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TREND-AFRICABefore moving to London, I spent four years living in Nairobi, Kenya. A few years back, while getting ready for an anniversary weekend, I distinctly remember receiving a phone call from my boyfriend’s brother (who was in London) asking whether we were safe. Immediately confused, we started scanning the internet to see what happened. Minutes later twitter posts appeared about a terrorist attack at Westgate Mall. The date was September 21, 2013. At the time, it did not surprise me that Twitter had the news before anyone else. But looking back, I see it as a clear signal of the rising influence of social media throughout Africa, a trend that only continues to grow.

It would be a stretch to say Twitter is used by every Kenyan, or that Meru grandparents are posting regular pictures of their kids on Facebook. But since the first tweet was sent from Kenya in 2007 to receiving its own local feed in 2013, over 5 million tweets have been sent from the country. Twitter is the third largest social media platform in Kenya with Facebook dominating and Linkedin a far second. Over 4 million users in Kenya, (around 10% of the population), make Kenyan social media a force to be reckoned with. These online users represent urban populations with growing pocket books, and a thirst for information from around the Globe. Of course, Kenya is one of fifty four African nations with online chatter, and while social media has not penetrated all nations on the continent, the numbers continue to rise. So what does this emerging social media trend in Africa imply for the future of online marketing and communication? Here are a few interesting insights I picked up from the Kenyan market.

  1. Mobile is king. We hear this everywhere, but it is even more relevant in nations like Kenya where development has skipped the personal computer all together. I took a ten hour bus and forty five minute motorbike to visit my friend’s family in rural Kenya near Lake Victoria. While they had no electricity on their compounds, guess what, they had cell phones! The police station nearby had a shop where people could pay 20p to charge their phones. Ninety-nine percent of internet usage in Kenya comes from mobile devices. Personal Computers are too expensive, and electricity is too scarce. As CNN says, not only is Africa a mobile first continent, but it is a mobile only continent. This means mobile marketing is the way forward, and in markets like Kenya, think Facebook and Twitter communication. Not everyone has a smart phone, and Kenyans often access twitter and Facebook via SMS. Safaricom (the largest mobile provider in Kenya) answers immense amounts of customer service via Twitter. In these formats, online chat is available via SMS, a necessity in a country where not everyone can afford smart phones. Realizing this, Google recently started offering g-chat via SMS as well. Do not forget mobile money. Through Mpesa (a mobile product that allows people to pay for things via their mobile phone), Kenya has the largest usage of mobile money in the world. Since credit cards are limited to the extremely wealthy, Mpesa has allowed people around the country to gain access to financial institutions without formal bank accounts. Find a way to connect your products to mobile money, and you can sell to the masses.
  2. Market research is possible, and it must be taken with a grain of salt. With only around 10% of the population in Kenya, there are a lot of people missing from the online conversation. But those who are present are more likely to be your customers – the urban middle class youth. It is also important to note that these youth are incredibly influential on the wider population. But remember there is a huge gap with reference to the elderly, and the very poor, so if you are looking for information on them, social media may not be the best method.
  3. Cultural sensitivity is paramount. CNN found this out the hard way after talking about Obama’s visit to a ‘hotbed of terror’ ~ Nairobi. Nairobians responded with over 75,000 tweets in one day to the hashtag #SomeonetellCNN forcing a senior executive of CNN to fly to Nairobi and apologize. They still are in jeopardy of losing a marketing deal from the Kenya Tourism Board. This means whether you are selling products in Africa or not, be careful about stereotyping a continent, or making assumptions in your communications. People are not forgiving to being stereotyped, and are loyal to brands that show respect. Earn yourself the next generation of brand loyalists, and be smart about how you talk about different nations, there are several twitter wars going on between Uganda and Kenya, and people do not like being lumped in a bunch!

While I was there for the awful Westgate Attack, rather than deeming Nairobi as a hotbed of terror, I saw a nation willing to fight back and use Twitter to do it.

If you want to learn more about how social media is changing the world, come to the #PreCommerce summit in London and hear insights from world-class industry experts and leaders, in spaces from health and technology to government intelligence. The Summit will be a great platform to geek out about how social media helps us understand the world!

I recently had the pleasure of attending eMarketer’s State of Mobile event here in New York.  It covered how marketers can leverage current mobile trends and was split into two parts:

  • Geoff Ramsey, eMarketer’s Chairman, presented data around mobile usage and offered tips on mobile success for marketers.
  • Eva Papoutsakis Smith of Pinterest discussed how the social media platform is used and how brands can leverage it.

eMarketer’s Geoffrey Ramsey 

We’ve all heard countless times over the years that this will be the year of mobile. While mobile devices now play a huge role in our lives, 2016 will be the year when mobile overtakes desktop in ad spending.

