March 10, 2023

How to optimise social media content for mobile

How to optimise social media content for mobile

How to optimise social media content for mobile

In marketing, you have to go where the action is. Social media is where the conversation is happening and it’s happening mostly on mobile devices.

Are you currently reading this on a 4.7 inch smartphone? There's a high chance you are. Smartphones and social media are evolving side by side and you have to make sure your brand keeps up.

In this blog, we'll give you some pointers on how to optimise your social media content for mobile. We’ll cover in detail why mobile is important, why it's important to focus on ‘one post, one job', and outline the three key considerations when creating mobile-first content. So, let’s get started!

Why is mobile important?

Around 90% of Facebook users are browsing via mobile. The percentage on LinkedIn sits at 60%, whilst pretty much the only users browsing Instagram through desktop browsers, are social media marketers like us!

Whilst most social media channels were born in a desktop environment, thanks to smartphones, they now predominantly reside in the palms of our hands. People are browsing these networks on the go – on the train, in the park, and, yes, even on the toilet.

This means that social media marketers need to adopt a ‘mobile-first’ approach to their posts when publishing content on these channels.

Browsing mobile phone on train station

One Post, One Job

Your average Facebook user in Australia scrolls through 70 metres of news-feed per day. It’s amazing our thumbs haven’t fallen off!

Whilst it’s great that our audience is spending so much time there, it means that they're scrolling pretty quickly, only halting when they come across ‘thumb-stopping’ content – content that grabs their attention and they plonk their thumb down to halt the scroll and view your post.

As a result, we need to have a clear and concise objective in mind for our posts. Busy, confusing posts with multiple calls to action will just encourage your audience to skim past. So remember, one post, one job.

How do you optimise social media posts for mobile?

There are three key elements you’ll need to consider when you optimise social media content for mobile devices. Firstly, you'll need to think about your media – the visual component of your post. Secondly, you'll need to hone your copywriting skills. Finally, you'll need to consider your content links. Taking these key elements into account will increase your likelihood of success, wherever your audience is viewing your content.

It starts with your media (your visuals)

I don’t want to say it’s all about your media … but it’s mainly about your media.

As marketers, we’re often creating and publishing our content on a desktop which can cause us to lose a bit of perspective as to how our content may look when experienced on a mobile. That text across your image may look great in Canva on your 27-inch monitor, but what about in the palm of the hand?

Browsing social media on mobile

With social media images, make sure they're cropped well so that your main focal point is clear. If you’re putting text over the image, check to make sure that font size isn’t teeny-tiny.

If you’re using videos, the vast majority of your audience will be watching it with the sound off – you need to ensure your video tells a visual story and that there are subtitles for any dialogue. We would typically encourage you to hard-code them into your video file so that it’s more versatile when you publish on difference channels.

Experiment with square video. It will take up more of the user’s mobile feed, as well as still looking great on the desktop experience. You may also want to keep your videos shorter, around that 30 second mark. Whilst data speeds have gone up and costs have come down, you may struggle to get higher video completion rates on news-feed orientated channels.

Hone your social media copywriting skills

There’s no doubt that your visual component of your post is the key to grabbing eyeballs. However, once your audience has paused, you’ll want to make sure your copy is mobile-friendly.

You’ve likely noticed it yourself. When it comes to the difference between desktop and mobile, the preloaded and visible copy on a post in the news feed is shorted when on mobile version. This means that we have fewer words visible unless that user hits the ‘see more’ button.

Whilst it’s not an exact science as copy is edited based on a few variables, you may end up with around 30% less text visible on mobile than on desktop experiences.

When crafting your social media copy, think about that first sentence – those first seven or so words which you want to grab your reader’s attention, so they continue to read and click the ‘see more’ button.

Ann Handley quote about copywriting

Make it sharp, include powerful or emotive words, and perhaps even pose a question. Despite your own personal preference, don’t be afraid to trial the use of emojis in your copy. The added visuals may be just what you need to capture that mobile audience.

Links? They’re part of the journey

If you’re sharing content that links to your website or landing pages – blogs, resources, etc. – you will need to be aware as to how they need to be mobile-optimised.

Load time is important. Remember, your audience is on the bus, on the train, perhaps relaxing for a couple of seconds before the kids come screaming through the door – you need to make sure that the site you send them to is fast-loading.

A slow site can impact bounce rates and conversion, that is if they even hang around to wait for your content to load. Ensure whichever web-asset you’re linking to loads quickly, ideally, under three seconds.

Loading please wait gif from gfycat

Also consider mobile if you’re using lead magnets with forms. Too many form fields may deter a mobile audience as they’re fumbling around on a smartphone and not on a full keyboard experience. Typically, shorter and fewer fields will increase conversion rates. Of course, this depends on how awesome your lead magnet is!

Of course, your website needs to be mobile optimised and responsive.


So there you have it, all you need to know about crafting your content for a mobile focused world. We’ve covered: Why mobile is important, why you should focus on ‘one post, one job', and the three key considerations when you optimise social media content for mobile – of media, copy and links.

Tell us in the comments if there’s anything you think makes great mobile content, and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to learn more amazing social media marketing tips and tricks.

Jonathon Tanner

Jonathon Tanner

Co-CEO and Co-Founder

Co-CEO and Co-Founder of SMC, earned Social Media Educator of the Year from SMMI. With vast experience in social media strategy and content marketing, he's also a co-founder of other businesses. Specialising in growth strategy, Jon has a background in management consulting specialising in M&A.

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