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Mobile and social networks

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Apart from texting and calls which are considered as the main features in a cellular device, there are various social media applications which is everyone glued to. According to a UK Survey, the......

Apart from texting and calls which are considered as the main features in a cellular device, there are various social media applications which is everyone glued to. According to a UK Survey, the study carried out revealed that 45% of the time spent on the internet is on Facebook.

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  • 1. Mobile and Social Networks!How excited are we when plan on buying a brand new mobile phone! People tend to dedicate a lot oftime in just researching about a product. Sometimes hours and sometimes a few days but its leastsurprising when you get to know that your best friend actually took a couple of weeks before zeroing ona particular device. I happened to ask him as to what made him took so long to take a decision after all itwas just a mobile phone. “I need to stay connected while I’m on the move,” pat came the reply from myfriend and that just undermined the current trend among the youth which form a sizable part of today’ssociety.So is that the reason why mobile phones are considered a top priority among the youngsters? A certainYES is the answer. Apart from texting and calls which are considered as the main features in a cellulardevice, there are various social media applications which is everyone glued to. According to a UK Survey,the study carried out revealed that 45% of the time spent on the internet is on Facebook. Notsurprisingly, mobile social skews towards smartphone users, so as smartphone penetration continues togrow; mobile social will rise right along with it. Smartphones are projected to make up 70% of theEuropean market by 2012 – Gartner 2010. Mind you, computers are still way ahead when it comes tosocial networking but mobile phones gives you the flexibility of accessing while you are on the move. - Husain Zaidi
  • 2. And seeing this craze among the audience, almost every phone today comes with in-built apps ofvarious social media platforms and Facebook and Twitter topping the list followed by FourSquare andothers. This dedication towards these kinds of apps underlines two main aspects. On one side, it statesthat how important it is for mobile manufacturing companies to include these features in almost everydevice that they produce. The main reason for this trend is the size of audience they can cater to andthis is what that eventually lures them in making products with a lot of social media apps in it.Meanwhile, on the other hand and more importantly for brands, it gives them a very apt and meaningfulway to advertise themselves through mobiles. As consumer adoption increases and mobile-specificfeatures such as check-ins are rolled out, mobile social networking presents significant marketingopportunities for brands seeking to engage an audience in contexts and environments previously notpossible. Adopting these tactics help the brands in capturing useful information of the consumers andcatering to their needs accordingly.And a lot of brands have already entered the fray and are supposedly getting a head-start over theircompetitors. Designing new strategies and tweaking the existing ones in order to suit mobile socialconsumers is the trend picking up slowly and steadily.One of the key features in mobile social is the ‘Location’ services and the feature of ‘check-in’ isparticularly based on that. It allows the consumers to broadcast their location on their social network.The check-in is a great vehicle for brand exposure as it uses consumers, acting as trusted friends, tobroadcast their association with a brand in a geo-context to their network. These services also help inenabling consumers to drive towards retail and there have been real examples for that.  Jet Blue: Customers earned rewards when they checked in at airports. Registered users received 25 TrueBlue points every time they checked in to an official JetBlue airport location on Facebook Places. - Husain Zaidi
  • 3.  Jimmy Choo: Organized a real-time treasure hunt around London via Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook. In the promotion, a pair of Jimmy Choo trainers checked in at fashionable locations and sent real-time updates about their whereabouts via Facebook and Twitter. The trainers only remained at the venue for a few minutes – the consumers who reached the venue in time to catch the trainers won a pair in the style and size of their choosing.  Pepsi: Sponsored FourSquare’s home page in the name of charity. Every check-in resulted in Pepsi’s making a donation to CampInteractive, an organization that helps empower inner-city youth through technology skills and mentoring.  Gap: Gap was a Facebook Deals launch partner in the US. The company gave away 10,000pairs of jeans to the first 10,000 people who checked into stores – once those were gone, consumers who checked in were given 40% off one item. Lines formed outside the stores before they opened and the jeans were all claimed within a matter of hours.  McDonalds: McDonalds randomly awarded one hundred $5 and $10 gift cards to consumers who checked in at McDonalds using FourSquare. The campaign increased footfall by 33%.Conclusion:Mobile social networking is set to get bigger and better as digital giants and nimble new startupscompete in the space to bring better and more innovative solutions to consumers. The opportunity forbrands is huge. They will have access to a wide range of data about consumers, can potentially reachthem when they are in store about to make a purchase and can turn the consumer into an advocatethrough tapping into their social network.However, brands must not be restricted in terms of their approach and should definitely avoid beingrigid in their approach. When developing mobile social network campaigns, brands need to recognizethe difference between the mindset of people accessing their social network via their mobile and theirPC and frame their offerings accordingly. - Husain Zaidi