How Mobile Changed Social Media Marketing

By Laura Beans

9 min read

This article was last updated on September 24, 2019.

Nowadays, smartphones and social media go hand in hand. In recent years, mobile devices have taken social media marketing to a whole new level. An already massive entity, social media has gained even more power as users continually choose to access their social media channels remotely. Because of this, advertisers have had to modify their social media strategy. Campaigns need to be presented in real-time. They need to be able to display on all platforms and devices, and engaging enough to stand out in social feeds. In this Front Porch Solutions blog post, we’ll look at how the rise of mobile changed social media marketing and what your business can do to take advantage of this trend.

Mobile Changed Social Media Marketing—What Can Marketers Do?

Since its beginning in the late 1990s, social media has expanded rapidly. Social media is now a huge industry, led by influential providers like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. From these new public platforms, marketers were offered the ability to advertise to actual customers rather than a target market group. Within personal social media profiles, brands can identify potential customers based on demographics, behaviors, and interests posted online. Then, brands can use this information to create digital campaigns specific to that type of customer.

Social media does not discriminate. People of every age group, cultural identity, religion, and economic standing use social networking sites. This widespread use allows brands to interact with consumers they may not have previously targeted. Brands set up social profiles for their businesses to act as an extension of their products or services. Through these outlets, brands can reach more potential clients than with traditional marketing material.

Social media is a part of the culture of smartphones and mobile devices. Thanks to mobile apps and mobile-optimized web pages, users are accessing their social media networks from their smartphones. As of 2016, about 80% of time spent on social media by consumers was through a mobile device, and that number continues to grow. The question for marketers becomes how do you adapt your marketing strategy to benefit from the marriage of social media and mobile devices?

Online Reviews

Online reviews are an important part of a successful online presence for businesses. While testimonies and word of mouth are still important, 93% of consumers say online reviews inform their purchasing decisions. Research shows that there is a strong connection between positive online reviews and sales. Customers will often choose brands with positive reviews over the competition without reviews.
Wi-Fi and smartphones also increase customers’ real-time decision-making process. A quick search for reviews of the brand, product, or service is available at any time before purchasing.
With this change in consumerism, business owners must be more concerned with online reviews. Both positive and negative reviews can impact your business. Positive reviews show customer satisfaction, while negative reviews reveal company transparency.
Interestingly enough, consumers who read reviews on smartphones are 127% more likely to purchase that company’s product or services than those who read reviews on desktop computers.

What You Can Do

  • Make sure you have added an online review option to your website.
  • Consider ramping up efforts to encourage consumers to review your business.
  • Aim for a large number of real, positive online reviews to help solidify your ranking on search engines like Google.
  • Respond to both positive and negative reviews.

Social Media Stories

More and more, social platforms are embracing the use of storytelling, or “Stories.” These user-generated collections of photos and video that disappear after 24 hours are now the option of choice for social media users. Stories originated on Snapchat, but have moved into other social channels. Facebook launched Facebook Live in 2015 and rolled out Facebook Stories in 2017, which followed the successful launch of Instagram Stories in 2016.

Stories seem to work for several reasons. By following the traditional aspects of storytelling, Stories are appealing to users. Algorithms that command social media feeds usually disrupt the chronological flow. Stories allow users, and marketers to string together a narrative, which makes more sense to an audience.

cell phone illustration

These platforms now allow brands to advertise within the Stories. Ads are skippable, marked with a “Sponsored” banner, and appear in between stories in a seamless transition.

What You Can Do

  • The format of online social media Stories have grown 842% since 2016. It is important to implement this concept within your brand’s advertising.
  • Advertisements in social media Stories will be very short (usually around 10-15 seconds) so be sure to make the best use of your ad space.
  • Each platform operates differently, and thus engagement differs as well. Be sure to tailor your ad concept for each social media networking site.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is an effective strategy that uses a key social media leader with a large following. The influencer drives a brand’s message to its audience across their personal social media sites. Influencer marketing is halfway between a product mention and an official testimonial. The concept was born from social media and goes hand in hand with the prevalent use of smartphones. Mobile marketing makes the influencer’s job easy because they can promote brands remotely. Smaller influencers will often share a message in exchange for a product or service, while larger influencers and celebrities can cost around $10 per one thousand followers for a shoutout.

The influencer’s promotional posts are not labeled “Sponsored” because they are not technically ads. The post acts as a subtle commercial masked by its regular rotation in the social media feed. The follower is sure to be in the brand’s target demographic, already interested, and likely to pay attention.

What You Can Do

  • Identify social media leaders and internet celebrities in your industry, or leaders in the demographics of your target market.
  • Research influencers you’re interested in contacting to ensure their brand values align with your company/product/service
  • Reach out and inquire about collaborations, or send samples of your product/services to those key social media leaders.
  • Create a couple of marketing campaigns directed around the influencers to drive awareness to a larger set of your target market.

Exclusive Deals

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 5 billion people now own and use an internet-enabled smartphone. Because of this prevalent use, marketers are counting on the public to always have their mobile device on hand to Snap, Tweet, Like, and Share company branding whenever and wherever.

Companies use social media contests and giveaways to connect with their audience and garner higher numbers of leads. In exchange for a post like, page visit or even submitting a personal email address, companies will offer exclusive deals. Some businesses will send special coupon codes and insider deals via text message to leads that have provided a phone number.


Social media contests and giveaways have proven to be very useful for many companies looking to increase website traffic, generate leads, or build a social following. These contests and giveaways can be posted directly on a brand’s social media page. You can also use CMS plugins like ShortStack, or a third-party site like Heyo. Research the pros and cons of each option before deciding on what will work best for your brand.

What You Can Do

  • Define the goals of your contest or giveaway (i.e., website traffic, audience engagement, email lists, lead generation).
  • Pick an exciting prize or an attractive deal (limited time product, weekend getaway, gift cards, coupons, etc.).
  • Consider collaborating with online influencers or industry heavyweights, so long as they don’t represent your direct competition.
  • Create your contest/giveaway and promote it wherever possible (email campaigns, other social media platforms, website landing page, etc.).

While it is apparent that mobile changed social media marketing, the industry is progressing in more ways than one, and if you don’t keep up, your brand could be left behind the competition. If you’re interested in furthering your digital marketing strategy, contact Front Porch Solutions. Let’s discuss our growth-driven approach to inbound and content marketing, and what we can do for your business!

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