Today everyone wants to immediately connect with each other and communicate their interests, emotions and experiences. In more recent history, these interactions took form on commonly utilized websites, such as Facebook, where friends could communicate whenever they were online. Now, social media has evolved to mobile apps that can be viewed right on your smartphone. These apps have supported a major marketing shift for many leading social media networks. With the rise of “mobile-only” apps (i.e. Snapchat), social media is ushering in a new era of communications and instant availability.
Snap provides the model for many characteristics that make social media so captivating including reach, engagement, and immediacy. The prospect of being able to check social media feed at the touch of a finger anytime, anywhere, is something consumers cannot resist. As a result, we now see other brands and product promoters reaching out to social media sites in hopes of advertising their wares to these apps massive audiences.
The increased focus on mobile applications and audience reach has brands seeing many opportunities for using social media with one key opportunity being with customer service applications. Over last year, customer service apps had a total of $152 million in revenue, an 11% increase. However, organizations using these apps must understand two primary characteristics: their external environment and customer engagement on social media. They must understand what is being said about them, where it is being posted, and how to directly communicate with the poster. In this manner, organizations can respond in a quick manner to positive or negative feedback.
Looking to the future, there’s a number of concerns for social media apps. First, will they eventually be monopolized and available outlets reduced?
Just as Facebook bought Instagram, it’s now an open question as to who will “own” social media. Secondly, and this is becoming increasingly apparent, social media content is becoming more individualized and consumer-driven. Brands and advertisers are constantly increasing their awareness of their consumers and what they have to say about their brand/product. This, in turn, helps them quickly address customer’s needs and build brand loyalty. Collectively, it is clear that social media apps have emerged as key tools in an organization’s ability to support their customers and promote their brand.