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Social media and tablets: A perfect duo?

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This post was written by Mirna Bard, a blogger, speaker and consultant. She serves as the social-media chairwoman of the Orange County (Calif.) chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and she teaches social media at the University of California at Irvine.

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social-media practices and issues.

Last week’s poll question: Do you think the rise of tablet devices such as the iPad will affect the way people use social-media platforms?

  • I think it will fuel an increase in social-media usage 69.14%
  • I think it will have no effect on social-media usage 24.69%
  • I think it will distract people from using social networks 6.17%

Tablet devices are popping up everywhere. There’s the Apple iPad, of course, but also the HP Slate, Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy, BlackBerry PlayBook and many more. The popularity of these tablets is indisputable, with the iPad selling 2 million units less than two months after launch.

These tablets are transforming digital behavior, and I certainly concur with the 69% of SmartBrief readers who said that tablet devices will fuel an increase in social-media usage. These hand-held devices were created for mostly media consumption, such as watching movies or videos, surfing the Internet, reading e-books and playing games. So their primary focus is content delivery or education and entertainment, making tablets and social media a perfect duo. After all, don’t we all hop on social networks to be entertained and/or educated?

Relative to smartphones, people with tablets will be connected to the Web in more spaces and with far more engagement, presenting many more social-media opportunities than any other device. Although we are able to access social-media platforms on mobile devices, tablets give consumers greater accessibility. It is now much easier and more convenient to connect with our online communities.

We are also now seeing many social-media sites create applications to leverage these tablets’ features, such as HootSuite’s iPad application for better social networking. HootSuite users can now sync their accounts with the iPad, which offers access to multiple Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare accounts. Soon, we will start seeing more of these apps crop up.

Have you embraced the use of tablets yet? How has using a tablet affected your use of social media?