The Coming Together of Search & Social
Description:
In this issue, you’ll discover all you need to know about Search and Social, and how the two have been used interchangeably in recent years.  
 

The Coming Together of Search & Social

Spring 2016

The Rise of Mobile and its Impact on Search & Social

by: Michael Wunsch
Mico is Massive

In the last few years, the rise of mobile devices has changed more than how we communicate with each other – it's changed how we think about searching for information, how we study products, and even how many of us conduct business.

Let's take a closer look at the rise of the mobile era and what effect it's really having on everything else.

Embracing the Mobile Era

Mobile devices are more than an alternative platform – people genuinely think about them in different ways.

Here are some of the most important stats:

  • People perform more searches on mobile devices than they do on any other platform, and search engines are adjusting to account for this.
  • However, conversion rates on mobile devices remain significantly lower than for desktops. As things currently stand, mobile devices are primarily used for research and information, while desktops are still used for actual purchases. Sales funnels should be designed accordingly.
  • A majority of consumers believe that mobile-optimized sites are faster than non-optimized sites, and they have essentially no patience for slow loading times or delays.
  • 24% of teens are online 'almost constantly', and a huge majority of them use one or more forms of social media.

Most people don't give up access to technology once they have it, and the fast-paced world of social media is giving people a reason to be connected.

Mobile devices aren't replacing larger computers, they're supplementing them. Through the years, time spent on the Internet via mobile device has grown rapidly.

Search and Social Integration into Mobile Through Recent Years

There are two main forces driving the adoption of mobile devices for search and social.

  • First, mobile devices are convenient. People don't have to wait until they get home to search for something that interests them - they can do it anytime, anywhere, and they're more than willing to take advantage of this.
  • Second, mobile devices demand and receive attention. They beep, flash, and vibrate every time something happens, and users have trained themselves to reach for the device and find out what's going on. Younger users in particular may even suffer from 'Nomophobia', the fear of being without their phone and thereby disconnected from the rest of the world.

Essentially, mobile devices are where people create connections, while desktops are where people use them.

Search and Social Breakdown

Organic
As consumers, the micro-moments we experience and the brands that accommodate our “in the moment” needs shape our preferences and purchases. Ultimately, the brands that do the best job of addressing our needs will win. This has always been true; however, the rules of the game have changed and the pace of interaction is now lightning fast.

Paid
Companies like Google are heavily investing in monetizing mobile platforms - which is no surprise, given the explosive growth in mobile search. The most important thing to remember is that this area is constantly changing. What's true and effective right at this moment may not be applicable six months from now - as such, mobile marketing strategies must be flexible if they're going to succeed.

Referred Content
Referrals are an increasingly powerful force in mobile marketing. Consumers check their mobile device more than 150 times each day, and many of them will regularly follow links from both email and social media. Search results and social media feeds are not the only way to reach mobile users.

Social
Social and mobile go together like peas and carrots. As evidenced in the chart below, social activity via mobile is still very much on the rise with Facebook leading the way. This is an important indicator for brands wanting to stay relevant in the mobile era.

 

Mobile Phone Social Network Users
Final Thoughts

Mobile is big, and it's not likely to go away anytime soon. However, for all of its potential, companies shouldn't abandon all other forms of advertising in order to focus on mobile devices. Not yet, at least. What savvy brands need to do is recognize that mobile is part of the engagement path to be considered heavily. Consumers demand information and entertainment literally at their fingertips – figuring out how to be a part of that content is the future.