What’s the first thing young women do when they wake up? Check Facebook. How do enterprise employees pass the time at work? With social media. With so many studies highlighting ever-accelerating social media usage rates, the conclusion is obvious — social media is everywhere.
What follows are five of the hottest social media trends right now. Each are influencing our social, online and mobile behaviors in significant ways.
Entertainment checkin services are changing the way we watch television. Mobile loyalty applications are helping us connect the dots between our real-world shopping behaviors and digital rewards. A new breed of Q&A services are changing the way we search. Barcode scanning applications are making products social, and deal-of-the-day sites are giving us ways to save by recruiting our friends to the party.
1. Social Scanning
Smartphone owners have the world at their fingertips. As grandiose as that may sound, advances in mobile barcode scanning technology have given rise to applications that allow for comparison shopping, QR code place checkins and ultimately a social experience around product barcodes.
What this means is that at any given moment, any smartphone owner can pull out their device, fire up a barcode scanning application, scan a code and complete activities or gain access to a wealth of immediately relevant information. Really, what we’re seeing is the convergence of social media and barcode scanning to create “social scanning.”
The consumer’s scanning behavior is so significant that location-sharing checkin services such as SCVNGR are giving away QR code decals to retailers free of charge. Even Google is sending their own QR code decals out to small businesses with popular Place Pages. What makes the scan so significant? It is a tangible connection between the physical and digital world. For Google, SCVNGR, and the businesses they serve, it’s about access to measurable offline behavior.
These scans aren’t inherently social in nature, but because they can double as verifiable place checkins, they can also possess the social properties of a checkin: location-sharing with friends on the same service or via social network distribution.
Services such as Stickybits and Bakodo are taking the social scanning experience beyond the checkin and creating product-driven communities around brands and items via barcodes.
Stickybits lets users add video, text, photos and audio to the barcodes they scan in the physical world via iPhone and Andriod apps. It’s a clever way to use barcodes to help people tag, share and connect around items. It has also recently become more brand-friendly. “Official bits” are barcodes that brands can claim in order to highlight their own content. New social features allow for user response in the form of threaded conversations, and voting to ensure that the best content attached to the code rises to the top.
Bakodo’s iPhone app began as a barcode scanner primarily for comparison shopping, but it’s evolving to add social scanning functions as well. App users can scan barcodes of all varieties to review items and check out recommendations from friends. The barcode intelligence search engine combines a wealth of product-related data and socializes the process for a comprehensive product-driven experience.
As scanning becomes a more socially acceptable practice, the barcode scan will only become more social in nature. Expect future QR code marketing efforts to tap into the social opportunities, and for brands to explore ways to engage with consumers at the scan touch point. Seguir leyendo “5 Huge Trends in Social Media Right Now”