Blog eMarketer chart Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 3.10.24 PM

People feel lost without their mobile device and marketers have reacted accordingly by increasingly investing in mobile ad spending.

With the emergence of location-enabled mobile devices, location has become the new computer tracking-cookie. This means that real-time marketing has become right-time marketing. As eMarketer’s Cathy Boyle said, “location is the cookie of the mobile world.”

Blog chart eMarketer Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 2.26.41 PM

Marketers need to create relevant content that will serve consumers’ needs of a particular time and place.

The app store may have over a million apps available to download but 80% of our mobile time is spent with five apps: Facebook, YouTube, Maps, Pandora, and Gmail. Therefore, rather than try to change existing target behavior perhaps marketers can explore ways to participate in existing app behavior. For example, perhaps a marketer covers a Pandora commercial free day.

The eMarketer feature for US mobile ad spending can be found here

Pinterest’s Eva Papoutsakis Smith

Blog post eMarketer Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 3.17.44 PM

Pinterest’s Eva Papoutsakis Smith joined the conversation for the second part of the session. Pinterest can be accessed across a variety of devices including desktop, tablet, and smartphone. However, it’s chiefly accessed via mobile devices, with 75% of Pinterest activity happening on mobile.

While many view Pinterest primarily as a social media website, Smith conveyed their vision as being “an individual and personal tool for users to plan their future.” The platform enables people to dream where they want to go, what they want to achieve, and what they want to buy.

Also, while the platform is very visual, pins that include text often perform better than those without text.

Transactions may not take place on Pinterest but it plays a major role in eCommerce. A whopping two-thirds of all pins are for a brand or a business!

Product pins don’t just have to be product or service based, as it could also be collecting informative content. For example, a patient could utilize a Pinterest secret board to gather information and/or articles on a medical condition. (A secret board is only visible to you and people you invite to it).

If a brand is already on Pinterest perhaps show appreciation by mentioning people by name in the description of a pin, exclusive LTO offers, etc. How about giving those in your community some love? If a brand is not yet on Pinterest, they might be missing out on becoming an aspirational brand that people hope will become part of their lives. Why not join Pinterest to become more available so that people can include you in their future aspirations?

 

Just about three years ago, I sat down with my good friend and fellow location-based services nut, Mike Schneider, to write a book titled, Location-Based Marketing for Dummies. The book was decidedly before its time and was hard to write because the space was still evolving rapidly (in fact, it’s still evolving rapidly). But for that very reason, it was a fun, rewarding and challenging exercise — not necessarily in that order.

Fast forward three years and Mike and I are both still passionate about mobile and location-based marketing. I work for an agency and mainly focus on digital and social strategy but stay current by writing a monthly mobile column on MarketingLand. Mike took a different path and ultimately became the head of marketing for a company called Skyhook Wireless that focuses solely on mobile and location-based solutions. To that end, I thought it was about time the two of us sat down and compared notes (with me as writer and Mike as marketer).

Aaron: You recently took over marketing at Skyhook Wireless. What does your company do and how long has it been around?

Mike: Skyhook is location. We have been around since 2003. We are constantly reinventing how location is obtained in apps, devices and online and then we go to great lengths to add context to make it useful. We care about providing the means to capture and then use massive amounts of location data to give developers, devices, advertisers and more the ability to create and optimize awesome user experiences.

Aaron: A lot of marketers are trying to figure out what the future of ad-tech looks like. Obviously your view will have something to do with mobile/location. Can you give us some of your thinking on how those two connected forces will change marketing?

Mobile is advertising’s best friend because nobody knows a consumer better than their phone. The future of advertising delivered by ad-tech is “relevant content delivered everywhere”. When consumers makes their location known, publishers, brands and ad networks need to be ready to provide them with the best possible experience. The difference between now and then is scale. Getting precise location and tying behavior context to venues is easier than it was when we thought it all up because of the amount and quality of data we have. Concepts that everyone loves to talk about, but have been traditionally more challenging to implement, like geofencing and geo-conquesting can now be done through mouse clicks instead of lines and lines of code.

Aaron: It’s been said that the future of computing is wearables/the Internet of things. Can you tell us more about what this means and why they are so important?

Mike: Let me address them as two separate entities.

