Social Media and Mobile: How We Connect & What It Means
Social media, mainly Facebook, and mobile devices are changing how we connect and this has significant marketing implications based on March, 2013 research of US respondents between 18 and 44 by IDC sponsored by Facebook.
US Smartphone ownership hits the halfway mark
Roughly half of the US population owned smartphones at the end of 2012 according to IDC. This population is expected to expand to 222.4 million smartphone users or about two-thirds of the US population by 2017.
Smartphones within reach all day long
80% of respondents reach for their phone within fifteen minutes of waking. Over 40% use their phone as an alarm clock. About four out of five respondents have their smartphones within reach for all except two hours per day. Roughly a quarter of respondents can’t remember not having their phone near them.
Among the top mobile activities are: email (78%), web browsing (73%), Facebook (70%), maps/directions (64%) and games (60%). These activities are time fillers that can be done effectively between other events.
Smartphones help us connect with others
Smartphones help us to connect to those people who are closest to us. We connect slightly more on the weekends when we have more time. Closer examination shows most people connect with their friends followed by their partner, spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend and other family members. Not surprisingly, women outnumber men when it came to connecting with parents and family members.
When incorporating mobile into your marketing mix, you must understand that owners view these devices as personal communications tools. Therefore provide information that supports their on-the-go activities.
49% of smartphone owners feel most connected when they text or message. 43% feel most connected when they talk on the phone and 40% feel most connected with they engage on Facebook. 84% of respondents time is spent on text, email and social versus 16% on phone calls.
70% of smartphone owners use Facebook
61% of respondents who use Facebook do so every day. Facebook engagement is highest over the weekend from Friday through Sunday when it peaks. Often, this communication is asynchronous. (Here’s other research data on Facebook and mobile.)
Over the course of a week, respondents spent about a quarter of their mobile communication time on Facebook or just over a half an hour. Top Facebook activities involve content snacking or grazing to keep up with connections. Participants averaged 13.8 Facebook sessions per day each lasting an average of two minutes and twenty-two seconds.
For marketers, these facts are critical. While participants spend a quarter of their communication time on Facebook, it’s done in a lot of short bursts where the user’s main focus is their timeline. Marketers take heed. Consumers spend a lot of time on Facebook but it’s in short bursts of content snacking. Your content on Facebook must be able to break through the newsfeed clutter and be easy-to-consume.
The top Facebook activities that were used multiple times a day included checking personal Facebook timelines and responding to friends’ comments and posts. One-third of Facebook users message friends directly. Additionally, they use games and check out apps.
Most Facebook users spent the greatest proportion of their Facebook time on their timelines. This activity was almost twice as much as any other Facebook function. So while our phones keep us connected, we’re really focused on ourselves and how we’re viewed by others. The data shows that we’re more outwardly focused on the weekends than during the week.
If you’re using Facebook as part of your social media marketing strategy, understand that a good proportion of your audience will be viewing your content on a smartphone. Therefore ensure that it’s mobile friendly.
Have you considered the implications of mobile usage on your Facebook marketing strategy? If so, what have you done and why?
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