As the social media landscape continues to form, new marketing opportunities and trends are becoming visible.  Here are a couple of statistics and trends which are continuing to grow and may be helpful for your business.

Consumers are continuing to go mobile through the increase in smart phone users and tablet device sales (iPad, PlayBook, etc). A recent study showed that almost 50% of mobile subscribers are using smart phones.  This means a growing number of consumers have access to browse the Internet, access mobile apps, downloaded content, or text messaging.  If the growth rate continues at this pace, it would lead to about 142 million smart phone users by 2012. This is really opening up a whole new opportunity to reach prospects and customers in new ways. Since consumers are taking these smart phones and tablets in place of laptops, companies should make every effort to ensure – at minimum – they have mobile compliant websites.

Many businesses are developing mobile applications. They are leveraging some of the GPS technology that exists through services such as foursquare and Facebook places to implement loyalty programs. It’s a relatively low-cost way to identify and reward good customers – as well as exposing your business to new audiences.  There are a number of ways to integrate mobile marketing with traditional and social media marketing to maximize the effectiveness.

Another current trend is with social deal sites. We are seeing an increasing number of daily discount offerings from Groupon, Living Social, Huge Daily Deals, etc.  A lot of these present great opportunities to market, especially for small businesses with a regional focus. They can create a significant amount of targeted exposure, but you really need to do a cost analysis to make sure it’s effective for your business model. Even if it’s at a break-even point, you could open up yourself to new customers, new prospects, and more importantly – repeat business. The good news is the ROI, return on investment, is relatively easy to measure because the numbers speak for themselves.