  • Wearables
    The wearable market is the collision of technology and fashion. Consumers are going beyond our phones to make “the quantified self” easier by wearing things that capture information about us that we can analyze. You’re a runner, Aaron, and you and I both use MapMyRun and RunKeeper and Nike+ to track our progress and tell our friends how amazing we (or you, I don’t do much more than 3 miles to your 10-15!) are. We then use this to analyze our progress, set goals and push ourselves to be who we want to be. A person’s activity level is a really interesting piece of context. Add this to moods, interests, foods and location and we have some really rich context around a person at a given time. The promise of wearables is that we get all of this information from a low powered, good looking, less noticeable device that means we can leave our phones at home and still capture and use the data we care about. Right now we track steps and calories in most devices, but the future is the addition of exertion and location.
  • Internet of Things
    Human behavior plus connected devices means a greener planet, better customer service and more reliable products. Warehouses are using indoor location to track human behavior and optimize lighting and heating. Thanks to location tech, products that could communicate with beacons and sensors so we know when they are entering a cart and leaving the aisle or the store. They also could know what’s in the cart with them. The communication with other things that are nearby allows us to build profiles of product behavior, attach that to venues for content creation purposes, optimization of energy consumption, finding lost items, inventory optimization and a lot more.

Aaron: Will marketers ever be able to detect users location when they are offline? If so, how do they use it?

Mike: We can do this today. A phone doesn’t need to be online (all of the time) to capture location. We can capture location and then based on where the device moves, capture further data points and trigger geofences or decode them and use them later. Devices like the Eye-Fi card can capture access points when a photo is taken and then attach location to photos in cameras that are not connected. Add this ability to armbands or clothing and we can capture your running route when the device doesn’t have GPS and isn’t connected to a wireless or cell network.

Aaron: Robert Scoble and Shel Israel just wrote a book called The Age of Context. Tell us more about the importance of “context.”

Mike: It’s all about context and context comes from people, places and things that share their data. The collision of people and things data makes place data incredibly rich which allows us to create better experiences for people without knowing exactly who they are. Time makes things extremely interesting. Who we are and what we need on a weekday morning where we might be a “coffee drinking, business traveler obsessed with Spotify” is different than a weekend afternoon where we’re a “coffee drinking, dad of three coaching soccer and looking for baked goods”. Aaron, we are always drinking coffee.

There you have it. Some wise words from a wise man. It’s been a while since Mike and I caught up but it looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. By the way, you can see what Mike and some of my other mobile/location-based savvy industry friends predicted for 2014 here.

It’s no secret that over the last few years, the relationship between Microsoft and Nokia has been getting hotter and heavier. It all started about 2 years ago when Nokia announced that it would be launching its new Lumia devices equipped with Microsoft’s newest METRO OS. Many felt that the move would pair two of the once great platform leaders and position them for success against growing Android and iOS dominance. The original device received a lukewarm reception but showed potential. The devices smooth lines reestablished Nokia as a strong industrial design alternative while the METRO UI showed that Microsoft finally figured out mobile. With the purchase of Nokia, Microsoft now has a hardware platform to take its OS to the masses and level the playing field with Android and Apple.

What this means for us:

More options:
Microsoft will undoubtedly release a number of new handsets and try to get them into the market with all carriers. This would likely translate into higher subsidies for new devices and they try to grab market share. Implications for Marketers and Brands: Start looking for Windows to take a stronger market share and adjust platform development accordingly.

 More Apps:
The Zune marketplace will finally have enough action to become a viable app store. While the marketplace does have a number of solid apps, they fail when it comes to the more common ones that you’d expect (surprisingly, think Instagram). This expansion will likely mean more apps will show up in the marketplace as new deals are struck. Implications for Marketers and Brands: Start looking at distribution on the Zune store as well as paid media options for Zune specific apps.

A change in the mobile experience:
The METRO UI is notoriously flat and devoid of a lot of the shadows and textures and works within a Grid system ( notice anything interesting apple). While iOS 7 is moving in that direction, METRO also brings more information to the forefront with active tiles. Implications for Marketers, brands and designers: as the market changes, the design of apps and interfaces will need to adjust to meet the need. Also with live tiles, apps will need to be created with that “always on” approach in mind.

 Mobile payments power:
With Microsoft stepping into the fray with its own device, their control over how those devices are created will expand. Integrating a payment system into the devices will be less of a conversation to be had with an OEM and now sit firmly in the hands of the OS developer.Implications for Marketers: We will finally be able to start thinking through mobile payment solutions as something at is within reach.

