Last month, Juniper Research released a report about the rise of geosocial networking and the growth of smartphone adoption. These trends spell big business for mobile content and mobile social media to the tune of 1.3 billion mobile social users by 2016 (up from 650 million in 2011).
The biggest driving force behind the mobile social media growth prediction is the integration of social, local, and mobile experiences. With these trends shaping the way people consume content in the near future, content publishers and brands need to develop strategies for content distribution through varied mobile devices.
As Surajit Agaarwal describes on Technorati, publishers and content distributors need to consider not only the many devices and platforms that end-users can consume content on in the mobile environment but also the context of that content consumption. He mentions the following types of context that can affect the content consumption and mobile social media experiences:
People can consume content an a wide variety of mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and so on, and that content could be viewed on a small screen or a large screen. Device options are only going to get more diverse in the future.
Mobile social media activities and content consumption can happen from just about anywhere you can imagine. That’s why mobile marketing and geo-targeting are high priorities for businesses these days. It should be important to content publishers, too.
People consume content via mobile devices at all hours of the day and night. The trick for publishers and businesses is to publish relevant content targeted to audiences that are online at any given moment.
4. Social Relevance
Mobile social media will be even more heavily affected by what users’ social circles are consuming, liking, sharing, and talking about at any moment in time. Social relevance also includes geo-social influence from people who may or may not be in a user’s social circle but are within the local vicinity of that individual at a given point in time.
One of the hottest topics for social media and content marketing as we begin 2012 is content personalization. The goal is to deliver content that individuals are most likely to be interested in at a specific moment via their mobile devices using behavioral research and analytics tracking.
6. Attention Spans
People’s attention spans on mobile devices are lower than most other media — including online. For example, in his article on Technorati, Surajit cites a study from the University of Colorado that found college students typically consume less than three paragraphs of text, less than 30 seconds of audio, and less than one minute of video on mobile devices before moving on to different content. That means your content needs to be relevant, personalized, interesting, and device-compatible, or you’ll have almost no chance of getting your complete message across to people.
Keep these trends and insights in mind as you develop and implement your content publishing and marketing strategies in 2012. And if your plan doesn’t already include a mobile social media strategy, develop one now, because 2016 will be here before you know it.
Image: Steve Paine