How Mobile Micro-Moments Could Be Your Social Media Secret Weapon.

It is no secret that mobile has changed consumer behavior, but this post reveals how understanding this shift could lead to a social media marketing advantage. Nearly 9 out of 10 Internet users own a smartphone and mobile accounts for 65% of all digital media time as desktop has become a “secondary touch point.” For most people mobile is a 24/7 presence with 87% keeping their smartphone by their side night and day. This mobile first mentality has created unique opportunities for social media marketers.

Mobile Micro-Moments in Social Media Marketing

Marketers know it is important to understand the buyer’s journey. Buyer’s goals and behaviors change based on the stage of the buying cycle. Marketers should tailor social media messages to prepurchase, purchase and postpurchase customers. Yet increased mobile use has created a more fragmented buyer’s journey. Google calls this micro-moments or those hundreds of real-time, goal oriented mobile actions that influence decisions and preferences.

A marketer that creates social content with real-time, micro-moment relevance could influence brand preference over competitors. How much? The Wall Street Journal reports 69% of online customers say the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influence their perception of a brand. These micro-moments occur frequently as we instinctively turn to mobile devices to “act on a need, learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something.”

Decisions are made and preferences are shaped as people check their phones up to 150 times a day. Google’s research reveals there are four mobile moments marketers should study: “I want to know,” I want to go, ” “I want to do,” and “I want to buy.” One way to leverage micro-moments is through SEO and search advertising, but understanding these moments and consumer intent should also influence brand social media to increase real-time relevance.

Why micro-moments for social? Nearly 80% of social media time is spent on mobile, and more referral traffic can come from social media channels like Facebook than traditional search. Plus social media strategy is not all about followers and shares – social search is increasing. With 2 billion Facebook and 2.1 billion Twitter searches a day how can brands appear in more results? I suggest looking at your Social Media Content Calendar and ensuring that every week you are creating content that addresses each of these micro-moments.

I Want To Know Moments. In these moments consumers are researching and exploring. Be sure you provide educational content that informs and inspires. For example, if you are a company that sells outdoor gear provide tips and guides to enjoy the outdoors, tackle a tough mountain hike or reviews of new equipment. If you are a tax accountant you may want to create content about retirement plans or itemized deductions. Help customers turn to you for insight.

I Want To Go Moments. These moments are all about geo-targeting. Use your social media to target zip codes with unique location based messages. Here the outdoor brand could inform customers of local events such as group Kayak tours or store locations that carry the brand. A tax service might highlight locations, workshops and extended hours as April 15th approaches. Let customers know you are near.

I Want To Do Moments. In these moments someone is trying to figure something out now and are looking for answers. Are you creating valuable how-to content? An outdoor brand could consider a series on climbing knots or methods for purifying water while camping. The tax service could post quick answers to common tax questions such as tax brackets and standard deductions. Make sure you are helping your customers and potential customers not your competitor.

I Want To Buy Moments. Consumers are ready to buy but may not know what or how. In social these moments are about more than promotions and sales messages. Depending on your business this may require real-time marketing, getting customer service involved or even the sales department for B2B. The outdoor brand may sell group tours and have sales reps monitoring social media to provide answers to secure a booking. The tax service may have tax advisors monitoring social providing real time answers and building relationships that lead to a tax prep purchase.

Do micro-moments convert? There is evidence that social media likes, shares and comments contribute to higher search rankings. Also Google Analytics aggregated data reports that mobile’s share of online sessions has increased 20% in the last year with mobile conversion rates increasing 29% while time spent per visit has decreased 18%. People know what they want and are acting quicker. The marketers who understand this and create the content matching their intent could uncover a new competitive advantage.

Who has leveraged micro-moments? The Home Depot has turned “I want to do” moments into 43 million views by expanding their “how-to” collection as more DIYers turn to their YouTube app as they work on home projects. The credit repair company Progrexion discovered that customers in their “I want to know” moment needed education and began directing mobile traffic directly to their salespeople resulting in a 221% increase in mobile sales. FIAT made “I want to go” moments a part of their integrated campaign by focusing mobile content on nearest dealers helping grow unaided recall 127%. Sephora leveraged “I want to buy” moments by providing reviews of products customers were considering increasing confidence for in store purchase.

