You may have heard – mobile phone usage is on the rise and it has been widely predicted that during 2014 mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage.* One third of Facebook users and one half of Twitter users access the site via mobile. A staggering 91% of adults keep their smartphones within arm’s reach at all times*. Many commercial businesses are taking the opportunities presented by mobile technology – on the whole, social businesses have been slower to react. Social businesses focused on delivering social impact in the form of ‘outputs’, ‘soft outcomes’ or a combination of both should still ensure they embrace the opportunities presented by mobile technology. Below are 5 ways they can do this.
 
1. Social Media 
 
It is a very straightforward task to create a Facebook page, a list on Twitter or a group on LinkedIn. All of these Social Media platforms have mobile app versions and can become one of ways you actually deliver your social impact. Consider an organisation created to reduce youth employment – a lot of content, resources, interaction, support, and community building can be delivered online using existing Social Media platforms.  The organisation’s content could reach a wider audience because of this approach.      
 
2. Campaign Outreach
 
Consider the statistic above that 91% of adults keep their mobile phone within arm’s reach. If your social business is creating a communications plan for a specific campaign around an event or donor appeal, for example, you should aim to reach people via their mobile phones. It is likely to yield a much higher level of engagement – all things being equal.  One more mind-blowing statistic is the fact that 90 percent of text messages get read within 3 minutes of delivery.
 
3. Responsive Design
 
To engender greater and easier interaction many social businesses would benefit from ensuring that their websites use responsive design. This is an approach that means there are different versions of the website depending on whether the site is accessed from a desktop, tablet, iPhone or android phone etc.
 
4. Dedicated App
 
Depending on the focus of the social business a bespoke app could be created enabling greater engagement. This is likely to necessitate funds for the creation of the app and will not be a route open to everyone.
 
5. Mobile Currency
 
Understandably a lot has been written about the game-changing nature of Kenya’s M-Pesa, a mobile money solution that allows Kenyans to transfer money by mobile phone. If your organisation’s social impact includes direct financial support to individuals from Spring 2014 this option will also be available in the UK as part of the Payments Council Mobile Payments project.
 
There will likely be other specific ways that you social business can increase its social impact utilising mobile technology – brainstorm these internally before approaching a mobile marketing specialist to bring them to life.
 
We hope you have found this information useful. If you have any questions relating to this post feel free to give us a call on +44 (0)207 148 6720 or email via quentin.johns@hubwestminster.net to start the conversation.
Follow us on twitter @hubwestminster to keep up to date with our Impact community.
Best wishes
 
Impact Hub Westminster Team
 
*Sources
http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/
Source: ImpigeMobileStrategy.com, 2011
http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2013/11/12/fifty-essential-mobile-marketing-facts/