Social Media and Mobile Apps Take Over

In the Wall Street Journal there was an article that discussed Facebook and the effect it has on young teenagers. Facebook has recently changed the private settings that young teenagers can have for their profile between the ages of thirteen and seventeen. The article stated “With the shift, Facebook will operate more like rivals such as Twitter, which allow teens to share publicly; Twitter, unlike Facebook, also allows users to create anonymous or pseudonymous accounts. Analysts said that Facebook risks losing the next generation of young users if it doesn’t keep pace with competitors.” Parents are concerned with the new profile viewing settings where almost anyone can view their child’s information. Technology and social media sites are rapidly changing and already has a huge effect on the younger generation. With the growing popularity of mobile applications many people might ask the question, should retailers invest in mobile shopping apps? The answer, as you could have probably guessed is yes. However, it’s not always easy to have a successful application. Through this article, we learn that it’s really about putting yourself in the users shoes. It suggests doing simple things such as: make the app unique, make it easy to use, add push notifications, make it social, and link the app to in-store activities and allow more interactions. These are all aspects that should come naturally when making a user-friendly product of any sort but aren’t given enough credit for. The article gives a little encouragement by stating that retailers should not give up on their mobile applications but change the way they work. I think that as a company that wants to pursue the mobile app world that we could take a lot away from these suggestions and implement them into making a successful mobile app. Smartphone apps are now taking the place of a salesperson in certain retail clothing stores. Retailers are realizing that new technological advances are the best way to reach their younger target consumers. A couple of retailers in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood have started using an app called Swirl to reach their consumers. The app uses in-store sensors to locate where in the shop the customer is and send them personalized offers and recommendations on clothing. New York City and Boston retailers are the first to start using this technology. Another app that is available in the states is Shopkick. It tells customers about offers and points when they enter certain stores and gives them the opportunity to redeem points for things such as gift cards. There are also apps that allow customers to find deals at nearby retail stores. These apps allow brick-and-mortar stores to take advantage of the benefits of the e-commerce trend that is becoming so popular. Google conducted a survey of 1,500 smartphone shoppers this summer. The results of this study showed that 65% of smartphone shoppers in the US preferred to use mobile Web rather than mobile apps when researching products prices. According to the study, half of smartphone shoppers use their mobile for shopping for as much as 15 minutes per store visit. 90% use their smartphone for pre-shopping activities such as directions, store hours, and price comparisons. It also concluded that 1 in 3 people will use their mobile device in-store rather than ask an employee for information or help. This statistic really proves why retail stores have started replacing the salesperson with smartphone apps. The main thing that Google found was that shoppers perform all of these tasks via mobile Web instead of mobile apps. The researchers said that this finding was obvious. According to them using a mobile app to research a store or product drains the battery life and it’s much easier to open up the browser. These findings are just a few reasons why it is so important for retailers to implement a mobile site. This will save the consumer time and result in less frustration than if the site is only able to be viewed as it looks on a laptop or desktop. In the article Entrepreneurial journalists need to master social media it offers some important tools and insights that an entrepreneurial journalist will need to use to be successful in the social media world. It states that social media can be part of the solution for all three of the key challenges an entrepreneurial journalist faces: content, distribution and monetization. The community is creating content in a variety of ways using social media. An entrepreneurial journalist may use social media content as large or small parts of the content plan.  Some ways to help make a content plan is by using Flickr, YouTube, Storify, and crowdmap. Social media are important avenues for distribution of content. Some ways that a journalism entrepreneur might use social media to distribute content is using Facebook, Twitter and Slideshare.  An entrepreneur that can build a significant local audience on Twitter will have a valuable advertising platform for spreading word swiftly about deals. Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and other social tools also have revenue possibilities that will help some entrepreneurs succeed. Entrepreneurs can develop effective direct sales channels related to news products, social tools could help users tell friends about the deals they find online. In the article Social media and Online Community Posts from around the web it goes over case studies on how journalist can best use Facebook, gives advice on stimulating activity in online community and Ustream’s great new Facebook app. Staying in touch after getting in touch is the secret to making connections that work through using social media. Though using Pages can be a great tool in building an audience that helps you in your reporting, it also enables journalists to cultivate an active community of readers. The conversation around a story is just as important as the story itself. It usually enhances the story and better informs its readers. Ustream’s app enables broadcasters to readily connect their Ustream channel within their page through Facebook. 

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