Every week, it seems like there is another new “game-changing” tool or website. It can be easy for PR pros and marketers to dismiss certain platforms as one-time phenomenon.
However, one thing that all PR pros and marketers shouldn’t dismiss is mobile. Here are 12 reasons why we are living in the beginning of the golden age of mobile.
1. 100 million smartphones and growing
According to comScore, there are now more than 100 million smartphone users in the U.S. alone, with the top two operating systems being Android and iOS.
2. Tablet use has exploded.
In the two years since the debut of the Apple iPad, there are already 40 million tablets in use in the U.S. It took smartphones seven years to achieve that same level of adoption, according to MarketingProfs. The bulk of the tablet market share is the iPad.
3. It’s not just for making calls anymore.
Smartphones and tablets are true media consumption devices. In fact, the average smartphone user spends more time surfing the Web, browsing their social media accounts, listening to music, and playing games on their phone than, you know, actually making phone calls and sending text messages. The average phone call length is now less than 90 seconds.
4. Social media on the go
Social media use is the second most-popular activity for smartphone and tablet users. In fact, 64 million smartphone users in the U.S. accessed social networking or blog destinations via mobile device as of December 2011. Think about that. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and location based apps. These can be a gold mine to reach your target consumers.
5. Mobile ads on Facebook
There’s now another way to reach your target audience. Last month, Facebook launched its ad platform for mobile.
6. Real time info on the go
With the average consumer spending more time multitasking and on the move, it’s becoming clear that their mobile devices are playing a bigger role in finding what they want and where they need to go. Three out of four smartphone owners use their device to get real-time location based info.
7. It goes beyond check-ins
It’s not just about “checking in.” Only a tiny fraction of users actively check in to sites such as Foursquare and Facebook. A much larger percentage uses Google Maps, Yelp, Urbanspoon, and so on to find out what’s nearby. That’s a goldmine for restaurant and shop owners. The amount of possibilities to reach new and returning consumers just increased tenfold.
8. Mobile devices are the new shopping aid
Almost a quarter of smartphone users have used their phone to help them while they were shopping. That ranges from taking product pictures and sending them to friends and family for immediate advice to couponing.
9. Couponing goes mobile
According to a Pew Internet study, 40 percent of smartphone users redeem coupons on their mobile devices. Nuff’ said.
10. We’re living in an App-nation
There’s an app for that. The average smartphone user now has 41 apps on his or her phone, up from 32 in 2011.
11. Instagram becomes the first widespread mobile social network
With more than 30 million users, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Instagram. It’s a great way to share and comment on photos with friends. The ease of use, custom filters and built-in shareability with Facebook and Twitter (among other sites) can make it borderline addicting.
12. The shift to an image powered Web
While the 11 points mentioned above are all important indicators, the biggest shift is how mobile is changing the way we consume information. People are on the go and multitasking more than ever. We don’t always have time to read lengthy text articles and descriptions. Hence, the rise in popularity of visually compelling social bookmarking and social media sites, such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Reddit. While these sites may come and go, the shift towards visually compelling images is here to stay.
Jessica Malnik is a PR/marketing coordinator, social media specialist, videographer and an avid blogger. Visit her blog www.blog.jessicamalnik.com for social media, technology, public relations and marketing ramblings. A version of this story first appeared on Communications Conversations.