Have you considered how consumers turning to mobile first and fast can impact your social media strategy? What mobile first micro-moments could you leverage for competitive social media advantage?

To Win the Super Bowl of Ads and Social Media Don’t Bench Your MVP – Story

You may have heard about people in Vegas betting on the Super Bowl game, but brand marketers bet millions on the game every year as well. With the cost of $5 million for a 30 second Super Bowl ad and brands spending up to an additional 1 million on promotion to garner social media attention there is a lot riding on the ad game. We could call this the Super Bowl of Advertising and withe all the attention on views and shares it could also be the Super of Bowl of Social Media.

But with only 15% of the 60 to 70 ads run during the game able to make the top 10 why take such a risk? In an age of fragmented media and multiple device distraction, the Super Bowl is the last place advertisers can over 100 million people focused on watching the ads. Last year Google/YouTube reported that 330,000 hours of Super Bowl ads were played back online during the game. Not only are consumers watching, they are re-watching their favorites. This additional social media buzz is a big draw.

The risk is high for brand marketers, but also for the advertising agencies they hire. There is at least one reported case where an ad agency lost a 60 million dollar account for their Super Bowl ad not making the Top Ten list in USA Today’s Ad Meter despite noteworthy past performance. Interestingly the turning point for that brand and their agency seems to have come from leaving behind the previous MVP of their ads – chimpanzees.

What can we learn from the winners of the Super Bowl of ads? The proclaimed King of Beers, Budweiser, is the consumer confirmed King of Super Bowl ads. No brand has had more top performing Super Bowl ads than Bud and if they had an MVP it would have to be Budweiser’s Clydesdales. Clydesdale Super Bowl ads have finished in the top 5 of USA Today’s Ad Meter 8 times in the last 10 years. An 80% success rate is amazing.

Even Tom Brady and Matt Ryan only complete roughly 65% of their pass attempts. With an exceptional success rate Budweiser decided to bench its MVP in last year’s Super Bowl ad “Not Backing Down” where the Clydesdales and story arc took a minor role to product and brewery scenes. The result was dropping down to 28th in the poll. It would be like only playing Brady and Ryan a couple downs in the big game.

Does this mean the secret to Super Bowl Ad success is animals? Not necessarily. Out of USA Today’s Ad Meter top 5 since it started in 1989 only about 34% stared animals. That’s not very good betting odds. Plus, if you look at the rest of the ads below the top 10 and even the ones at the bottom of the poll many featured animals.

Like with MVPs such as Brady or Ryan it’s not just the players you also need good plays to win. For commercials it’s not just the characters, you need a good plot to attract and hold attention. The series of plays called in the game and the actions in the commercial move a story forward creating drama and tension. You have protagonist (Brady or Ryan) and antagonists (Patriots or Falcons) – opposing forces.

I just described Gustav Freytag’s theory of drama known as Freytag’s pyramid – the five-act formula used by Shakespeare. My research with Michael Coolsen analyzed two years of Super Bowl ads and found the key to Super Bowl ad popularity is whether it tells a story or not. It didn’t matter if you had animals or celebrities and used humor or sex appeal, the underlying factor to likability was plot. Super Bowl Ad Poll ratings were higher for commercials that follow a full five-act story arc and the more acts commercials had (like 3 versus 2) the higher the ratings.

Most of the Budweiser Clydesdale ads told full stories with the horses playing staring roles. In the three years they dipped below the top 10 (#17 in 2011, #26 in 2012, and #28 in 2016) the Clydesdales were not main characters and more importantly the ads did not tell compelling complete stories. Based on this playbook for winning Super Bowl Ads how will the do this year?

Reports indicate the Clydesdales will make only a brief cameo yet the commercial does tell the story of German immigrant Adolphus Bush’s journey to America. In a “Moneyball” type strategy, if the brand does tell a good story there just could be enough dramatic arc to make the top 10 despite the diminished role of their MVP Clydesdales. Of course, like the game itself there could be some upsets, but depending on story is a good bet for any brand when it comes to the Super Bowl of Advertising and Social Media.

Take a look for yourself. Here are the #1 Ad Meter Budweiser Super Bow commercial “Lost Dog” from 2015, last year’s #28 Super Bowl ad “Don’t Back Down” from 2016, and this year’s 2017 Super Bowl ad “Born The Hard Way.”