BIA/Kelsey Insight Paper: Social Sharing Goes Local

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One of the emerging mobile use cases is sharing multimedia through social graphs. We’re talking pictures over Instagram, location check-ins over Facebook, and video snaps over Snapchat. It’s especially prevalent among increasingly buying-empowered millennials.

The technology macro-environment is also driving this trend. Better smartphone camera optics enable robust image capture; larger screens create compelling viewing experiences; and wireless broadband enables large file transfer and streaming. Live video will be the next step, a la Meerkat.

Put it all together and you have the social sharing movement. But it’s not just about recreation; the trend has been channeled into local marketing.  This happens through aggregating and amplifying multimedia that’s captured and shared around local businesses. It’s the next phase of user-generated content.

It’s particularly relevant for certain local verticals that are image-based or naturally viral. Think pictures of food, bar hopping, flowers, or several other local verticals that are beginning to embrace this trend.  But how is it coming together, who are the current players, and where is it going next?

We answer these questions in our latest white paper, including projected business models and best practices. Check out the executive summary below, and more can be found on the Insight Paper’s landing page, including information on downloading a copy.

Executive Summary

Among technology sectors transforming media, social sharing tops the list. We’re talking about mobile users sharing pictures via Instagram, video via Snapchat or location status via Facebook. It’s especially prevalent among increasingly buying-empowered millennials.

Smartphone penetration and advancement have engendered powerful optics to capture and share professional grade multimedia. Larger screens also make the content more attractive and viewable, while wireless broadband enables users to quickly share large image and video files.

Beyond its technological and cultural drivers, an important question is how social sharing creates marketing opportunities — particularly localized marketing. A science has developed around channeling social-sharing activity toward marketing tactics for large and small companies.

When effective, social sharing can harness the social activity that’s increasingly occurring in and around local businesses. Tracking and amplifying this customer communication can advance an overall social presence by populating pages with vibrant user activity and comments.

The opportunity is particularly strong in business categories that are conducive to sharing, are visually attractive or have inherent virality. Restaurants, for example, are an opportune category because of the “foodie” culture that drives the act of capturing and sharing pictures of food.

Meanwhile, social content formats are evolving just as fast as millennials’ thirst for multimedia. Beyond still images a la Instagram, we’re seeing video emerge as a way to capture and tag locally relevant footage. This includes both recorded and live video.

This report examines the state of the “art” in social sharing, its underlying drivers and usage growth, and how it all translates to local marketing strategies. Social sharing will be an important area to watch and build upon for any tech or media company currently serving local businesses.

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