Rising mobile penetration and the steady growth of more advanced devices, often with full access to the internet, have yielded a mature mobile market with a critical mass of users increasingly receptive to marketing and content. As feature phones give way to smartphones and tablet devices, mobility is taking on new dimensions. The ability to consume, create and share more content than ever before translates into increased engagement on mobile devices. It also means enhanced opportunities for marketers to reach out to potential customers via mobile.
Mobile Behaviors Across Japan, United States and Europe
The U.S. displayed the strongest penetration of social networking on mobile phones with 21.3% of mobile users doing so in June.
Mobile users in Japan were most likely to watch TV or video on their phones (22%), while Europeans were most likely to listen to music (24.2%) and play games (24.1%).
One of the biggest keys to these new marketing opportunities is the rise of smartphones. The percentage of US consumers thinking about buying a smartphone has doubled since the beginning of 2008, according to ChangeWave Research, and Nielsen expects smartphones to be in the hands of half of US mobile users by the end of Q3 2011.
As handsets change, so do mobile consumption and usage patterns. Voice is becoming less relevant, and carriers and their marketing and content partners have transitioned to a focus on data.
Social networks are fast becoming the primary way mobile users exchange information. According to comScore, use of social networking applications increased by 240% between April 2009 and April 2010.
Because these location-based social networks are physically real, businesses can actually see their customer following right before their eyes.
In order to take full advantage of location-based social media marketing, businesses have to actually be listed in the network. The benefit of location-based social media marketing is that customers are already away from their homes, which usually means they’re willing to spend.
Privacy issues may discourage people from using location-based social media. However, many of these applications offer adjustable settings so users can take charge of who sees their location, and users obtain rewards by completing tasks, not my adding millions of friends. These privacy matters tend to work in favour of business owners who wish to use social media marketing. Facebook users tend to add tons of people that they don’t know, whereas users of Gowalla and Foursquare usually only add people who are real-life friends. These mobile, micro communities garner trust, so even though a user’s comment won’t reach a large group of people, it will command the attention of people who trust where it came from, and will then follow it.
Location-based social media marketing has the ability to maintain your current customer base while attracting new customers.
- Computers & Internet | Author: Hilary Nichols | Geo-Social Media Marketing: Closing The Virtual Gap
- comScore – Mobile Behaviors across Japan, U.S. and Europe
- eMarketer– Seven Key Trends in Mobile Usage