By Heath Minger, Social Media Manager
Social media has encouraged people to follow or become friends with almost anybody that they have ever met or have been acquaintances with. Because of this, news feeds are being bombarded with updates from friends and family we love, pages we Like, accounts we follow, colleagues we connect with, and acquaintances that can’t even remember where we knew them from. In an attempt to get out ahead of the mass amounts of updates and notifications in large social networks, users “clean house” to make their feeds less cluttered and more manageable.
With smartphone hardware maturing, wireless data networks advancing, and a mobile-first design going mainstream, the landscape of social media is seeing a dramatic shift in native platforms and user behaviors.
Generally, users aren’t all that interested in seeing every single thing that a friend or half-forgotten acquaintance has to say. Users are now starting to rely more and more on mobile apps where focused and relevant “tribes” form. The users are more interested in content, not contacts.
The main characteristic of mobile tribes is the tendency to categorize membership in distinct groups, movements, cultures and ideologies, subpopulations of shared interests, tastes, demographics and marketplaces. The mobile portion of mobile tribes is that within these tribes, a user has free will to exercise personal choice over who they connect and communicate with.
Users will follow a small circle of close friends on Instagram, pin with a small handful of followers on Pinterest, exchange strange facial expressions with a friend on Snapchat, or follow co-workers and colleagues on LinkedIn. Since there is no expectation of connecting with everyone you know; users can be more selective. Big data will not matter as much as small relationships. Media and content will become more focused on the single-channel niche apps they appear in and the mobile tribes they appeal to.
"I think on mobile, people want different things," Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The New York Times. "Ease of access is so important. So is having the ability to control which things you can get notifications for. And the real estate is so small. In mobile, there's a big premium on creating single-purpose first-class experiences."
Brands, companies and small businesses that create and sell social products, services, and devices must build and prepare for app-only tribes in the future to respect the needs of the user and his or her mobile tribe.
Mobile tribes will not put an end to all the pictures of food that come across an Instagram photo feed, the rants that people post on Facebook walls and Twitter timelines, or the numerous people who don’t know you and still try to follow you, but they will allow the user to filter what content he or she wants to come across their feeds based on personal relationships and content the user is interested in.
Media Management Services Inc. offers a comprehensive program to help you effectively use social media. We believe that a successful social media campaign includes a solid strategy that includes audience engagement and interaction backed with state of the art analytics.