Multichannel integration:
Microsoft Mobile and Xbox were made for each other. Now that there is a robust platform, Windows METRO users will undoubtedly link to their other home devices (xBox one), and we can expect Microsoft to expand on this with other home devices that can integrate to the phone.Implications for Brands: Start thinking seriously about home integration and second screen functionality.

The end of Blackberry
If the writing on the wall wasn’t clear enough, It should be now. The last place player at least had its own handset. something that is much less of an issue now. Also, Exchange has a very high level of adoption, ands much lower price point for integration over Blackberrys proprietary email delivery methods.Implications for users: throw away your blackberry – if you haven’t already.

All in all, this purchase, looks to push an industry forward that may have become a little too complacent. Speaking personally, Ive always seen the METRO UI as being fairly innovative and its good to see if finally having a dedicated and suitably stylish shell.Please share your opinions. I’d love to continue the conversation as the deal goes through.

 

With the 2013 version of SxSW Interactive in the books, it’s time for a look back on highlights, key trends (or lack of) and links to some of the awesome content we collected during the several events that we hosted during the event.

For starters, there really weren’t any big technologies that shined through at this SXSW like we’ve had at past events. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but likely more of an indication that it’s becoming harder and harder to break through all the noise at SXSW Interactive. There was a larger corporate presence than ever this year and that will likely be a continuing theme over the next few years as companies continue to embrace, grow and operationalize social, digital and mobile into their corporate DNA.

Social Commerce Summit

For W2O Group in particular, we had a very successful set of of events that kicked off with our Social Commerce Summit on Thursday, March 7. During this six hour event, we had 19 speakers each give 10 minute TED-like talks. The talks covered a range of topics including love, marriage and creating brand passion. We know it’s a lot of content but we hope you’ll take the time to watch the video (or at least read the highlights in the blog posts) from the speakers below.

We also had a few nice write ups from the event by former PR Week/current Holmes Report writer, Aarti Shah (here) and friend of W2O, Lisa Grimm (here).

In particular, we would like to thank our sponsors, Sysomos and BazaarVoice, for making all of our events during SXSW possible. They were (and are) great partners.

 

W2O Group Open House/Live from Stubbs Video Podcasts

While there weren’t any breakthrough companies this year at SXSW, we did have a number of themes crop up during our Social Commerce Summit and then again during our Live from Stubbs podcast tapings during our open house on Friday, March 8. In particular we heard a lot about big data, mobile, analytics and the operationalization of digital across the organization from many of our speakers/guests. There was also a significant amount of interest in our partner, SnapTrends, technology that provides for location-based analytics, a topic that W2O is quite bullish on.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be embedding the Live from Stubbs videos in blog posts on our Common Sense blog. In the meantime, you can check out all of the videos on our Youtube channel here. You can also read my Live from Stubbs co-host, Kyle Flaherty’s summary of our interview with Youtube’s Jeben Berg, here. When Kyle is not podcasting he is the VP of marketing at local analytics firm, 21CT who was kind enough to sponsor our Live from Stubbs videos. I would also like to thank local video production and strategy company, UPG for all of their brilliant work with both the Live from Stubbs videos as well as recording/editing all of our Social Commerce videos.

Geek-a-cue

Of course SXSW wouldn’t be what it is without a party. And party we did at our 4th annual Geek-a-cue on Saturday night at Franklin BBQ (ranked best BBQ in the U.S. by Bon Appetit Magazine). Fortunately the rain held off this year allowing us to eat fantastic BBQ, enjoy the brilliant music of local favorite, Monte Montgomery, share a few beverages, take funny photos in our photo booth and play a little Corn Hole out behind the tent.

This short video shot and produced by UPG does a wonderful job of summing up this fabulous event.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_TYROYXApk[/youtube]

We also need to thank Natalee Norwood and Spoiled Doves for producing our Geek-a-cue. Without all her creativity, foresight and elbow grease, this event wouldn’t be what it was. Thank you to Aaron and Stacy Franklin and the Franklin staff for use of their venue and all the mouth watering BBQ they served up with smiles on their faces.

Digital Brunch

Capping off the week, we hosted a digital brunch at our East Austin offices. In spite of threats of rain, the springing ahead of the clocks and a lot of hung over SXSW attendees, we still enjoyed over 125 visitors to our new offices. The petting zoo, chair massages, drinks (alcoholic and caffeinated) and gourmet brunch courtesy of local restaurant/catering company, Dai Due, probably didn’t hurt.

