Monthly Archives: August 2013

PR and the Mobile Age

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There is no question that we have entered the mobile age.  Sales of desktops are decreasing, there are enough cell phones for everyone in the world to own two and even Third World countries have cell service. On top of that, 25 percent of smart phone owners ages 18- 44 can’t even recall the last time their smartphone wasn’t next to them. Many business professionals see mobile as the future of social media. As mobile technology continues to increase, it’s important that PR professionals take notice and learn how to adjust to the mobile experience.  

That experience lets industry professionals see the latest news from anywhere. Even though you can reach a larger audience, you have to be aware of how your content is displayed. Although smart phones can access the same sites as a desktop like Twitter, and Facebook, etc., there are key distinctions between them. One being that smart phone screens are significantly smaller than a desktop sotweets and posts need to be short and to the point. Another thing, hashtags don’t work on Facebook mobile. 189 million Facebook users only use Facebook through their smart phone.  So save the hashtags for Twitter.  

Also, even though Twitter allows the user to tweet up to 140 characters, the chances of someone reading a tweet that long on a mobile device are small. The reason being, if mobile users have to expand the tweet, they probably won’t read it. Keep in mind that the end of a tweet is often where professionals attach links for users to retweet. 

Compose your tweet so that it is less than 120 characters if you want it to be retweeted — or even read.  A University of Florida study found that 43 percent of B2B companies get new customers through Facebook and 34 percent of marketers get leads through Twitter.  Getting the right people to see all of your content is crucial.

Some social media programs are only available on a smart phone, like Instagram and Vine.  Social media is image based.  An MIT study showed that Facebook posts with images received 37 percent more engagements.  Images are useful because they quickly tell the story. Many smart phone cameras are of equal quality to the average digital camera.  Pictures are also larger than text, which means they take up more of a person’s news feed.  Your company, whether B2B or B2C, should be using smart phones to get content out there, whether it be posting pictures on Instagram or posting videos to Vine.  

Another unique feature of smart phones is text messaging.  Many social media programs started out as SMS programs.  Text message campaigns (opt in only, of course) are a great way for B2C and B2B businesses to showcase new products, update consumers on new projects and give monthly factoids about your industry. 

Some mobile apps are especially useful for PR pros.  Tools like Hootsuite, Microsoft Office and Drop Box are all available for many smart phones. There are also some new smart phone-only apps that you might want to check out. , Apps like Taptu, Flipboard and Pulse can take your social networks and websites and merge them into visually appealing and easy-to-read read streams. These new PR smartphone apps make getting the latest information that much easier. 

Being mindful about how the mobile experience works, providing the potential to reach a bigger audience and expand a business’ message.

-Niki Perri

@neperri