This article was published on February 15, 2011

Why brands ignore mobile social media at their peril

Why brands ignore mobile social media at their peril
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Steve Jarrett, CEO & Founder of MePlease Me Please, an integrated mobile and social marketing platform. He is a Silicon Valley entrepr Steve Jarrett, CEO & Founder of MePlease Me Please, an integrated mobile and social marketing platform. He is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur with 16 years mobile business and product specialist experience at Apple, General Magic, Kodak and Microsoft.

The first day of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has passed. With hundreds of new devices launching, operating systems getting face lifts and apps everywhere – it’s hard to break through the noise and dig deep to what any of these announcements actually mean for businesses and marketers.

That said, it’s time to break down that barrier and focus in on what some of this week’s top trends mean for brands and their marketing strategy, starting with social mobile integration.

Yesterday revealed that a very common trend among all operators and device manufacturers is deep social media and mobile integration. At the Samsung stand, it’s all about the Galaxy SII (2) and its ‘social hub’ feature; where Facebook, Twitter, email and messenger services are aggregated into one single feed and can be found by individual contacts in the address book.

The same goes for Motorola, which announced the launch of the Motorola Backflip on the AT&T network that focuses in on their Motoblur platform, a platform that allows people to see social status updates, emails, messages, and headlines from their home screen. Windows Phone 7 may have the same type of integration, with further upgrades to the People’s Hub widget.

The clear focus at MWC on social and mobile brings up two obvious but straight forward points. Firstly, businesses want to focus on running their business and not having to constantly worry about falling behind in their mobile and social marketing communications strategy. Second, brands want simple tools that help them aggregate all of these communication channels and allow them to address all of the needs of their evolving consumer base.

More importantly, although these announcements are being heralded as ‘innovation’, most consumers today already have this at this at their finger tips and remain inundated with different ways to communicate on a daily basis. Thus, in the same way that people are learning their preferred mode of communication for individual contacts via certain social networks, messaging or apps, we think brands need to start learning about their consumers and targeting them more efficiently using what they prefer.

Another great example what everyone is still talking about here; the Microsoft and Nokia announcement. Four days later, the mobile community is still asking questions and wondering what its implications truly are. Either way, this type of strategic partnership clearly demonstrates that the mobile world is rapidly advancing and evolving. This means that brands should actively seek out access to simple tools to manage these channels. At the same time, businesses must invest in a mobile and social strategy that focuses in on the most valuable and relevant way to communicate with their customers, without having to immediately change their tactics with every new development.

Case and point – everyone at MWC does business here with their attending customers face-to-face in a simple, direct and effective manner. Brands want just the same, a set of tools that allows them to personally engage and communicate with their customers, via the direct channel that they prefer to be reached on.

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