Is Mobile the Future For Social Media Advertising?

First things first, Facebook have mentioned that the companies focus for this year will be on mobile integration. So taking that into account we should all be listening. Where Facebook goes, usually Social Media as a whole; follows. With this shift of focus about to dominate the mobile market we wanted at Coup ask 'What trends should we get your business into?'

So after some digging around and research we have some hot tips for how mobile could boost your business and fans interaction. What is great about the mobile market is that it's portable and comes with you anywhere. QR codes have been widely tipped for many as the feature of advertising, as it gives usually static posters visual or interactive content. But with smart phones being able to read QR codes many seem to forget the simpler days of the bar code. Some apps are using barcodes to implement planning and purchase information to Facebook. This is called mobile friendcasting; and doesn't have to involve barcodes but barcodes do open a new market to the friendcasting community. Last November, Constellation Wines used this exact technique. The site, which offered a party-planning calculator and suggested food and wine pairings, among other features, technique designed for consumers who were out at the shops looking for a wine to bring home or to a holiday party. Those users share their purchasing decisions with their Facebook friends. That would also mean that the deals will be broadcasted across Facebook, opening up a new form of advertising: Mobile to Facebook.

This type of marketing can be used to benefit nearly every industry whether it be sharing deals or adding virality of the offers. This is similar to the market Groupon have tapped into, where local deals are highlighted to the masses. But friendcasting will set to grow and grow with real time deal sharing such as barcode scanning. So definitely look into this to make sure your business is maximizing it advertising reach.

With look at how friend cast can share deals, deals on mobiles are the next key feature we think you business should get into. The combination of location-awareness and time-sensitive deals opens up a whole new area of mobile marketing for Facebook. Facebook got into the market when it introduced Deals as part of its Places service last November, and expanded it in March with deals specific to each city. However, deals has not yet launched in the UK but is set to see the green light over here some time this year. The theory behind Deals is it gives retailers more incentive to register with Places. Imagine the following scenario, for instance: A consumer with 150 Facebook friends cashes in on a deal at Peacocks, which automatically sends out a status update on her account describing the deal. Assuming 10 friends are shopping nearby that day and checking the Facebook app on their mobile phones, that's potentially 10 more customers than Peacocks might have had if not for the Facebook-broadcasted deal. So why pay for expensive ad space on facebook on the web when your Facebook page fans can do the advertising for you, they get great deals you get more direct custom. We only see win-win here, but you must make sure you are targeting the right audience at the right time with the right price to really tap the market for all its goodies!

Deals works hand in hand with check in's - which again is a great way mobiles can promote your business. We all saw across the social web Coca Cola's efforts with Checking in at their Amusement park in Israel. (If your not familiar with it definitely give it a search) The premise of the idea was instead of manually checking in, a RFID-enabled bracelet did it for you. The check in's meant people could see in real time what people were doing and the people doing it didn't feel any commitment to sharing the fun online. Sharing fun also means sharing the business and its Facebook page with the world. So expect big things from this technology in the future as it makes it's way into mobile technology.

There are some draw backs in the mobile market, something we shouldn't ignore after bigging up what is soon to be great in 2011. But with the markets focus shifting to make mobile integration key bugs such as display ads performance will surely be ironed out too. But as a whole take a good hard look at how your business could reach more fans, quicker!

Paul Shepherd

I've worked in digital communications for around 15 years, and specialised in social media for the past three. Passionate about new technologies, media, and the impact it has on businesses bottom line, I try to bring that passion to every campaign for every brand we work with.