Social media has changed the way we perceive products and services. As consumers we now have several outlets to get our feedback back to the companies we patron. According to Niels Schillewaert, PhD, Managing Partner of InSites Consulting, New York., “81% of U.S. internet users want to help brands and give them advice and do so through consumer consulting communities. Not only do we spend most of our time on connecting with people on social media sites, we tend to get our news from them as well. Social media has also helped organize and help with relief efforts for natural disasters. Social media goes hand in hand with technology and as technology has evolved so has the forms and richness of content.
The latest way technology has changed the playing field is with the advent of smartphones. Increasingly, people are spending more time social networking and being connected using their phones and tablets rather than through desktops or laptops. This can be attributed to the ‘anywhere, anytime’ philosophy of social media and how it fits with the connective capability of smartphones today. 73% of smartphone and tablet users are active on social media which is a rise of 10% when compared to non-smartphone users.
Social networking has shown itself to be an extremely popular activity on smartphones and several brands have demonstrated high engagement which in some cases was more substantial than their recorded desktop engagement. According to a study conducted by comScore, the average Facebook mobile user engaged for more than 7 hours via browser or app in March and an average engagement of nearly 2 hours during the month was noted for Twitter followers. By comparison, people visiting on their computers spent just 20.4 minutes on Twitter.com, highlighting the importance of mobile engagement for mobile-centric brands.
As smartphones and tablets become a larger part of the market, businesses have a unique opportunity to take advantage of the change in medium. Improving mobile sites or developing apps are an excellent way to stay ahead of the curve. Optimizing current websites for tablet and smartphone use also will go a long way to making a business relevant to this new medium’s users.
Lessons to Learn
- Care must be taken to optimize information so it can be accessed ‘on the go’ on smartphones and tablets. Search behavior is dependent on the medium being used and smartphone and tablet users typically look for different things than users on desktops and laptops.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is especially important on the mobile mediums as users will not look past the first few results for what they are looking for or run the risk of being overlooked.
Web References & Further Reading
Submitted by : Faisal Ahsan, SMBP Student University of Waterloo
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