I recently had the pleasure of attending and speaking at Mediabistro’s  Socialize: Monetizing Social Media – EAST conference, held in New York. As part of the Sysomos  team, I was there to present some use cases on what social media data can be used for, from a business perspective. Aside from the insight that we brought to the table, I also learned a great deal, particularly with regards to where social media is headed.
2014: The year that mobile takes over
The first thing that was drilled in very early on in the conference was the year 2014. I listened in on a panel of five progressive social media thinkers and almost (if not) all of them mentioned that 2014 will be the year that mobile Internet use should surpass Internet use on desktops. To some, this might be obvious since everyone seemingly has a smartphone. But there are some other key takeaways here:
- The pick-up of Internet through mobile will be exponentially faster than that of conventional desktops.
- Web designers will soon have to think about the mobile interface first, then consider the desktop second. (The same will go for most application designers.)
- Social media is going to be readily available through mobile sources to most people.
It may not seem like it, but that last point is huge, especially when you consider how Twitter is used. Anyone who uses it on a mobile device recognizes the value of tweeting while out and about. If this is true and more people are expected to use mobile Internet, then we should see an even larger pick-up in these forms of social media than we currently do.
SoMoLo is a coined phrase speaking to three converging areas: social, mobile and local. While “social” and “mobile” have been talked about for quite some time, “local” is a more recent concept that is quickly gaining speed. “Local” describes services that provide users with another dimension of interaction on top of the purely social or mobile aspect. For instance:
- Foursquare provides offers to users based on how many times they have “checked-in” to, say, a retail store.
- Groupon offers mass discounts to communities to encourage sampling.
- GoldRun is a mobile platform that uses augmented reality to drive traffic to physical and online destinations while increasing brand loyalty.
These companies are adding another layer to their marketing efforts by rewarding your loyalty based on other benchmarks besides “dollars spent.” With mobile Internet users expected to increase, these kinds of services may soon be common place for all.
These are both pretty cool things to think about, especially since social media is expected to play an essential role on both fronts.
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