Social Media Sits in the Palm of Your Handset: Get People Talking About Your Business

Humans are social creatures, and we have a natural desire to broadcast our experiences to our audience, whoever they may be. Social media allows us to be the producers and stars of our own reality feed. So how can businesses facilitate mobile media interactions in a way that will benefit their overall marketing strategy?

Savvy business leaders are taking advantage of the fact that people love sharing mobile media. Smartphone software is making social media integration incredibly seamless on the newest mobile phones. Take a picture. Click “upload.” That’s all you have to do. Using a mobile phone to stay connected online gives you the advantage of instant upload; you can send emails or use Facebook, Flickr or Twitter to post an update in a few seconds. That content is now part of your feed, your social media news stream. Smartphones can make anyone a mobile media journalist.

Social media networks distribute content more like an organism then a telegraph. Wall posts on Facebook, re-tweets on Twitter and social bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon play an important role in deciding which content is viewed often and what is largely ignored. Encourage people to play an active role in sharing your business online and you create enormous word-of-mouth opportunities for your brand.

Groupon is a company the offers group buying discounts online. Their social media campaign is characterized by humor and updated regularly to keep people interested and connected to their product offerings. On Twitter, Groupon writes a “Thank you” to each new connected customer.

Use mobile media as free publicity and reward customers when they spread the good news:

“Want to win $100? Email creative pictures (or videos!) of you redeeming your Groupon to pictures@groupon.com. We’ll post them to our Flickr stream, and each month we’ll award $100 in Groupon credit for our favorite photo!”

Spice up your call to action with humor or a bad pun:

“Send us your Saab stories, pictures

Do you have fond (or not so fond) memories of a Saab in your life? How do you feel about the news that the brand might be disappearing for good? Send us a photo of you and your Saab. Old photos welcome! We will publish a selection of the best photos and comments.”

News outlets have leveraged mobile media content generation ever since the first camera phone was developed. Reuters relies on user-generated pictures for their “Your View” section:

“I was there when it happened.

Join our award-winning photographers to share the newsworthy events you’ve witnessed. If your images are selected for the Reuters professional wire, we will arrange to pay you for their use.”

“Are you on Facebook?” is one of the first things Web 2.0 adults ask when meeting a new friend. As more social interactions occur over social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, businesses that connect to their audiences online are better connected in the real world.

Take a hint from these examples and add your own personal twist. Be playful, honest and sincere. Read “Brand Damage: Coping with Bad Press in the Digital Age” for tips on how to deal with brand backlash in your social media campaign.

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