, especially when your website requires mobile sign-in. Customers will quickly become frustrated if they are met with the mobile login page for an application they have previously installed on their smartphone. This can be a kiss of death when it comes to conversions. Be sure to test all links to ensure they send users directly to the content they want to see. If they get held up by a sign in page, they will lose interest and move on to something else.
When curating content for Facebook, be sure to link thoughtfully. If your social media editors find a story that references a relevant study, link directly to the study, rather than the blog post. If your lead-in is directly related to and cites specific data, users will click through to see more about that data, they may not have the time or inclination to read an entire blog post analyzing that information.
Two: Keep it Brief – But Always Compelling
Long posts will get cut off with a “see more” link” This means that in order to capture clicks, posts must be kept under 160 characters. If a post simply cannot be limited, be sure that the introduction is compelling enough to make users take the extra step of clicking to see more.
Mobile users will engage more often with shorter posts, and data from Facebook indicates that posts with less than 80 characters capture the most engagement from users. It can be useful to track your own posts based on length to determine your own recipe for success.
Three: Consider The Mechanics of Images and Video
It is no secret that images are an easy way to capture engagement, both for mobile users and desktop users. However, it is important not to post images just for the sake of having visual content. Choose images thoughtfully, and always be sure that every image relates to the brand. It is also essential to format all images to ensure that they display properly and are easy to share. Shareable images should be high-resolution, small enough to load on a smartphone, they should include a compelling title, a strong call to action, and when it makes sense, images should include your logo, domain name or watermark.
Video must also be formatted and presented properly in order to capture mobile views. If your brand has produced a killer, 10 minute video, mobile users may not have the time to consume that entire video on the go. Consider breaking long videos into smaller, snackable shorts. Mobile users will be more likely to watch a 30-second video to the end than a 5 minute video. Shorts can also be a compelling way to leave the viewer wanting to see more, enacting them to log in to your YouTube page once they are back home and settled in.
Three: Making Mobile Connections Means Testing Mobile Connections
Optimizing for your mobile fans on Facebook won’t get you very far if your main domain is not also optimized for mobile. If it has been a while since you’ve tested out your mobile design, be sure to set aside time and resources to ensure that fans across all mobile devices and platforms are sent directly and swiftly to your mobile site from your Facebook profile.
Mobile testing is also an essential step for contests. It is well worth the time and effort to test all links to be sure mobile users are sent to an active page rather than a dead end, and always test the contest across all devices. Once the contest is up and running, be sure to track your stats by using separate short links for mobile and desktop. Knowing how many entries come from mobile vs. desktop can help you target future contests to your audience.
Facebook ads can be targeted directly to mobile users – whether they are on a smartphone, feature phone, or a tablet. When posting paid content, test it to see how it displays on various devices and networks. Don’t forget that ads can be targeted to users based upon mobile network. That means that if content is best viewed by someone on a 4G connection, advertisers can eliminate 3G and 2G users to help preserve brand image and messaging, as well as the advertising budget.
Four: Put Some Personality into Your Posts
Facebook posts don’t have to be all business, all the time. In order to catch the attention of a mobile user who is scrolling through their timeline to kill a few minutes in the grocery line, you’ll want to do whatever you can do stand out from the noise. Do not be afraid to utilize humor or emotion to capture eyes and clicks. However, it is important not to rely on bait-and-switch tactics just to capture clicks. Users will remember you for those tactics – and not for the right reasons. If you don’t have something compelling to say, it’s best not to say it.
Five: Don’t Forget The CTA
It can be easy to cut out a call to action when trying to make a post brief enough and shareable enough for mobile users, however every post should include a call to action. Remember, if you want users to take an action, you have to tell them what that action is.
Optimizing Facebook content for mobile users has never been more important than it is today – and it will only become more important in the future. Brands must take steps now to ensure that they are able to capture the eyes of mobile users and convert those users to paid customers.