How Mobile Tech is Changing the Social Media Landscape.
Updated: Dec 31, 2019
The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing and evolving, leading many brands to focus on social marketing as one of the main channels to draw more business. Social media usage is one of the most popular online activities, with the global number of social media users currently shy of 3 billion, and growing.
What's more, there are dozens of popular social media platforms out there, and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are leading the pack.
The prevalence of mobile usage over the past few years has started to dictate the direction of social marketing. Just over half of all internet users access the web via mobile devices. The World Advertising Research Centre (WARC) predicts that by 2025, 72.6% of internet users will access the web only through their smartphones. Currently, about 96% of Facebook users access their accounts via smartphones and tablets.
Innovations in mobile tech are continuously disrupting digital marketing, particularly on social media. Let’s take a look at some of these innovations and how they are changing social marketing practices.
Mobile users rarely access social media platforms via their conventional web browser. Social media apps have almost completely eliminated the need for a browser. In fact, some mobile-dedicated social platforms like WhatsApp don't support browser access on mobile. Apps are faster, more convenient, and much easier to customise compared to websites.
The use of social apps presents some unique marketing opportunities for both B2B and consumer-based businesses. Apps allow for more interactive and personalised ads and marketing posts. However, marketers have had to adjust their marketing content to fit various apps and web platforms as well, but obviously prioritising app-based content and ads.
Rise of Video Content
According to some recently released metrics, video promotions have an average click-through rate (CTR) of about 1.84%, which is the highest of any media content. A majority of marketers also agree that video content has the best ROI compared to other formats when it comes to marketing.
The success of video marketing, especially on social platforms, is partly influenced by the popularity of mobile internet usage. To try and put that into some perspective, 93% of Twitter’s video views come from mobile devices, and it’s the same story with other channels such as Facebook and Instagram.
Videos are more engaging, memorable, and compelling. Advertisers are using videos to tell stories, drive sales, and spread brand awareness on social media. It's never been easier to take advantage of video marketing since the introduction of lightweight video formats and high-performance mobile devices. This means even long, high-quality videos can stream seamlessly, with no compatibility or performance issues on social apps and web platforms.
Voice search is quickly catching on as the newer, easier way to find things online. In 2016, ComScore predicted that 50% of all searches on the web would be carried out via voice by 2020. The popularity of voice search has been fuelled by advancements in AI technology and the emergence of smart voice-activated assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Home.
Although the social media scene is yet to feel the full impact of voice search, Facebook and other social outlets are already toying with the idea of voice features and voice search. Once a leading social platform successfully integrates voice functions, the others will inevitably follow suit.
Voice search changes the rules for keyword optimisation; voice queries tend to be lengthy and most will end in a question. Advertisers will have to reconfigure promotional content to feature long-tail keywords, and question-based key phrases to take advantage of voice search.
Social Media E-commerce
Some social media platforms are now exploring the idea of branching into E-commerce services. In addition to marketing services, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are looking into ways of integrating various monetisation strategies to drive sales directly to the users.
Facebook is already testing some viable localised E-commerce functions. Twitter supports the unaffiliated TWT2PAY technology, which allows Twitter users to buy items on the platform by merely tweeting a specific hashtag. Pinterest also allows users to purchase products through the data provided by Rich Pins.
As more E-commerce features continue to emerge on social media, these channels could become a one-stop marketing and E-commerce outlet. Marketers can reach their target market on social and sell to them directly instead of redirecting them to a different sales page – shortening the sales funnel. This could become a cheaper and more effective E-commerce option for start-ups and SMEs.
Paring social media and mobile tech allows advertisers to reach a massive segment of the online market. Entrepreneurs and advertisers can tailor highly effective targeted campaigns by taking advantage of social and mobile features. The dynamics of social marketing, however, keep changing; it’s best to keep an eye out for disruptive trends and innovations in digital marketing.