April 23, 2012 - Comments Off on The sociable, mobile second screen

The sociable, mobile second screen

Even though I’m obviously pretty interested in social media and I enjoy getting involved I have to say I initially resisted partaking in the second screen experience.  The idea of watching telly and chatting to people about what I was watching on my phone/computer at the same time seemed a bit of a media overload and I preferred to share opinions after the program had finished rather than during.

I have to say I’ve changed my tune somewhat over the last year as I’ve enjoyed several online chats during series and made friends through the shared interest of enjoying that program. It seems I’m not the only one to get more switched on to the socialisation of TV, either- more and more ads feature calls to action directing watchers not to the website but to social pages, and frequently shows share the hashtag on screen to get viewers to join the live conversation.

Last week I made a few new friends chatting about the good the bad and the funny candidates on this year’s Apprentice while it was on.  This increased my enjoyment of the show because instead of talking to an empty room and giggling on my lonesome (my chap was at Football) I could be part of the wider community of Apprentice lovers/love to haters without leaving my sofa.

I think it is this ease of communication with like minded individuals which is driving the increased usage of mobile in the second screen context. I also made a purchase during the Apprentice, as I was reminded I had a QR code from Shortlist Magazine on an ad about Karren Brady’s new book so I scanned it with my iPhone, entered the competition and bought the book whilst still enjoying watching her on telly and nipping onto Twitter to chat about it! Pretty nifty really.

Watching the keynote speakers at Social Media World Forum, mobile and social media usage via mobile came up more frequently than any other subject.

Here are my key takeaways from Ben Watson, VP of Hootsuite and Ian Carrington, Head of Mobile EMEA at Google.

Ben Watson started his talk telling us that mobile usage of Hootsuite is now on a par with web, learning about the trends across platforms and the fact that people are trying to understand the myriad of ways that we can spread a message and trying to find the meaning in all of this.
– Engagement – someone actually talking to someone (this was also a key theme at this year’s SMWF), when we engage each other it’s when we turn and face each other whether in person or online.
– 635m devices, 550K Android Apps
– Twitter supports 140m characters (people)
– 1/2 mobile shoppers share experiences
– 36% of users post brand related content
– more than 2.8 billion social profiles
– 4/5 internet users prefer social
– Nearly 60% of 18-34 year olds use mobile to access social media
– He also highlighted the importance of being creative and going out on a limb, staying alert and doing more persona work.
– As part of appreciating the power of the people around us, Ben pointed out that people are 25% more likely to buy if proud, 25% less likely to buy if embarrassed.

Keeping the message simple, the most important takeaways were the two he finished on: SUCK LESS! BE AWESOME MORE!

Ian Carrington focussed on the big trends in mobile in his talk:

– Last year smartphone sales surpassed PC Sales
– 3 trends that will define the future: Social Local Commerce
– % of total queries coming from mobile: Travel 19%, Retail 16%, Entertainment 19%
– queries coming from mobile are more affluent, and more result in buying products
– 38% of tablet users use their tablet more than they use their TV
– 57% of people talk more online than they do in real life
– Google+ will become the connective tissue for Google: Google care about social signals and how beneficial they will be in search.
– 45% of people engage with brands on social and mobile
– 40% of searches on mobile have a local intent
– 28% of UK smartphone owners purchased via mobile
– ebay forecast $8 Bn from mobile in 2012
– Paddy Power see 49% of customers betting via mobile
– mobile optimised websites will make or break your digital sales
– mobile wallets will become mainstream

Mobile phones will literally open doors!

Plenty of handy stats there, and also a key message from Google about how important they regard Google+ to be!

I think the fact that we’re getting more actually sociable on social media is what has increased the uptake of the second screen experience.  People want to chat not just watch; they want to be involved.

If people are watching the same program they are more than likely going to have something to talk about, and their mobile is the easiest choice for that communication when they’re in front of the TV.

I wonder how long it will be until all of us have a smartphone, and it will be interesting to see how many people bother to log on to social media profiles via home computers over phones or iPads over the next couple of years. I know that I’m now more likely to nip online via my mobile than my laptop if I’m at home. What do you think about the mobile second screen? Do you get involved and get sociable using it?