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19th February 2013 |  Written by Karen Asbury

How businesses can adapt their Twitter strategy for mobile

Yesterday, the Twitter Advertising Blog published details of how Twitter users in the UK are accessing the micro-blogging social network on their mobile devices.

Although many reading this post may be doing so on a large screen in the comfort of your office or home study, we mustn’t forget that not all online content is going to be accessed from a large screen. Twitter was intended to be mobile, and this doesn’t just mean on the commute to work, but on the couch, in bed, and even on the computer and phone at the same time! We are entering a multi-screen era, and social behaviour will adapt accordingly.

So what does this mean for businesses?

For the likes of B2B audiences, sure it’s a fair assumption that the decision makers you want to target through Twitter may well be reading your updates from their office computer or from a personal laptop. However, if we look at the likes of e-commerce businesses in the B2C area, the audience isn’t sitting still for long, and their attention span is limited.

In order to make the most of your Twitter activity, here are some pointers on how you can target your efforts to this on-the-move audience.

1. Consider your mobile audience.
Duh! I know this sounds so obvious but we all need reminding once in a while! If you’re linking to your website’s latest blog post, is it easy to read on the latest smartphone? If not, you probably won’t benefit from mobile users seeing it on Twitter.
Whether you solve this with a mobile site, responsive design, or if you simply become more selective with what you post, it’s essential that you bear this in mind. Looking at your own analytics and data will help to evaluate where your business, and industry, stands on Twitter. How high if your mobile traffic? How many referrals are you getting from Twitter? If these are on the up, it’s time to make mobile part of your future search and social strategy.

2. Cater for the lazy and the rushed.
Look at the infographic Twitter published (see below). They have outlined four particular activities that mobile users do on Twitter. Two of them, to me, scream out as users on the move.
43% Retweet a Tweet
To me, this says that 43% don’t have time to write a full tweet whilst on the go, and it’s quicker to retweet something that says what you were already thinking.
29% Favourite a Tweet
I understand this as 29% are interested by your headline but haven’t got the time or connectivity to check out your link. This is a particularly important one. Give it a day or so, and then follow up on the people who have added your tweet to their Favourites. They may have done so, not to forever cherish your tweet (sorry, the truth hurts) but as a “read later” tool. Either way it shows their interest. Follow up, ask what they thought and use it as a means to start a conversation.

How Twitter reaches mobile users

3. Go local
For those that are physically out of the house and on Twitter, they may be tweeting images of their meal at a restaurant, or waiting for an artist to come on stage at a gig. Or, less glamorous, waiting for the bus home with their friends. But if they’re tweeting, there’s a good chance they will mention where they are and what they’re doing.
If you’re a local business, make sure you regularly search Twitter for your own company name, industry or area. Let’s say you’re an estate agent and someone tweets that they are house hunting in a location nearby, you’ve got a relevant audience ready to connect with.
If you use Twitter on the likes of Hootsuite, you can filter search results by proximity thanks to geo-location features – a really valuable tool for finding Twitter mobile users.

4. Cater for the chatterboxes
Half of mobile Twitter users do so at bedtime. Now, whether they are out on the town or cuddled up in their pyjamas, I’m not sure. But at this point, they may not be in the purchasing stage of the buyer’s cycle. Enter the importance of conversation. The amount of users tweeting about their beloved TV shows has sky-rocketed and the era of multi-screen activity is upon us. Try making a list of TV shows that may be of interest to your target market and join in the conversation. There will often be a dedicated hashtag to follow.

5. Don’t overdo it on rich media.
Sure, uploading pictures looks great and can give a real insight into your business. It can also be hugely beneficial when promoting products in an online store. But if your end user is out and about with poor Wi-fi or 3G connectivity, they aren’t going to wait long for an image to load, and your efforts will be wasted.

6. Learn from the mistakes of the high street if you’re in e-commerce.
The high street is struggling at the minute. Think of how many big brands have suffered in the past six months alone. This has the potential to be an incredible chance for e-commerce, if you get things right. And Twitter can drive sales. If you want to encourage Twitter-driven purchases, bear in mind the buying process. Are you trying to improve your conversion rate? Do you want more physical sales from your twitter presence? Then don’t forget to make your buying process simple. Remember, they’re probably on the move. Incorporating Paypal payment methods  for example, means they can safely pay for products without fumbling for a credit card on the tube or on the couch.
Of course, this is a conversion issue and not necessarily part of  Twitter strategy  but if you’re going to be linking to product pages and encouraging sales through this platform, you need to be aware of their surroundings and cater for that.

If you need any help with your business Twitter strategy, get in touch with the Social Media Marketing team.

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