Evolution is an incredibly subtle thing. The problem with that notion however is that subtlety does not lend itself well to categorization, and we as a society absolutely love to categorize. From labeling different generations, to breaking history into convenient little periods, putting things in order simply makes us more comfortable and the evolution of the web has been no different.
Web historians like to think of the web in terms of generations, starting with standard web, then progressing to the age of social media, and the next phase inevitably being mobile. The problem I see with this, however, is that social and mobile are by no means exclusive experiences. In fact, mobile and social go hand-in-hand and when utilized properly they can each have a huge impact on the other’s growth for businesses.
Optimizing your website for mobile will facilitate easier navigation to your social media sites.
Anyone who has visited a desktop website via a smartphone can attest to the annoying nature of resizing, pinching, and zooming in order to navigate the page. This unnecessary hassle can be easily avoided by building a mobile-optimized version of your website, and one of the biggest beneficiaries of this little change will be your social media networks. Well-built mobile sites offer easy-to-access, touch-friendly links to all your social hubs. This makes for much smoother mobile sharing, and helps customers extend their relationship with your business.
With the number of social media users that access their sites via mobile climbing quickly every day, capitalizing on this uptick has never been more important. Good business is always about not making customers jump through hoops, and the social media business is no different.
Social giants have seen the power of mobile; businesses need to do the same.
When it comes to social and mobile, the obvious example of a company putting all their efforts into getting on board is of course Facebook. While Facebook may be climbing an uphill battle to do so, almost all of the social giant’s latest efforts have been towards capitalizing on the mobile platform and it is by no means alone in the endeavor. Major social media players like LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter, have all launched major mobile initiatives within the past few months as well.
As these major networks push towards mobile, it is crucial that businesses follow suit. More and more your customers will be connecting with your social sites from a mobile device, and when they access links from these networks, they will be expecting to land on a page that is mobile-optimized. If your mobile site delivers an equally fluid and engaging experience as your social media sites, you will quickly build a loyal following.
Social networking sites can provide a mobile website with a much needed supplement.
While the desktop web is information driven, the mobile web is all about action. A great mobile site is streamlined and promotes action-based responses, which is why many mobile designers will opt to pick and choose what media content REALLY needs to be seen by someone on-the-go. This is where social media can be a great addition to your game plan. Social sites offer a supplementary outlet to store tons of rich media. When linked to your mobile site, they act as an endless storage unit for content that is always just one touch away without ever having to worry about excess media slowing down your site.
Of course the beauty of the mobile web is that there truly is no limit to what it can become. This is the same principle that has helped social media become what it is today; it is always growing and changing form. As the web continues to evolve, yet inconceivable innovations will become standard practice, and just like the merger of social and mobile, the businesses that capitalize on those new technologies will be the ones that can understand how to seamlessly integrate them into their business strategy.