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Social media users go mobile

By: capturecode | Aug 1, 2013

Mobile devices are quickly becoming pillars of marketing campaigns. Consumers are using their phones for a variety of purposes, from checking email to logging in to social media. Savvy businesses will take advantage of mobile platforms and meet customers where the congregate.

Recent studies show that social media is increasingly going mobile. Of course, this trend is led by social services that thrive on mobile platforms, such as Instagram and Foursquare. However, even more traditional social media sites are attracting an audience of smartphone users. When consumers want to vent or get in touch with their friends, mobile devices allow them to do so anywhere and are more convenient than logging on to a desktop computer.

For instance, a ConsumerMetrix report from Strategy Analytics suggests the number of Twitter users tweeting from their phones has surged over the past year. In March 2012, as many as 77 percent of respondents used the social site from desktop or laptop computers, while only 53 percent tweeted from mobile devices. In October 2012, the numbers began to swing the other way, with desktop users dropping to 64 percent while mobile users surged to 64 percent. On top of that, 18 percent are using tablets to access Twitter, MobileMarketingWatch added, citing the report.

"The immediacy of Twitter communications requires devices which are close to hand at every waking moment," explains David Mercer, vice president of Digital Consumer Practice at Strategy Analytics. "By definition this suggests mobile phones and tablets should be preferred devices for Tweeting and the survey evidence points clearly in this direction."

General social media usage on the rise
Twitter is only one of the many social sites seeing a greater uptake via mobile devices. Other social platforms are also being used increasingly by on-the-go Americans.

A report from comScore suggests that as many as 39.2 percent of American mobile subscribers accessed social networks via their phones. It was ranked as a top five mobile activity as of November 2012, according to the data. The same report also notes that there are 123 million Americans who have upgraded to smartphones, which means approximately 50 million people are accessing social networks via mobile devices.

Facebook has also mentioned time and time again that approximately half of its users access their profiles through smartphones and tablets regularly. The company has created more advertising options for businesses as a result.

Businesses need to embrace mobile devices in their marketing and customer engagement strategy. Mobile interactions through social media can help businesses learn more about their customers. This data can then be utilized to form targeted marketing initiatives and improve engagement and loyalty initiatives. With more than 140 million Americans using smartphones to access social media, it's pivotal that businesses likewise engage them through mobile devices.

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