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Should Marketers Have a “Mobile First” Mindset? Twitter Seems to Think So

Twitter made headlines Monday when it announced that it was launching a new look for its desktop pages to unify the user experience across various platforms and devices. The microblogging platform tweeted a screenshot of its new design and said:

We’re now rolling out a refreshed http://twitter.com  reflecting the look & feel of our iOS & Android apps. pic.twitter.com/Mb6qjjP8Dm

While the new look isn’t live for everyone yet, Twitter said that the revamped website will be available to all users in the “coming days”.

With the new update, the homepage now displays each user’s cover image with their photo on the left-hand panel, along with their number of tweets, as well as their following and follower counts. Twitter kept the “Compose new Tweet” box intact, and the “Who to follow” as well as “Trends” boxes remain on the left-hand side of the page.

The right-hand panel, which displays the user’s Twitter stream pretty much remains the same. Twitter did change the color of its top toolbar from black to white, and save for the tweaks in their colors, the buttons and features on it remain unchanged.

In addition, the new Twitter now lets users personalize their profiles with an accent color, by going to twitter.com/settings > web design. According to Mashable, “users can change the color of features like the compose box and navigation icons, just as they used to change link colors in their feeds.”

As expected, people have mixed reactions towards the new design. Many Twitter users seem to appreciate the change and are tweeting about how much they love the new look, while other people aren’t so sure.

The Latest in Twitter’s Mobile-centric Moves

In other news, some Twitter advertisers also received an email yesterday encouraging them to check out Promoted Accounts in Timeline. Launched last month, this new feature lets businesses display their messages in the home timeline of mobile users. This allows them to be more prominent on mobile devices and according to Twitter, it will help businesses connect with the 76% of users accessing the service on their mobile device.

And if you can recall, prior to Promoted Accounts in Timeline, Twitter also enhanced its mobile targeting capabilities by allowing advertisers to segment users according to their mobile operating system version, specific device, and WiFi connectivity.  By doing so, businesses are able to launch truly customized mobile campaigns and tailor their messages based on the user’s location and device capabilities.

In addition to improved mobile targeting, Twitter also launched granular reporting analytics for advertiser campaigns, letting advertisers in on important OS version and device-related data that they can use to optimize future campaigns.

And as Twitter noted, the enhancement “helps advertisers reach users who are most important to them.” In its blog announcement, Twitter outlined the benefits of its new mobile targeting features and analytics which include:

  • Mobile app marketers can now reach users who have compatible OS versions, ideal device types for app usage with high connectivity to prompt a new download or re-engagement through an app card.
  • Telco marketers can now promote loyalty and rewards to users on their specific devices, or reach new prospects on older devices.
  • All marketers can focus their campaigns on users with device models that are indicative of demographics which align with their campaign goals.

 

Putting Mobile First

But let’s look beyond these updates and instead focus on the microblogging platform’s strategy. Twitter’s redesign to match the look and feel of its mobile apps, along with the enhancements to its mobile advertising products are clear indications of the company’s mobile-centric mindset. It’s evident that Twitter is prioritizing the small screen more than ever, and as online marketers, we can learn a lot from what the microblogging site is doing.

Marketers often hear a lot of tips about “optimizing for mobile” or “also thinking of mobile users”, but we’re past that now. We are now at a point wherein we shouldn’t just think about mobile users, we should prioritize them.

Whether you’re launching an ad campaign, revamping your website, or publishing content, resolve to do it with mobile users in mind.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that make it relatively simple to accomplish this. For instance, there are services such as Mobify and Mofuse that make it extremely easy to create mobile websites. For ad campaigns that require specific landing pages or opt-in forms, there are programs like LeadPages and OptimizePress that now offer capabilities to automatically make landing pages mobile-friendly. And if you’re publishing ebooks, whitepapers, and other PDF documents, you can use Uberflip, a service that can turn PDFs and other content types into in to responsive flipbooks so that they’re a joy to consume on mobile devices.

And if you haven’t done so yet, make sure people can find your company when they search for your business or category on their mobile device. You can do this by getting listed on Google and other relevant search engine and social network (Yelp, Foursquare, etc.)

If you’re in retail, you can enhance your mobile strategy by partnering up with shopping apps and getting your offers in front of mobile users. For example, there’s Red Laser, a top barcode-scanning app that allows businesses to submit their data feeds in order to get their products listed in the app. There’s also Yowzaa!!, a mobile app for shoppers that helps consumers find deals in their area.  If you’re selling products or services and want reel more mobile users into your store, be sure to look into these services.

The Bottom Line

All the news bits and tools mentioned above point to one thing: Mobile should be a priority this year.

No matter what type of business or website you have and whatever it is that you’re selling, launching or creating, it’s important to have a mobile-centric strategy. Like Twitter, marketers should launch web initiatives to mirror mobile, instead of the other way around. And the only way to do that is to develop websites, apps, and campaigns for the small screen first.

 

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

 Should Marketers Have a Mobile First Mindset? Twitter Seems to Think So
Founder and CEO at FullTraffic. Passionate about Search Engine Marketing and Optimization, regular writer for the FullTraffic Blog. Since 2005, FullTraffic has evolved to become one of the most important Traffic providers worldwide for small to medium sized businesses.
 Should Marketers Have a Mobile First Mindset? Twitter Seems to Think So

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4 thoughts on “Should Marketers Have a “Mobile First” Mindset? Twitter Seems to Think So

  1. If Twitter is so focused on mobile, why did they only update the desktop version of the site? I understand it’s now optimized for mobile use, too, but if that’s the case, why didn’t they just push their mobile app? The app is more mobile friendly than the site.

    But anyway, thanks for the resources! Those should still come in handy for marketing purposes.

    1. They updated their desktop version to match their mobile version. Unlike most sites, which make a mobile version or app based on their desktop one, Twitter did the opposite, updated their desktop version based on their mobile/app.

  2. I think “mobile first” is going to be the mindset for most marketers in 2014. Twitter’s mobile is a great example. You’re right on that modeling sites to mimic mobile is the future. Makes me think I have a few sites that need to be get on the mobile bandwagon.