Jed Williams, analyst and program director, Social Local Media, BIA/Kelsey hosted a panel this morning entitled “Mobile and Social: Where’s the Sweet Spot?,” which overviewed the growing role of mobile and social in consumers’ everyday lives. Participating in the discussion was Mike Ghaffary, director of business development, Yelp; Beau Haugh, co-founder and CTO, Localmind; and Steve Jang, CEO, Schematic Lab.
Some interesting takeaways from the panel:
- There are more than 105 million smartphones in the U.S.
- 75% of smartphone users are conducting local searches
- 80% of consumers prefer ads that are locally relevant
- Consumers check their phones an average of 40 times per day
- 91% of consumers keep their mobile phones within arms length 24 hours a day
Steve said that the traditional goals of building websites were ensuring that content was viewed and attracted impressions. He said that the mobile phone is a great agent to capture and share experiences quickly, and noted that we all want our apps to be useful, powerful and provide a feedback loop. He also said that the reality is that the majority of us don’t travel everyday – but are eating, drinking and going to concerts locally, so local and social content is extremely important.
Beau said that mobile apps should be intuitive and navigate the way consumers want them to, providing them with a quick in and out. He said that if the process isn’t immediate, that the chance of achieving initial engagement is more difficult.
Mike noted that Yelp has an enormous database content and that the challenge is how its ported and what experiences are made new. He said that Yelp has decided to make every strategic decision with a “mobile lens.” For instance, restaurant reviews are subject to an algorithm that uses reviews to create rankings for specific dishes. He also talked about Yelp’s efforts to create specific apps for tablet use.
Mike also discussed the value of the check-in and the importance of developing a level of experitise through Facebook and Twitter. He said consumers are really looking for local, authentic experiences in their mobile searches.