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How to create an effective mobile, social campaign

Mobile and social inherently complement each other and marketers are increasingly marrying the two to deepen their relationship with consumers. However, simply linking to a Facebook or Twitter page is no longer enough. 

With the proliferation of new social sharing sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, marketers are constantly looking at new ways to better reach and engage consumers. Nowadays, there is rarely a mobile campaign that does not include a social component.

?It?s estimated that by the year 2016, more than a billion people will access their favorite social media Web sites by using a mobile device,? said Tallya Rabinovich, CEO of IzzoNet, Sarasota, FL. ?Marketing campaigns should pay attention to this fundamental shift.

?Social networking is great for engaging with your customers, and mobile devices have the benefit of being with people all the time,? she said. ?For the greatest effect, always try and combine these two strengths into your marketing campaign.?

Where to start
Before marketers roll out their mobile and social efforts, it is critical that they understand their consumer.

Companies show figure out who their target demographic is and the best way to reach them.

?Creating a mobile campaign that doesn?t work for your customers is game-ending,? Ms. Rabinovich said.

?When in doubt, or if consumer research isn?t available for your customer base, stick to what works and what is tried and true.

When marketers launch their mobile campaign, it is important that they promote it using a variety of social networks.

For example, companies can use their Facebook and Twitter pages to promote their mobile campaigns to their fan base.

While effective, marketers need to push even further.

Leading consumers to a Facebook or Twitter page is good if a marketer?s end goal is to increase ?Likes? or followers.

However, companies should continue to build the consumer relationship from there. Nowadays, retailers are adding a Pinterest tab to their mobile efforts to help increase sales.

Additionally, brands are turning to other social media sharing sites such as Instagram to drive engagement.

?Mobile marketing is all about permission marketing,? Ms. Rabinovich said. ?It?s marketing that consumers actually request to receive and this is precisely the reason why it works so well.

?Track what is working and make any necessary adjustments,? she said. ?Measure the opt-in, opt-out and response rates for your text message campaigns.

?Track the coupons sent and that were redeemed, the profit made for each coupon, and the total revenue for the brand.?

Future is now
The future of social media is mobile.

As mobile, social, and local continue to merge towards a common, continual experience, the boundaries between search and social, mobile and merchandising blur further.

?I think we will see the rise of the new social networks that are ignoring Web sites all together and focusing entirely in the mobile realm,? Ms. Rabinovich said. 

?Mobile shopping has reached scale and is only going to grow as smartphone penetration continues to rise,? she said. ?We will see more and more retailers responding with mobile apps and mobile friendly sites designed to attract smartphone shoppers.?

Social media sites are also ramping up their mobile efforts.

Recently, Pinterest bolstered its mobile strategy with new applications for Android, iPhone and iPad devices.

However, the content sharing site still has some work to do to create a truly compelling mobile experience for users.

Mobile applications do not make a solid mobile strategy.

Interactive features and functionality help drive engagement.

Additionally, hoping to leverage its strength as a mobile application discovery platform, Facebook recently stepped away from its social positioning to test a non-social ad unit promoting apps in mobile users? news feeds.

One in the same
Social is integral in mobile's overall success.

"They are one in the same really, aren't they? Isn't a mobile device an extension of a person?" said Keith Bilous, president/CEO of ICUC, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

"A person goes everywhere and what do they take with them everywhere? A mobile device," he said. "When you integrate my first response into mobile and social solutions, the user wins and the brand wins.

"The space is going to mature as you will see some acquisitions and attrition as the good mobile services become better and the not so good mobile services go away. Twitter is growing up right in front of us and subtly changing in the process. Facebook will continue  to try to develop out its mobile offering, and Google + will become even more prominent in our lives. Google + is not going away and as we all continue to use Google and Android, it will only become more and more a part of our lives."

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York