IGoogle on a Tabletn recent years, mobile Internet usage has increased dramatically and smartphones, tablets and other mobile computing devices are now the primary point of connectivity for a rapidly growing mobile demographic.  For Internet marketers, reaching this massive user base is essential in creating more effective campaigns.

In order to truly achieve optimal visibility throughout social media, developing mobile-friendly sites, pages and content are a must.  With Facebook and Twitter ramping up their mobile advertising efforts, it has become easier for social media marketers to build campaigns which target tablet and smartphone users, but even with some help from the networks themselves, it is still important to fully understand the metrics of mobile online marketing.

The Big Difference
The most critical aspect to keep in mind when developing mobile-specific content is compatibility.  Does your site have a design that looks good and loads quickly on a tablet or smartphone?  Is your rich content mobile-friendly?  If not, any pages or content shared throughout the mobile Web is virtually useless.  Additionally, social media marketers can take full advantage of popular apps such as Instagram in order to generate more original content geared toward mobile users.

The impact of mobile device usage on social media campaigns is already being noticed and as new “must-haves” such as Apple’s iPad Mini, Google’s Nexus 7 and Microsoft’s Surface make their long-anticipated debuts this holiday season, the market is expected to grow even larger in the months ahead.  Every social media marketer should pay attention to their mobile audience and understand the value of building campaigns with this ever-increasing demographic in mind.

Share your thoughts on social media marketing in the comments section below or drop me a line at brymshaw@webimax.com or @brwebimax on Twitter.

For all of you SEO marketers who think that the mobile app Instagram is just another fun, silly recreational activity, think again. Like its social media predecessors, a la Twitter and Facebook, this popular photo-sharing service has recently proven its clout as an effective marketing tool with a great deal of promise and potential. The evidence comes from Ford’s use of the app to promote its Ford Fiesta throughout Europe this past fall, in a recent report by Mashable.

Ford, with the help of London-based marketing firm Blue Hive, hosted a six week contest on Instagram, titled “Fiestagram.” Each week, Ford would release a hashtag related to one of the Ford Fiesta’s features. What is interesting, however, is that Ford would choose words that were more open-ended, like #entry and #music, thus leaving the door open for many creative submissions from the contest’s participants.

After every round of submissions, Ford gave away multiple prizes to those who submitted the most stunning or striking photos. The prizes grew in value every week, with the sixth and final one being a Ford Fiesta. By the end of the competition, an astonishing 16,311 images total had been submitted to #fiestagram. By all accounts, this was a highly successful SEO marketing campaign, making excellent use of a social media outlet.

What exactly about this Ford-concocted formula made it a successful marketing endeavor? There are several reasons. First of all, Ford chose a unique yet highly popular social media site that offered an already-existing strong, supportive, and inclusive community. Members of the Instagram community maintain an almost nurturing environment, in which they proactively appreciate and promote each other’s images. Many encouraged each other to enter the competition. Thus they organically brought attention and greater participation to the contest.

Secondly, Ford took the time to understand the medium, and catered to it perfectly. Instagram is already a highly popular app throughout the world because it is really fun, intrinsically bringing out people’s desires to be creative, share their creative effort, and both give and receive support for them. On top of all that, the app is incredibly easy to use. Ford utilized the language of the community to make its promotion seem much more organic rather than forced, drawing users to it.

And the third reason for Ford’s success with #Fiestagram was its prize giveaways. Giving out multiples of increasingly valuable prizes every week not only kept participants excited and engaged, but drew many more into the contest. Of course, not every business has the financial clout to give away expensive prizes like iPads and cars, but even giving away samples of products can provide a huge boost to an SEO marketing campaign.

Ford’s #Fiestagram competition is an ideal example of how a company can successfully promote a product using social media. The more creative a business can make it, the better. With that in mind, take some time this weekend to consider how your business can best utilize any social media outlet to promote its newest product or service.