How to Optimize Social Media to Reach Mobile Users

By Ric Shreves, Michelle Krasniak

With the prevalence of mobile devices and social media platforms and the shift in the approach of the search engines, the mobile audience can no longer be viewed as a separate channel. You need to be thinking about mobile users at the time you create content. You have to keep in mind how your content will display as well as how it may be consumed.

Many commentators are embracing a “think mobile first” philosophy. Mobile consumption is clearly on the rise. Mobile accessibility is both a technical issue and a content marketing issue. The first step is defining the conditions that will affect your efforts. You need to do some research into the ways your target audiences are using mobile to better understand how to approach them. Conduct a survey of your target markets, or at least take a random sampling to try to determine the following:

  • How do your target markets use mobile?

  • Is your mobile audience on smartphones or tablets?

  • Is your audience primarily focused on visual content?

  • What social media apps are your users using on their mobile devices?

After you have answers to these questions, you can begin to fold those conditions into your content creation, tailoring your content to the particular needs of your audience.

Following are some basic principles you should apply:

  • Focus on your headlines. All mobile users tend to be skimmers; you need to grab them.

  • Write great first paragraphs. You need a great first paragraph for the same reason you need great headlines: to grab attention.

  • Be visual. This goes farther than good images. You also need to think about things like effective use of color. Mobile devices’ screens tend to favor high contrast and strong saturated colors.

  • Make sure that your formatting is mobile-friendly. Test your site’s usability on mobile devices, and create a style guide for your team.

Modern digital marketing needs to emphasize integrating mobile‐friendly content into your work flow. Set up secondary monitors and have devices handy so you can look at your work to see whether you’d enjoy reading it on various mobile devices. If your content is something you’d enjoy consuming on a mobile device, you’re well on your way.