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The most overrated platforms for mobile marketing

The most overrated platforms for mobile marketing Krista Chacko

Trying to generate buzz around your business? It's natural to think the more exposure you receive, the better. However, knowing how to communicate to your customers will help make your brand sticky and complete. Since you need to focus your communication, tread delicately in these waters.


With Instagram, you post a picture and customers "like" your pictures or follow you. Therefore, they will like your brand and buy your products. Where it gets tricky is in order for customers to see your picture, you need a mix of followers and hashtags. There's no way to deep link your picture to your product unless you put a link in the description. Therefore, direct sales are more difficult. 

And, just because your pictures have a lot of hearts, doesn't mean you'll increase in Google searches (similar to Facebook "likes").  You have to work just as hard to end up in more Google search results.

Instagram does not have a "share" function -- whereas with the other platforms, customers can share the company's posts across their networks, spreading that company's brand much farther. Here, Instagram posts almost go "dead" after a few hours of customers seeing them. The choice for the customers sits at "like" or keep scrolling, and there's not a clear call-to-action for a conversion to buy.

Finally, you run the risk of your products/posts on Instagram being muddled with start-up shops of people looking to use Instagram as a classier eBay. People will "heart" your product, but unless they truly like it, they won't visit your profile and will just keep scrolling.


While Twitter allows you to communicate back and forth with your followers, it's difficult to make your tweets reinforce your brand, draw customers to your website, and report ROI from tweets that aren't offering free goodies or direct invites. This is especially tricky for B2B marketing. For instance, if a contact has been following you on Twitter for a while and finally made the decision to visit your site and convert but, rather than clicking through on Twitter, they decide to Google you and come to the site to fill out a "Contact Us" form, then the source would tell you that they came from organic search; however, the initial source was actually a tweet.

And finally, it should be said that it is difficult to be clever while marketing at the same time. In those instances, either ill-timed tweets, confusing tweets (ah hem, JCP during the New York Super Bowl #tweetingwithmittens), or tweets that make your company look racist or ill-informed (Delta's tweet following the Ghana/U.S. 2014 World Cup match) just confuse the general public. In the end, anyone can tweet, but teams that consistently build a brand by being witty, clever, relevant, and timely without crossing the line are rarer.


The lure of Pinterest is that it has a ton of people using it. Literally millions of people (mostly women) visit, pin, scroll, and search. At any given moment, there's pinning, re-pinning, and more pinning happening all the time. The trouble with Pinterest lies in broken links and outdated products. If your picture is pinned and the URL updated, anyone who pins it afterwards will have a broken link. Additionally, there are no sale opportunities from Pinterest (which Google shopping tries to solve). You still have to go from pin to purchase -- which on a mobile device is easier said than transacted because you have to go from one app to the mobile web.


LinkedIn is designed to connect person to person not business to business. It shifts contacts across networks, so it's not awkward when you "Connect" with someone who you knew of at your old company. However, it isn't a great place for marketing a company because people use it to build their own personal brand. If your employees use it, that's good for you. If they use it to drive consumers to your website or webinars, that's better. If you want to try to measure any ROI from it, good luck because the nature of content that a person is consuming on LinkedIn usually does not lead to a direct purchase.

Banner ads or videos (in any app)

Banner ads or videos in apps seem like a great way to get seen. However, on most mobile devices, banner ads are too small or are just accidentally tapped and instantly closed. While used on the desktop to remind your customer that they left items in their shopping cart, on a mobile device, you risk just disrupting their activity. Your ad must be compelling enough to switch from their current activity on their device to either your app or mobile site. Finally, only 13 percent of people are open to having advertising pushed to their phone (Mobile Marketer, June 20, 2014). However, that 13 percent is happy and satisfied and doesn't feel interrupted when the advertising is targeted to the experience it's entering. Knowing your customers and market well means that you don't banner blast but banner target.

Krista Chacko is mobile delivery analyst at Solstice Mobile.

Co-author Sarah Berger is the marketing coordinator at Solstice Mobile.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

Krista is a Mobile Delivery Consultant at Solstice Mobile. She is a graduate of North Park University and alumnus of CSC's Financial Services team. Krista has several years of business analysis and agile methodology experience. Her project...

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