You might think social media has reached its zenith and will soon decline or fall to a sudden death, but don’t put all your marbles in that basket. I think social media is just getting started. And the good thing about a good thing is that it can be made better by another good thing. That’s why you are seeing a surge and a merge in the social and the mobile app spaces. And I think that’s why you’ll see a lot more.
Social commerce is one area where mobile apps and social media are merging for the benefit of the customer. But what is it?
Imagine a storefront away from your storefront – your website. And I don’t mean on Facebook either (you can actually have a shopping cart added to your Facebook page, which is a benefit, but it’s a different kind of benefit). There’s one service called Armadealo that allows small businesses to offer location-based coupons for mobile customers. It’s the first of its kind.
In other words, take Groupon and marry it up with Foursquare and you have Armadealo. Your customers can receive discounts and deals on their smartphones as they enter your store. Nice!
Then there’s Shopkick. It’s a smartphone app that rewards you with “kicks” just for walking into your favorite stores. Then you can use those rewards to make purchases.
It should be obvious how a small business owner can make use of these mobile apps. Social commerce is a new emerging trend that just may take over other types of social media such as location-based services like Foursquare and review sites like Yelp. Look for it to become a hot new way for small businesses to reach new customers.