Biggest thanks of all go to the dream team at W2O Group of Erin Disney, Stephanie Layton, Blaire Borochoff and Katrina Hallowell for their months of hard work putting these events together. Huge props also go to our CEO, Jim Weiss and President, Bob Pearson for making these events possible. Last but not least, a shout out to all of our W2O Group employees who volunteered/attended as well as our clients for being an integral part of our SXSW experience. Thank you!

Last but not least, we also had a little fun with our #sxswpickuplines this year. Details are here. Video that put the cherry on the cake is below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR6kVwM2Gp8[/youtube]

With mobile application engagement predicted to overtake television viewing in the near future (based on a study by Flurry), Mashable recently published an article outlining the most important features every branded mobile application should include, emphasizing e-commerce along with SoLoMo (Social – Local – Mobile) technologies.

By PixelEmbargo, istockphoto

Mashable: 4 Features Every Brand’s App Should Have

While these features aren’t new, author Joel Chernov stresses smarter use of these technologies, delivering true value to customers. For example, instead of sending a push notification anytime there’s a new special deal, allow customers to decide which brands / products they want to be alerted about. Are you listening, Fab?

Photo from istockphoto, pixelembargo.

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Year end is always a great time to look back and assess what worked and what didn’t from a business perspective. This includes marketing campaigns, content efforts, social media engagement, sales activities, etc. In particular, reviewing which posts on your corporate or personal blog resonated can be a helpful way to better understand your customers’ and prospects’ interests. Not only is it a good reminder to focus on what works (you’ll notice that four of the top ten blog posts are list based), it’s also an excellent time to catch up on content that we may have missed in the hustle and bustle of our busy day to day lives.

By way of disclaimers, I do have the good fortune of holding a few of the spots on this list. However, I did decide to put this list together before I knew the results. And in fairness, my colleagues, Greg Matthews and Brian Reid, own a number of our top 10 health care/MDigital Life blog posts, many of which have higher numbers than our social media focused posts. To that end, I split up the list of our top posts for two reasons: 1) I figured that while there will be some overlap, the two audiences are somewhat different and 2) there were so many good posts on the WCG blog this year, it was a shame to limit the number of highlighted posts to just 10! It is important to note that our President, Bob Pearson, does most of his blogging over at Pre-Commerce, so his posts didn’t get included in this list. Going forward, we are going to start co-mingling the content from both blogs so you should see a number of his posts appear in this list next year at this time.

With that as the background, here are this year’s winners:

  • Location-Based Marketing Resources by Aaron Strout (7,298 | 17 Retweets) – This is more of a compilation of location-based marketing and mobile resources that I use at speaking events. But still, it’s got some useful information and shows the power of “resource” based blog posts to draw readership.
  • The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself by Aaron Strout (4,693 views | 11 Retweets) – A post about the importance of leading and engaging in social media — as an individual or a brand — with confidence.
  • What Does It Cost to Say I’m Sorry? by Aaron Strout (4,647 views | 103 Retweets) – Every brand has its good moments and its not so good. This post discusses how US Airways makes good on an annoying snafu by apologizing through social media.
  • Seven Steps to Building a Better Listening Program by Chuck Hemann (4,558 views | 95 Retweets) – Pragmatic tips from one of our analytics leaders (who is also co-authoring a book on analytics) on how to build a better listening program.
  • 2012 Location-Based Marketing Predictions by Aaron Strout (4,537 views | 52 Retweets) – Review of the location-based marketing space by a dozen industry experts (brand and startup) on where the space has been and where it’s headed.
  • Big Brands Weigh in on Social Engagement by Aaron Strout (3,670 views | 72 Retweets) – Several brands including Intel, Intuit, Michaels Stores, SAP and H&R Block (a few of which whom are clients) weigh in on the importance of engaging prospects and customers across the social web.
  • Five Takeaways from SXSW Interactive 2012 by Chuck Hemann (3,416 views | 46 Retweets) – Five key trends from SXSW Interactive 2012 by our Austin head of analytics, Chuck Hemann.
  • Five Cool Facts from Facebook’s Awesome New Study by Brian Reid (3,389 views | 43 Retweets) – Head of media outreach, Brian Reid, summarizes a ground breaking report Facebook put out in January of 2012 involving some interesting experiments they conducted with 250 million Facebook members.
  • Five Tips for a Successful Twitter Chat by Lauren Warthan (3,136 views | 46 Retweets) – If you ever want to run a Twitter chat (great opportunity to raise awareness and/or engagement with your brand), Lauren’s recommended tips are a great resource.
  • Introducing W2O Group by Jim Weiss (3,005 views | 89 Retweets) – Our CEO and founder, Jim Weiss, announces a new parent organization for WCG as well as new sister agency, Twist Marketing.

