With over six billion mobile phone users across the globe and growing, 2013 marks a decisive shift toward everything mobile. For the first time, Facebook users are keeping in contact with their social networks on their mobile devices more than on desktops. Emerging from this trend is a relatively new market of mobile device users who prefer to receive messages or promotions from their favorite brands and businesses on their mobile phones or tablets. With more users using social media to connect with brands and vice versa, becoming mobile‪ means being social. In anticipating more direct contact with their customers, businesses must learn how to adapt and merge mobile marketing and social media together successfully.

What is mobile marketing?

As a form of inbound marketing, mobile marketing involves creating advertising made for mobile devices, including using SMS messages in marketing campaigns and using mobile apps for social media. For businesses, mobile marketing is quickly becoming one of the most marketing tools to contact their customers directly. The term mobile marketing can apply to both the use of marketing toward a mobile device AND the marketing itself on a mobile device. As ads are becoming more mobile optimised, businesses can reach out to their target demographics on the go.

Why mobile marketing is becoming standard

One of the advantages of mobile marketing is the effectiveness of its brevity in communicating with mobile device users. Businesses use mobile marketing to complement and strengthen their social networking efforts. To connect with their customers, businesses can use mass messages that are quick and easy to send via software made for mobile marketing campaigns or utilize posts sent from mobile apps. Mobile marketing is effective because many users rarely leave home without their mobile device so they will most likely not miss advertising sent by businesses as they check for messages at home, at work or elsewhere.

Basic mobile marketing strategies

In blending the old with the new, mobile marketing can also be used together with traditional marketing. For example, a business can display advertisements in a physical store asking customers to subscribe to their mobile marketing and receive SMS advertising and promotions. In signing up for mobile marketing, businesses encourage customer loyalty through exclusive promotions or sales available only to mobile marketing subscribers.

Mobile merging with the social

For creating successful marketing campaigns, focus on your social networks in optimising your mobile marketing. In merging mobile and social, businesses can utilize mobile apps for social media to connect with a wider audience on their mobile devices. Social media apps made popular because of millions of mobile users include photo sharing app Instagram and Twitter’s micro video counterpart called Vine. As a social network that exists solely on mobile devices, Instagram means an instant connection to mobile users to share business news, images of product releases and more. While it’s built as a fun app, Instagram is serious business as almost 60 percent of major brands use Instagram for mobile marketing. Another way brands connect with their followers is by encouraging them to participate in promotions. For a recent campaign, fashion retailer ASOS asked Twitter followers to video themselves using Vine while opening their orders in exchange for a special offer.

Mobile and social is the perfect marketing match when you put in the effort to maintain this happy marriage. As more consumers are becoming mobile, they are increasingly become social at the same time. To reach your target audience while building up a following on social media, use mobile marketing to advertise to mobile device users wherever they are.