Social and mobile have become a ubiquitous part of our existence. Whether it is posting to Instagram or paying for something with our mobile wallet, our identities are linked to our smart phones. Business must adapt to function in this environment that is taking us to some strange new frontiers.
5 Imperative Social and Mobile Trends for 2015
1. Privacy is a Battleground
In December 2014, Pew Research released a study on the future of privacy. One of the noticeable trends is a shift from privacy as a primary mode of life to public sharing. Experts in the field see the line being divided between those who desire privacy and those willing to forfeit it for convenience.
Lack of concern about privacy stems from complacency because most people’s life experiences teach them that revealing their private information allows commercial (and public) organisations to make their lives easier (by targeting their needs), whereas the detrimental cases tend to be very serious but relatively rare. – Bob Briscoe
The UN is calling for governments to protect citizens rights to privacy, but this may not turn the tide, as data sharing has become the most dominant form of currency exchange on the web.
This is an ongoing debate which is developing in real-time as technology changes the world around us; it is why we have brought the question of privacy to our Think Tank Panels.
2. Algorithmic Awareness Impacts Behavior
Algorithmic awareness is a topic of study in human-computer interaction. Researchers are finding profound insights that have impacts on fairness, bias, and social justice. While most individuals are blissfully unaware of the invisible strings of Facebook, their effects are at times profoundly disturbing. This might be the year that algorithms finally creep us out.
3. Analytics Are Misleading
The term ‘dark’ social refers to the data that we cannot track. Frequent cases of missing data or mis-attributed data are created by email activity and mobile apps. While we would like to know the identity of individuals using these ‘dark’ sources, our analytics have difficulty capturing the information. To complicate things further, individuals surveyed have a bias towards under reporting how frequently they use dark social channels to share.
The most relevant finding of the study is that more than a third of individuals surveyed report primarily sharing via their mobile phones.
4. The Mobile Wallet is Here to Stay
Apple is the latest to bring an NFC powered mobile wallet to their smart phone offerings. The iPhone 6 and Passbook brought 1 million users into the fold over the first three days of availability. This became a battleground as some of the largest retailer’s rebeled against Apple Pay in favor of their own payment systems. December 2014 also brought announcements of additional retailers, like Staples, adopting Apply Pay.
5. Consumers Demand Authenticity
This shift is perhaps one of the most telling signs of our times as social responsibility and transparency become the hallmarks of companies who succeed. Research from Edelman’s 2014 Brandshare survey supports these trends. Consumers are looking for a value exchange that goes beyond promotion.
Brands must be ‘always on,’ and always adapting. Responsive brands listen, learn and adapt to consumer feedback and are prepared to handle a variety of scenarios. It’s become quite trendy for brands to be a part of the conversation and that’s important, but it’s incomplete. Almost 90 percent of brandshare respondents say that they should be able to communicate and interact with brands quickly and in real time
A successful business is nimble. Social intelligence and insights are key to adapt as quickly as the conversation changes.
Social and Mobile Trends are a Roadmap
The pervasiveness of social and mobile makes it imperative that we adopt these channels of communication to reach customers. The insights presented here are applicable to social networks like Twitter and Facebook that amplify messages and help us build loyal communities. Only in this way that we can fulfill the customer’s needs for transparency, authenticity, and dialogue.
What other trends have you noticed? Where do you think 2015 will take us?
Photo Credit: gratisography.com
Susan Silver is a community focused strategist who uses social data insights as the foundation of her work with ARCOMPANY. Her philosophy “Humanity in Data” is informed by a background in cognitive-behavioral psychology. She is making positive change in people’s lives, and the world, with thoughtful communication on behalf of her clients.