The big take away from this list? We did a pretty good job at creating content that people care about (there are at least 40-50 other posts that had views over 1,000). It also demonstrates that numbered lists, prescriptive recommendations and interviews with brands and experts (not mutually exclusive) resonate.

Is there a post on the WCG blog that you really liked this year that’s not on the list above? If so, feel free to include in the comments below.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=c7SjvLceXgU

The world population is approximately 7 billion with 5.6 billion on mobile phones.  Of those, only about 2.2-2.3 billion are internet users.  This means that roughly 1/7 of the world is on Facebook, and almost 50% of the people who have internet access are using Facebook.  However, it’s hard to really conceptualize how big a billion is an what it means.  Mega events like the Superbowl only garner a 10% of that  (111.3M), and even Justin Bieber’s fan page reaches a mere 4.65%. Facebook is more then 3x the USA’s population, and almost big enough to match the population of India (14.2% vs. 17% ).

This statistic is even more impressive that this is their “active” user base, so these are not empty accounts. Consider the social aspect of having 1B people “actively” sharing, creating, and remixing content. 600 million are accessing their accounts on mobile phones. Users have liked 1.18 Trillion things, checked in at 17 billion places, and shared 219 billion photos (Today Show, 10/4/2012).

Facebook is also shaping other web user experience trends such as using the social graph to expand their activity to other non-Facebook websites, social commerce, and deciding what news content get shared around the web – helping shape the media agenda.

Today’s announcement should not serve as a benchmark of size, but a wake up call to Brands and Marketers about how they approach creating sharable content and how media is syndicated across the world. With so many people out there, what models and strategies does a brand have to use to reach their potential and existing customers? Data driven models can pinpoint specific influencers and thought leaders to encourage community building and engagement.  With 1 Billion people waiting to share new refreshing content, brands must rethink content creation for a low spend / high share potential to begin to even catch up to Justin Bieber.

Facebook is no longer a social network, but a media ecosystem.  Paid, earned, owned, and shared content must be integrated into brand programming to maintain healthy communities and maintain relationships.  The real question becomes having a strategy, knowing what individuals drive a conversation around a brand, and having the right models in place to create sharable content for this new generation of fans? They are waiting, and we can help.

Special thanks to Aaron Strout & Matt Snodgrass for help with the statistics. 

 

Sources:
US Census
The Today Show
Facebook 
ibtimes.com
http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

facebook social media wcg pr

Facebook’s integration into Apple iPhone 5’s new software (iOS 6) is a testament to how important social media has become in people’s lives. Having sharability baked in makes sharing easier then ever. The user doesn’t even have to open an app¬—he or she can share a post through Siri without having to touch the phone.

Facebook boasts a strong 955 million active monthly users, and 543 million of those are active on mobile (Facebook, June 2012). Many mobile enthusiasts will claim “yes, but I could do this before.” This is true, but having sharing built in makes it more accessible to everyone, not just the tech savvy or the over-sharing, Facebook addicted.

For clients and marketers, this marks two important milestones: the beginning of real-time communication in the social graph and the birth of transmedia storytelling/news releases.

Society has been more connected then ever for quite some time, but with mobile adoption so high, pushing notifications through Facebook messaging and posts will allow for people to stay connected in real time. This will drastically shift how marketers look at engaging with groups of people versus targeting and approaching the individual—hopefully armed with smart, contextual content.

“Transmedia storytelling” simply means that stories begin in one medium and end in another. A mobile user flowing from an email, to a mobile website, to a YouTube video, to a Facebook post is a quite common scenario. This last step of sharing was somewhat cumbersome up to this point. But now that sharing is simply a quick flick and press on the phone, engagement within mobile can be expected to shift from consumption to interaction—from passive to active. This opens up so many more opportunities for marketers and PR professionals. The devices and interfaces simply fade away to allow the content to thrive.

Some may say that the latest update to iOS 6 is simply a few more features in a long list of tech specs. But for those that have the foresight to realize and understand how this will affect the mobile future, this is a huge, empowering step in allowing individuals to move from consumers to producers, fans to ambassadors.

Patrick Donnelly, Manager, Corporate Development
@pdonnelly01