Almost every brand is on to social media today. While we are busy on ways to engage the audience, there is something else that seems to have been taken simply as a happy coincidence. The device we mostly use to engage them! The mobile world is evolving. It has been a strong driver of the growth of the engagement levels we see in the social media world.
The new Neilsen numbers indicate that mobile app usage grew 30% from last year. 37% of Americans are turning increasingly to mobile apps to stay connected to their networks on Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn.
SOCIAL NETWORKS & BLOGS STILL THE TOP DESTINATION
|Top 10 online categories by share of total internet time > Home and Work (May 2011)|
USERS SPEND MORE TIME ON FACEBOOK THAN ANY OTHER WEB BRAND!
|The 2nd and 3rd positions have been taken by Blogging services - Tumblr having tripled its audience over the past year|
THE IPAD ISN'T A FACEBOOK DEVICE YET!
(THE MOBILE PHONE IS THE SECOND MOST PREFERED DEVICE AFTER COMPUTERS)
|Nearly 2 in 5 social media users access these services from their mobile phones|
While the iPad may be a popular way to watch movies, check e-mail, or read a book, it turns out Apple's tablet is not the go-to device for social media consumption, at least not yet. If Facebook ever releases its long-rumored app for iPad or its equally rumored iPad-optimized website, iPad usage for social media may increase by 2012.
The web browsing feature turns out to be the 3rd most valued feature in a mobile phone, as important as downloading or playing music and third only to GPS and social networking!
AND ITS NOT ONLY THE YOUNG WHO ARE MOBILE!
|Year-Over-Year Mobile Internet Audience Growth to Social Networking Sites|
As app usage grows, it is not at the expense of the Mobile Internet usage. Mobile Internet usage - the use of a browser on a mobile device - is up 47 percent over the last year. The Mobile Internet audience to social networking sites is up 62 percent during the same period, as publishers continue to optimize their content across a new generation of connected devices.
SOCIAL NETWORKING APP USAGE IS UP BY 30%
|Social Networking App users above 35 yrs of age contribute to 42% of Facebook, 39% of Twitter &60% of LinkedIn users.|
Social Networking apps are the third most-used type of mobile application and Facebook ranks as the most popular app across all operating system while twitter the #5 most used app on Blackberry and Windows Mobile.
Around half the number of these users are using mobile apps in the entertainment, banking/ finance, shopping/ retail and dining/ restaurant categories.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MOBILE WEBSITE?
Mobile website is a trend that never caught on in the earlier days, though a lot of brands did capitalise on it by being there at the right time. For so many of us, by the time we understood what WAP meant, the mobile browser was born providing a richer user experience and while it still had limitations both feature wise and in terms of usability, the absence of an engaging community in the mobile internet world was the main factor why a strategy was never put in place to address the mobile website platform.
Today mobile browsers compete with and in some instances deliver better experience than some desktop browsers. Clearly, now is the time you got your mobile website strategy right.
DOES ONE-SITE-FITS-ALL STRATEGY WORK?
Well, the answer is yes and no. It definitely is a winning proposition to have a website that would render on a mobile platform. However, if you are keen on increasing the user engagement and experience levels, then a shift in the creative strategy is definitnely required.
The image below from Social Media Examiner clearly gives you a comparison:
|On the left is the standard 60 Second Marketer home page seen on a smart phone. On the right is the mobile version of the site.|
While the smarphones today are capable of providing a seamless experience with the zoom and other user friendly options, the second version clearly communicates the brand messaging as well as its positioning more effectively.
CAN A MOBILE WEBSITE WORK FOR EVERY INDUSTRY?
It depends - on how you can develop a strategy built around your brand, your products, your customers and their influencers. We saw in the statistics above how banking/ finance, shopping/ retail and dining/ restaurant categories have seen a jump in their mobile audience. To take a closer look we have this interesting Infographic from Adweek.
HOW THE MOBILE WILL TRANSFORM AIR TRAVEL
(16% OF TRAVELLERS SURVERYED USE SMARTPHONES TO BOOK TRIPS)
|The number of worldwide subscriptions for wireless services reached 5 billion in Sep. 2010.|
Adweek points out to a recent study by Amadeus that shows 16 percent of consumers are booking their travel today online via mobile. The figure increases to 18 percent for 18- to 35-year-olds and a third overall for frequent fliers. The top five airlines have over 2.5 million fans on Facebook. Southwest Airlines has over 1.1 million Twitter fans alone.
And the hotel and cruise industry is not far behind. We have another Infographic by Restaurant App Engines that highlights why more and more restaurants are moving towards social media, mobile browsing and mobile apps:
|80% of people will look up a restaurant online prior visiting it for the first time. This include checking for a website and lookin up reviews on social media platforms. 88% will actually take action the same day.|
While 51% of smartphone users say they would be far more likely to purchase from a retailer or restaurant with a mobile specific website, only 4.8% of retailers currently have a mobile specific site.
BRING VISITORS TO YOUR MOBILE WEBSITE
Once you have put your mobile site in place, the next step is to tap into the world of mobile internet users. There is no better way to achieve this than optimizing the site for mobile searches as well as running mobile ad campaigns. AdMob by Google is one of the many mobile advertising platforms you could use. Mobile ad campaigns can be run on a cost-per-click basis, a cost-per-thousand basis or a cost-per-acquisition basis.
|AdMob provides innovative solutions for brand and performance advertisers, effective distribution for app developers and revenue opportunities for mobile site owners|
|This QR Code reads|
ENGAGING THROUGH TRADITIONAL MEDIA
Brands have used QR Codes and Microsoft Tags quite successfully in their traditional media plans. In fact, QR Codes have been in use in Japan for so long that its not even a novelty. Today we have even more concepts along the same lines like Google Goggles, Augmented Reality and so on.
Here is an excellent video that has gone quite viral showing you how to integrate a traditional media strategy with that of mobile internet.
KOREA'S TESCO REINVENTS GROCERY SHOPPING WITH QR CODES
Here is a glimpse of how Google is trying to transform the real world experience using mobile internet:
GOOGLE GOGGLES CAN EVEN TRANSLATE TEXT FOR TOURISTS!
Layar Vision is a little like Google Goggles. In Google's case it's just its traditional search result list, accessed in a very visual way. In Layar, it results in whatever action has been associated with the object.
WITH LAYER VISION, THE OBJECT ITSELF IS THE 'TAG'
Where exactly is mobile internet headed and how is it going to change the way users and shoppers interact with real world objects?
I leave you with an interesting presentation at TED Talks way back in 2009. Like I said before, the mobile world is evolving. Have you started on a strategy yet?
'SIXTH SENSE' IS A WEARABLE GESTURAL INTERFACE THAT AUGMENTS THE PHYSICAL INTERFACE AROUND US WITH DIGITAL INFORMATION AND LETS US USE NATURAL HAND GESTURES TO INTERACT WITH THAT INFORMATION.
In our next post lets talk about Internet TVs!