Guest Post: Why Your Campaigns on Facebook Are Failing

This is a guest post by Mario Zelaya, Managing Director at Majestic Media, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer specializing in apps and promotions for web and mobile.

Campaigns launched on Facebook tend to include a few core elements:

  1. Sponsored stories or ads
  2. Engagement with fans
  3. A social application that drives/propels that experience
  4. Out of home integration (TV, radio, print, etc.)

However, there’s one key element that marketers continue to miss when they launch a campaign on Facebook: mobile. It’s a key factor that will affect your campaigns reach and overall performance.

If mobile isn’t a part of your Facebook marketing strategy, you’re already behind. Smartphone use is at an all-time high and Facebook’s mobile reach is progressing right alongside it. Facebook reaches almost as many users on tablets and smartphones as they do on PCs. Scary isn’t it?

According to numbers published by Facebook in October 2012, the social network reaches 66 percent of tablet users and 62 percent of smartphone users, almost hitting their 73 percent PC reach. At the rate it’s going, smartphone and tablet users will soon surpass desktop users in the next year or two. Globally, Facebook has seen approximately a 49 percent year over year growth in smartphone use and now has over 680 million users logging into Facebook with their mobile devices.

Another scary fact to throw out at you: people spend an average of 8.5 hours each month on Facebook using their mobile device. That number has increased by 17 percent in the last six months and the way the smartphone audience is trending, that number’s only going to increase.

These numbers not only point to how important it is for Facebook to be a large part of your marketing strategy, but how your campaign needs a mobile extension for your brand to excel and reach your audience. Failing to tailor your campaign to these users can cut your potential reach in half or even more depending on your demographic. In the next few years, it will be nearly impossible to make a significant impact without mobile integration.

So how do you capitalize on this so your Facebook marketing campaign and strategy don’t fail? It’s quite simple. Every campaign and execution you launch must have a mobile version. So if you have a social application on Facebook, it needs to have a mobile version, otherwise, you forego the opportunity to truly reach and amplify your brand’s voice. Without a mobile extension, you’ll only be reaching about half of your potential audience. Not only that, the images you post on your fan page and who you target ads to, should be optimized for mobile audiences.

Before you can develop a mobile strategy, it’s important to understand mobile constraints and figure out what you’re looking to accomplish with a mobile-optimized experience. With advancements in HTML5, virtually any kind of web mobile application is possible without requiring a native mobile app, the latter of which can be tedious and time consuming to build.

If you’re looking to build a user-generated contest that’s available to mobile users, it’s completely doable today with Android devices and iOS6. But did you know that devices with iOS5 and earlier won’t be able to include an experience where users need to upload a photo? This is a constraint on the iOS platform where HTML5 is unable to access the phone’s gallery. It’s these are the types of constraints you must know about before you build out a mobile version of your campaign. Like everything else in marketing, it starts with a solid, strategic foundation.

Facebook’s mantra is to always start with mobile. It’s much easier building and figuring out an experience on a smaller screen and expanding outward to desktop, but much more difficult trying to do it in the opposite direction. More importantly, if you’re not thinking about mobile at all when launching a Facebook Marketing campaign, then you’ve lost before you’ve even begun. That’s why each strategy and campaign we release has a mobile optimized version. It’s simple, cheap, smart, and with today’s smartphone-dominated market, it’s the right thing for all of us marketers to do if we want to see success.

The Facebook platform is shifting from desktop to mobile, and it’s happening right in front of us, at a shockingly fast rate. We all need to prepare and become aware of the changing landscape.

Mario Zelaya is the founder and managing director of Majestic Media, Canada’s first Facebook Marketing & Technology agency. His extensive experience on the Facebook platform includes building out social strategy, campaign ideation, app architecture and social design for brand clients such Volkswagen, Kia, General Motors, Mazda, Gatorade, Hot Wheels, Infiniti, Nissan, Visa and many others. Majestic Media has executed over 200 large-scale campaigns and works with big brands and agencies in helping them to get results and ROI through campaigns that are social by design. Follow Majestic Media & Mario on Twitter @majesticmedia @zelaya.