Mobile platforms and location-based networks could take social marketing to the next level

As the increase in smart device ownership helps put the mobile web in the pocket of more and more Americans, mobile will play a greater role in all forms of content consumption—including social media.

US marketers surveyed in June 2010 by PRWeek and MS&L Group believed mobile social would have important consequences for their brand. Asked which social media efforts would have the greatest effect on their company, 17% said more usage of social media on mobile platforms and a further 12% cited uptake of mobile location-based social networking.

Social Media Efforts with the Most Impact* on Company/Brand, June 2010 (% of US marketers)

Another 4% said investing more in Twitter would be their most important effort. While a majority of users access Twitter from their desktop, the microblogging service is a major example of greater use of social media from mobile platforms. According to the company’s blog, mobile usage of the site rose 62% in about four months, and mobile sign-ups increased from 5% of the total earlier in 2010 to 16%.

Currently, PRWeek and MS&L Group found that few US marketers were using specifically mobile-based social media tools, but the sophistication of smart devices has narrowed the distance between the desktop and mobile for many users.

Social Media Tools Used, June 2010 (% of US marketers)

Much of the marketing opportunity in going mobile lies with the ability to use location data to bring consumers timely messages when they are already nearby and possibly considering a purchase. Social media could prove a smart avenue for such efforts; while pure location-based services like foursquare remain relatively niche, Facebook has picked up location-based check-in services, and social networking has been the single biggest driver of mobile app usage and browsing over the past year.

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