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5 Social Media Trends to Smile About

It’s nearly impossible to turn on the TV, tune in to the radio or surf the web these days without encountering the social media craze that continues to intertwine with all aspects of our daily lives.

The buzz question of a once reluctant, yet curious, populace is no longer ‘Why should I become active in social media?’ Instead, the hot-button issue of inquisition in recent days has become ‘How can social media benefit me?’

Therefore, we’ve comprised a list of five social media trends, thanks to Mashabale.com, that provide consumers with a variety of perks and rewards, in addition to the in-demand essence of social media itself.


1. Social Scanning
The development of the Smartphone has granted users instant access to a magnitude of informational and social resources online. Most recently, these newage applications have yielded the convenience of comparison shopping to Smartphone users through barcode scanning technology.

This means that “At any given moment, any Smartphone owner can pull out their device, fire up a barcode scanning application, scan a code and complete activities or gain access to a wealth of immediately relevant information,” reported Mashabale.com, which continued by noting that what’s really happening is “The convergence of social media and barcode scanning to create ‘social scanning.’”

Such an advancement presents perks to both sides of spectrum; users are able to establish a “tangible connection between the physical and digital world” while the businesses using these barcodes become tuned in to users’ offline behavior in a measurable sense.

2. Q&A and Intelligent Information Discovery 
Web-based Q&A resources have held an online presence for years; however, those that utilize an old-school search engine platform – like the original setup of AskJeeves.com (now as Ask.com), which  has transformed into an insightful search tool – have become dormant applications in recent months due to insufficient technology.

Fortunately, a new genre of Q&A applications – like Quora and Aardvark – are making their way onto the web daily to accomplish what the first round could not: an intelligent information discovery.

According to Mashabale.com, “Most of the key players in the space believe in the power of intelligent information discovery and define it as the intersection of people and their social circles, with scientific methodologies for surfacing the best possible answers in the shortest amount of time.”

3. Group Buying
This concept of a ‘deal-a-day group coupon’ was made remarkably popular by Chicago-based startup Groupon in 2008. Since its debut, this discount-dealing company reported that 97 percent of participating merchants have requested to be featured on the website again, which further demonstrates the magnitude of the demand.

“All signs indicate that the group buying trend will only increase in popularity over time. Local businesses are finding that they can successfully attract new and repeat business by introducing customers to their services with a deeply-discounted group coupon,” reported Mashable.com.

Wanna-be copycats that favor the marketing brilliance behind Groupon’s campaign are popping up all over the web; however, what’s most interesting is “a host of group buying enterprise-targeted software-as-a-service products are also cropping up. Each hoping to attract brand clients interested in offering their own Groupon-style deals,” Mashable.com noted.

4. Mobile Meets Loyalty
With the continuous and exploding popularity of the Smartphone, it won’t be long before the traditional loyalty, rewards and club card programs (often utilized by gyms, grocery and retail stores) make a much-needed transition to adapt the trendy platform of mobile applications.

A preview of this monumental transformation, which is expected to dominate consumer tracking and brand loyalty in the near future, can be seen in two new applications: Key Ring and CardStar. Both platforms are designed to “eliminate plastic loyalty card buildup with a single digital repository,” reported Mashable.com.

By leveraging barcode scanning technology, these mobile applications – along with other emerging platforms – will garner a stronger popularity as “Smartphones become more commonplace, scanners become more sophisticated and retailers become digitally savvy,” noted Mashable.com.

5. Checking-In to Entertainment
It’s no secret that the consumption of most entertainment media is a social experience by nature. And with the exponential popularity of social media gaining headway every day, a number of online resources have emerged to refine this social experience through the concept of entertainment check-ins.

While some applications extend far beyond the basic check-ins, like TV.com Relay (a CBS platform), others continue to stick to the black-and-white concepts to connect users with the content they love. However, all platforms will soon evolve to attach a real value to the check-in.

“Each (platform) recognizes that awards, badges and stickers are easy ways to encourage new user participation, but these existing game mechanics merely scratch the surface in terms of user engagement,” reported Mashable.com.


Click here to read the complete article at
Mashable.com.

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