07.08.2015 The rise of the mobile: A guide to optimising social media content

Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Data Report released this week shows that smartphones are now the preferred device for a third of internet access. This is an increase from 23% in 2014, with laptop use down by 10% in the same period.

This changes the game in terms of social media access and use of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which look very different on a computer screen compared to a mobile screen. Social media mobile users also tend to share content up to twice as often as those using a desktop computer.

So should we be paying more attention to our smartphone users, and how they interact with the platforms?

Stop the scroll

Mobile social media is all about scrolling, forever scanning reams and reams of content until something grabs your attention.

The average human being has an attention span of just seven seconds, according to this video from Equalman, so drop the long Facebook posts that tend to be ignored and lead with the visual. This works across all social media platforms, of course you cannot write a long tweet due to the character limit. Not only will a visual take up more room on the newsfeed, but they can be more attention-grabbing than text.

Ensure your picture is simple and easy to appreciate or understand. Users on their mobiles tend to be distracted or filling time while scrolling through social media feeds. If you manage to get their attention, you will only hold it for a few seconds and anything that is too difficult to understand will only decrease this time.

Still include text, but make sure the text and images complement each other to meet the same end.

What is the aim of the post?

A social media post should always redirect users to a ‘rich content platform’, which is somewhere that holds additional content. Whether that’s a blog, news story or elsewhere on your website, you need to ensure that you optimise the ‘post-click’ experience for mobile use.

If you’re not sure what it means to optimise a webpage for social media, not to worry, we’ve written a handy blog here – aren’t we good?

Of course, visual content not only works for mobile sites, it is proven to generate great engagement on desktop social media sites as well. It’s important to consider all forms of access when sharing social content but increasingly, as mobile becomes the preferred point of access, the limits and opportunities need to be considered.