Four years from now, the social advertising market will grow to a projected US$11 billion, the outpouring of mobile devices will continue, and more users will use their phones to access social media. For those reasons, smart social marketers are making the most of paid advertising techniques and organic content to reach their target mobile users.
One-sixth, or around 17 percent, of online usage happens and passes through more than one billion mobile devices across the world, and 80 percent of that traffic gain access to social media. Nowadays, people choose to catch up with the latest status updates or tweets from their smartphones and tablets rather than boot up a desktop or laptop computer to the same tasks on social networking sites.
A Medium for Social Networking
The notion of social networking established itself as a tool for sharing. Whether to show life moments or reveal interests, social platforms have become the definitive media to be heard, to make a statement, or to establish an identity.
Mobile devices have integrated features such as high-definition cameras and GPS that allow even the least tech-savvy user to create content easily on his or her own. In addition, social and editing apps continue to improve in generating more professional-looking, sophisticated content for mobile users, and keep the whole experience as personal as possible.
People are keen on taking, carrying, and sharing a piece of their daily life using their phone. They enhance the content to create and share something beautiful and expressive of their feelings. Provided that the receptive audience will continue to increase in producing a stream of personal media, then people will keep on returning to these mobile societies.
With more and more people visiting social networks from mobile devices, they will understand that these devices offer more than better content creation and sharing. Social platforms also take into account real-time connections. Mobile users have become accustomed to sharing photos, videos, and status updates in real time that they think it is irrelevant to post content that took place hours ago.
Before real-time update became the norm, it was a mere notion, concept, idea at a time when mobile devices were still gaining traction. At present, most people have adopted and accepted that they have to know the whereabouts and wellbeing of family and friends. They even subscribe or follow the latest updates from favorite celebrities and organizations while they are on the go. It allows mobile users to see, hear, and feel the things happening to their connections.
Well-made mobile apps for social networking products and services accounted for the surge in mobile usage of social networks. With a simple log in, smartphone users immediately have a means to keep in touch and connect with friends from a mobile interface they can carry along. Mobile users with feature phones can still visit social networking sites through their mobile portals, such as m.facebook.com and mobile.twitter.com.
From a smartphone or tablet, users can use several features of social networking apps, such as updating statuses, tweeting, viewing and sharing photos, search for contact information, reading newsfeeds, and instant messaging. Although the functionalities in mobile apps are somewhat limited, it seems to be enough for most users to keep them engaged, on condition that the key features are available.
A Medium for Social Marketing and Advertising
Based on a study by eMarketer, the ecommerce sales using mobile devices is likely to reach up to $41.68 billion by yearend and $100 billion by 2017. The analytics firm predicts tablet retail ecommerce sales to hit $26.05 billion, or 62.5 percent of total mobile ecommerce sales, and smartphone ecommerce sales will have 35 percent of mcommerce sales. A study by Adobe also found tablets to be more dominant than smartphones, with 43 percent of tablet users shopping online through their mobile device.
Social networking has transformed the way people communicate, keep in contact, and share information or content with family, friends, and colleagues. Send messages, view and share photos, and stay updated on news, promos, and even product offerings – all of these services are now available to social network users without the need for emails, access to full photo-sharing sites, IM clients, and a desktop or laptop computer. The more time people spend on these services, the more valuable social networking sites are to the eyes of social media marketers.
Artists, recording companies, and marketers benefit from shooting photos and creating video. They upload these rich multimedia content through mobile apps for fans and followers. Artists upload and post music videos in order to share it on Facebook or YouTube and draw millions of people to watch them.
Social media marketers have two great opportunities: brand impressions and sales conversion. Putting up free premium content on social networking sites will promote the brand and inspire or push users to purchase products and services sooner or later. A more targeted approach to mobile users, for example, is for the company to prompt them in purchasing ringtones or tracks straight from their smartphone or tablet. A short video ad may provide a good user experience if it informs about relevant issues or topics, and provided that the social marketer does not overdo brand promotion.
Smart social marketers take advantage of the unique features of mobile devices that are not found in desktop and laptop computers. People tend to immerse themselves on social media through their smartphones every so often, especially during their downtime. Mobile users seek for distractions while waiting for a meeting, in a hurry, or wherever they are.
Among the clearest benefits of social networking through mobile devices is location awareness. Apart from GPS, mobile devices come with Wi-Fi and mobile network positioning to determine where they are in real time, and this has led to opportunities and features such as check-ins.
Location-based mobile social marketing allows companies to provide deals that encourage people to visit their establishments. Foursquare, and similar websites, even allow businesses to give rewards to people through a point-based gaming system for returning to their store, and provide discounted prices for a particular number of check-ins.
Social media marketing techniques that use location awareness come in different forms. A company may offer deals for a particular event, such as a festival. Serving offers and coupons through social media based on the location of a mobile device is another opportunity for social marketers.
An advantage of using mobile social network apps is that people use these software sufficiently enough to provide more targeted information than on a full-blown social network interface. Some apps even allow local advertisers to receive more highly targeted demographics than are available on Facebook, the world’s largest social network.
Location is not the only way to target social network users with mobile devices. As you will see in this infographic by Unified, there are more ways to take advantage of social marketing on smartphones and tablets.