Although many businesses now realize the power of social media, they have a hard time discerning which social services are effective and which are not. To make matters worse, new social sites, services and applications are emerging almost daily.
So, how can businesses keep up? It’s a challenging task, but a necessary one. As discussed in the video on the left, businesses should try to watch the most current social trends before deciding if they need to embrace them.
Currently, one of the most popular social trends is location. People are constantly “checking in” with applications such as Foursquare and Gowalla. Both Twitter and Facebook support location information support as well.
Since these location services are continuing to grow, businesses have the opportunity to leverage them through promotion, advertising, and more.
A second social trend that is growing that also involves location is group buying systems. These systems provide daily bargains for people within certain cities as long as a specified number of people participate. Two examples of these systems include GroupOn and LivingSocial.
By getting listed with these services, local businesses can use them to attract new and repeat customers.
Thirdly, businesses should pay attention to mobile ads, since mobile is growing in significance right along with social. According to a recent report from large mobile advertising network AdMob, smartphones have doubled their share of ad requests in the past 2 years.
Incidentally, Google acquired AdMob last year but was only recently granted regulatory approval. Apple is also investing in this space with its iAd platform announced last month. If both Google and Apple find the mobile ad space important, then it is probably something businesses should watch as well.
The last trend that also pertains to mobile and is quickly gaining momentum is mobile payment systems. Consumers are doing more and more from their mobile devices, so why not allow them to close the deal directly from their mobiles?
PayPal has payment apps for the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry mobile devices. Square is another mobile payment method that works with iPhones for credit card transactions. Interestingly enough, Twitter Co-founder Jack Dorsey is listed as one of the developers of Square.
Visa has stated that it plans on entering the mobile payment market as well.
As you can see, there are many ways that businesses can benefit from these social trends. Can you think of any other important trends that could provide opportunities for business?
About the Author:
Abby Johnson is a Video Reporter/Anchor for SmallBusinessNewz.