Last week, comScore released a report entitled Social Networking On-The-Go: U.S. Mobile Social Media Audience Grows 37 Percent in the Past Year. The study reveals several key statistics:
- 72.2 million Americans accessed social networks and/or blogs on mobile devices in August (a 37% increase versus last year).
- More than 50% of mobile users read posts from organizations, brand or events on mobile devices.
- 3 in 5 mobile users access social media each month.
- The social networking app audience grew 5 times since last year, but mobile browsers still dominate how users access social networks.
- Facebook mobile usage grew by 50%, Twitter by 75% and LinkedIn by 69%. The three platforms are the most commonly accessed social networks.
Mobile Social Networking Has Gone Mainstream.
Integrating social with mobile is not a new idea. It’s been considered a best practice for some time now. However, comScore’s report reveals that it’s shifted from a best practice to a mandate. Social and mobile are now indistinguishable. Consumers view them as one, which means marketers need to find ways to integrate their efforts as well because this isn’t going away.
As smartphone adoption continues to rise, wireless networks become more powerful and mobile devices get more advanced, accessing social networks away from the computer will only continue to rise.
Where Can We Start?
Consumers want to hear from brands. More than half of those surveyed reported that they read posts from brands, which means consumers are open to having a dialogue with you. Sometimes brands forget that their customers are open to sharing. They feel they need to bribe them! Now, is the time to provide the reasons and the means to share. First, let people know your accessible online at the store level, incorporate #hashtags in-store or on your products and encourage users to share their purchase(s) and/or shopping experience with their friends whie shopping via their mobile devices.
Apps make accessibility easier. The past year has seen major improvements in the mobile apps for LinkedIn, Twitter and, most recently, Facebook. It’s no accident that the amount users accessing these social networks via mobile devices grew. Apps make sharing seamless. Creating an app may or may not be right for your organization, but you should consider how your brand incorporates with existing apps to understand how people are accessing and sharing via the big three.
Be accessible all the time. Brands need to prepared to respond and provide support at a moment's notice. With consumers accessing social networks via mobile devices, there’s no moment in which they’re unreachable. Brands need to be prepared to offer advice, address criticisms and answer questions quickly because consumers are in-store in a decision-making mode. Incorporating real-time monitoring, a response protocol and always-on customer service allows brands to embrace opportunities in sale make or break situations. That’s where the powers of social and mobile converge.