Every person on the planet has a mobile phone — or at least it seems that way. Therefore, it should not be a big surprise that when it comes to social media sharing of content, more people do so via their mobile devices than their computers, according to a recent study done by ShareThis.
The research, which compared 4.9 billion social patterns across the desktop Web and 1.2 billion social patterns across the mobile Web, also revealed insights into what people are sharing on what devices and which social networks are the most popular for sharing.
Sharing From The Palm Of Your Hand
The key findings from the study include:
- Mobile Rules. Consumers are more inclined by nearly 2-1 to share via a mobile device than their PC/desktop.
- iPhone Dominates. The omnipresent Apple device is the most social of all mobile phones, with users three times more likely to share content via their iPhone versus the desktop and 1.5 times more likely to share on an iPhone versus all other mobile devices.
- The Big 3. When it comes to sharing on mobile, Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest rule the school. Facebook accounts for 60 percent of sharing on mobile, and Pinterest is nearly three times more represented on mobile than on desktop.
- Different (Apple) Strokes For Different Folks. Facebook is the number one social channel on iPhones, but Pinterest is the number one social channel on iPads. Consumers share to Facebook 66.4 percent of the time on iPhones compared to other channels, while Pinterest is the dominating social channel on iPads with almost 50 percent of social activity.
Kurt Abrahamson, CEO of ShareThis, says sharing is actually device or channel agnostic, referring to it as “…the purest expression of interest-based social activity.”
Making The Most Of Mobile Social Sharing
The conclusions gleaned from the ShareThis study should come as no surprise, as we are social creatures and love to share. Share and share alike, right? That’s what our parents taught us, anyway.
Here’s my advice, should you choose to consent to actually using it.
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize!
Then, when you’re done doing that, optimize some more. Optimize ALL of your content for every possible mobile platform for any and all sites, including:
- Make the share options prominent on your site. Don’t bury them beneath the fold or use small, microscopic icons. Use large icons that don’t require the reader to click on a small target — or even worse, a line of copy.
- Include an option to share the given content via email.
- Give the reader a little nudge/reminder along the lines of “Like this? Then why not share it!”
- Include links, rich media and strong calls to action.
- Include the words “please retweet” — which, according to Buddy Media, has been shown to increase the likelihood of having it retweet/shared by 23 times.
- Tweet out info that mobile users want and need: real-time information. When we’re mobile, we want the info now. For example, if you own a retail store, send out a Tweet about a sale or promotion that’s happening at that moment.
- Keep it short! Just because you are allowed to use 140 characters doesn’t mean you should.
- Use photos. Images are one of the most shared types of content on Facebook, period. And when it comes to mobile, the right image can help your brand tell its story. Plus, photos use up more relative space in the Facebook mobile news feed than on the PC news feed, which in turn will help garner your brand more attention over other posts.
- Keep it short! Yes, just as with Twitter, the shorter the post, the better, when it comes to Facebook mobile. Try to keep the copy in your Facebook posts to under 160 characters which prevents your text being truncated. Otherwise, you may suffer from the need for the dreaded “see more” link.
- Ask a question. Either at the end or beginning of a post and within the confines of the 160 or under character limit, try and include a question. Always a great way to engage an audience.
Make it share-worthy. According to a survey conducted by SocialToaster, pictures and links were the most popular types of content when it comes to sharing, besting content such as quotes and videos. Of course the key is to analyze and monitor what content is being most shared by your specific audience. It may not be images or links. The point is you need to be aware of what types of content your customers and prospects are sharing and adjust accordingly.
Do not ignore the once mighty PC. Yes, it’s a mobile world after all — but that does not mean you should turn your back on your old pal, the desktop PC. Don’t suddenly shift all your focus to the mobile side of the aisle and lose track of the number of people who still use a PC and may always prefer a PC to mobile device for such things as sharing.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.