Social Media Platforms & Mobile Usage
Are you confused with my headline and title above? Are you wondering what the use of social media platforms on mobile devices has to do with why you should never ever link your valuable content between social networks? Sounds crazy right?
Too many questions…let me tell you something, about sharing your content through social platforms, that you may not have thought through all the way.
Yes! You’re right! I believe in that and practice that approach pretty much each and every day of the year.
I’m not suggesting that you not share your content through relevant social media networks. I’m saying that you should never link from one social network to another.
I have done this before and if I do it again, I’m thinking I’ll be doing some additional testing before I publish the post. Testing on mobile that is.
So again, what does the use of social networks on mobile devices has to do with never ever linking content between social networks?
It’s simply because of the way each social network’s mobile app functions on smartphones combined with the number of people who access social networks via mobile and not their desktop computers. If they even have a desktop/laptop computer.
Let’s look at some fascinating numbers on mobile social media usage.
Facebook Mobile Social Media Usage & Statistics
This is where we illustrate why testing how your content appears and functions on mobile devices is just as important as how it renders on desktop experiences. Users are consuming more social media content via mobile devices, particularly smartphones, more than ever.
Let’s use Facebook mobile usage as an example. Check out this most recent data from Facebook:
Worldwide “an increasing number of our daily active users (DAUs) are accessing Facebook through mobile devices, with users in Brazil, US and India representing key sources of mobile growth on average during December 2013 as compared to the same period in 2012.
About 395 million mobile DAUs accessed Facebook solely through mobile applications or its mobile website on average during the month ended December 31, 2013, increasing 65% from 240 million during the same period in 2012.
The remaining 161 million mobile DAUs accessed Facebook from both PCs and mobile devices during December 2013.”
Then how about this:
“We anticipate the rate of growth in mobile usage will continue to be the primary driver of our user growth for the foreseeable future and that usage through PCs may be flat or decline worldwide, including in key markets such as the United States and other developed markets in Europe and Asia,” – Facebook.
So as you can see, social media usage on mobile devices like smartphones is way on trend and will only increase as time goes on.
The Reason Why You Should Never Link Between Social Platforms
Brad at CD Baby published a post on the HostBaby blog that explains this quite nicely. He’s used sharing between Facebook and Twitter as an example. So, along with a hat tip to him, I’ll use his explanation here:
“Here’s how this often goes:
You post a link to Facebook on Twitter, double-check it, and the link works fine from the desktop computer you’re sitting in front of, on a browser that’s currently logged into both sites. But what happens to me, your follower, if I’m using my Twitter app on my iPhone and I click that Facebook link you posted?
Well, my Twitter app will load the Facebook mobile app and Facebook will ask me to login. Even if I’m logged into Facebook in my mobile browser, and even if I have the Facebook app on my phone, I will still be asked to login because I’m currently in the Twitter app.
Once I’ve logged into Facebook, I’ll be using the Facebook mobile site inside the Twitter app. Talk about inconvenient (and weird). I’ll be missing most of the Facebook app features I’m used to, and if I accidentally hit the back button, I’m back in Twitter land.
The same thing happens if I’m using the Facebook app on my phone and I click a Twitter link. It’s frustrating, and 90% of the time I am not motivated enough to get past the login page.”
Sound familiar? Have you ever experienced this only to give up and not even bother checking out the content? Or maybe you’ll get to it when you’re on your desktop computer and loge din top Facebook. Or maybe you won’t.
I can tell you that during my experience being a ‘user’ and not a ‘digital marketer’, when I’ve experienced the scenario above, I gave up and never saw the content.
Apparently this is just one issue. Brad goes on to say that Facebook’s privacy settings on mobile by default make content shared from Twitter difficult, if not impossible, to view.
Issues and Fixes
Let’s say I want to share a Pin (from Pinterest) on Twitter to get a client’s Twitter followers to possibly Repin our content on Pinterest or even better, Repin and Follow one or all of our boards.
Or for example, I want to increase the amount of Instagram followers for another client, and their Facebook fans seem to love to engage with the pictures we post on the company page. Maybe they’re on Instagram as well and will like and follow us there.
A suggested fix, from Brad, is that you post your content in an area you control, such as your website or blog. You’d then share your content from your website on say Twitter and Facebook – individually and separately. As opposed to posting a Pin and sharing that Pin from your Pinterest board, on Twitter, for example.
I’ve always supported making your website home base HQ. Posting content on your website and sharing that content, on relevant social media platforms, directly from your website.
You can have social media widgets on your website or landing page where people can still “like”, “follow”, “circle”, etc, your social pages directly from your website or landing page.
Users do not need to leave your site to go to that particular social profile for you to get engagement! You set it up so they don’t have to leave the landing page to engage with your content.
Be careful how you share your content. Always test your links on desktop and mobile devices – both tablets and smartphones to ensure the user sees what you want them to see, the way you want them to see it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and your experiences with this issue.
Have you ever experienced this? What was the result?
Better yet, do you have any of your own fixes?
Please share in the comments below.
If you’d like to discuss this more personally, feel free to reach out. I’m also happy to meet in person or via Skype.