This morning on the Starbucks patio, I dunk a pumpkin scone into my coffee. My neighborhood street is alive with business; we’re working underneath trees that are gracefully losing their leaves. Four people here are using their laptops, two are using their mobile phones and I’m writing on my iPad. Mobile technology is keeping us connected to the information we need and the people we care about. Social networks are transforming the new mobile landscape. The social networking experience is getting ever closer to imitating actual social interaction.
How can writers, marketers and publishers stay in the limelight in this new world of mobile media?
Let’s face it: no matter how many friends you have on Facebook, sitting in front of a computer screen does not feel like a real social experience. That’s why start-up companies like Foursquare and SVNGR (pronounced “scavenger”) are inventing a social game layer to keep us involved in both the real world and in our social networks. Mobile phones with GPS and 3G speeds have made these “reality” tools widely accessible.
“Foursquare on your phone gives you & your friends new ways of exploring your city. Earn points & unlock badges for discovering new things ” (www.foursquare.com).
Foursquare is an application that allows you to “check in” at locations around your city. Once checked-in you can post a tip about that location and see other tips that friends have posted. The more you use foursquare, the more points you earn.
SVNGR allows you to earn points and redeem coupons at local businesses. Points are earned by saying something about the business and sharing on social networks, or by taking a picture and completing a challenge, such as the Origami burrito wrapper.
I regularly run the mobile application from Meetup to see if anyone from my rock climbing group is planning an event near me. Meetup helps new friends connect through their similar interests. You can join as many (or as few) groups as you want across a wide range of interests.
“Every day, I’m surprised (and thrilled) to see all the ways that Meetups affect people’s lives. Together, we’re ‘using the
internet to get off the internet’… and re-inventing local community!” ~ Scott Heiferman, Co-Founder
Think about your audience. How often (and to what degree) do they interact with social networks? Where are they getting their news? How do they digest content? How do they influence their peers? Social media producers can be your greatest promotional team. These are the people who re-tweet and re-post valuable information and who are trusted by their friends to engage with interesting topics and to supply good content.
Get into their news feed. The newest face in social mobile media is FlipBoard. Running this application on my iPad, I visually “flip” through images and articles my friends have posted. The content is delivered in real time, so I can see a post about the miner’s rescue on CNN the minute it becomes part of my news feed.
“Your Social Media Magazine.” FlipBoard combines your Facebook and Twitter feeds into a personalized magazine, rich with photos and articles shared by your friends. The result is customized information based on what is being shared in your own social network. You can also import news feeds from more traditional sources.
Social media exposure can directly influence your bottom line. Looking at data from the past 12 weeks in aggregate, Eventbrite found that each social media share equates to $1.78 in ticket sales, with Facebook shares proving to be the
most lucrative. As such, Eventbrite believes social commerce — or transactions driven through sharing on social platforms — to be the next big trend in online commerce.
Social media is at a tipping point. The engagement points of social media are changing to include iPhones, Smartphones and iPods. Ping.fm is a great mobile tool that post your status to every social network in 1 easy step. Many services exist to give you the option to “micro blog” while you are on the go. The more likes, re-posts and re-tweets your content earns, the stronger your brand becomes in the mobile media world.