Twitter's three Cs explains how mobile is dominating the world

Tariq Slim, head of telco and tech at Twitter UK, took to the stage at Social Media Week London to discuss how mobile is transforming communication, content and consumption, and explain how brands can harness the increasing power of mobile devices when publishing content via social.

Tariq Slim: Twitter UK's telco and tech lead (Twitter/@TariqSlim)
Tariq Slim: Twitter UK's telco and tech lead (Twitter/@TariqSlim)

Speaking at Social Media Week London, Tariq Slim (@TariqSlim) highlighted how much Brits love their mobile devices by opening with an eye-watering stat.

According to research conducted by Deloitte, Britons unlock their phones one billion times a day collectively.

See all Social Media Week London coverage

To support this, Slim has revealed three top trends driven by mobile phones, in the ways brands distribute and audiences consume social content, which Twitter has identified in recent months.

1. Communication

Slim said: "The mobile device has changed the way we communicate with each other in a drastic, automatic way." He supported this statement with a case study on Jun, a small town in Spain run by a mayor who wanted to use social media and mobile to improve communication between him and the 3,000 people that live there.

Slim explained: "Twitter is used as the primary tool in Jun to communicate. Police wear their Twitter handles on the sleeves of their shirts to encourage people to talk with the force via the platform on their phones if they see something while out and about."

This transparent way of communication is changing the way this town is operating. Silm said: "It’s not a one-way communication, it’s a direct link between the nation and the important people.

"Platforms such as Twitter give consumers the chance to have a two-way dialogue with brands, and do it instantaneously via their mobile devices."

Slim went on to illustrate how high-street fashion retailer Topshop served content on Twitter during London Fashion Week.

He said: "They used Twitter conversations to power experiences. Topshop used tools to analyse conversations during the week, find out top trending words live to then incorporate into its Twitter posts and optimise it to reflect the latest and most popular fashion styles and items.

"Those posts would then link to a page on the Topshop website to allow social media users to buy that trend."

— Topshop (@Topshop) February 23, 2015

This immediate response to consumers’ thoughts and behaviours on social via mobile proved successful to Topshop. Slim explained: "This strategy drove a huge amount of customer engagement; 3.5 million customer engagements on Twitter, and Topshop saw a 75% uplift in sales during the period."

2. Content

Slim said: "Online content is nothing new, but platforms like Twitter help people and brands to share their content with millions of people." He went on to describe some of the content formats that work well for brands looking to target consumers using social via their mobile devices.

Short-form content such as GIFs, native video, Vine and Periscope are being increasingly used by brands on Twitter, Slim explained.

Some brand examples highlighted were EE and its use of Vine to amplify its Glastonbury festival sponsorship, and Samsung UK using short-form video to showcase its products in a more creative way.

On short-form content, Slim said: "The first three seconds are key, they are absolutely critical. As people scroll down their feeds via their mobiles, this is the amount of time you have to grab their attention."

3. Consumption

"Consumption and behaviour are rapidly changing because of technology," explained Slim. "We don’t need to carry around loads of hardware to discover and capture things, just our smartphone."

However, the way both consumers and brands view mobile at the moment is as a separate channel from TV, radio and other mediums. Slim said: "It’s a siloed channel, we should view it right through all media and how it can complement all other channels."

Slim’s example of how this can be achieved successfully was through Vodafone’s use of Twitter to amplify its activity at this year’s Capital FM Summertime Ball.

The telecoms brand drove communication not just to tell people about its event sponsorship. Slim explained: "The brand’s content was strong, visual, optimised and in real time. It helped people feel like they were at the event even if they weren’t there.

"Vodafone thought about the people who were out and about and how short-form was the best way for people to consume content via their mobile."