More consumers are turning to their smartphones and tablets to access social media feeds these days, making mobile devices the preferred way to spend time on social networks. But this trend is causing users to rethink how they manage their social media accounts on such tiny screens.
Interactive websites, photos, videos, and promotional downloads are all migrating quickly to mobile devices. More than 8 billion mobile devices will be in use by 2018, generating an average 2.7 GB of traffic per month, or 5X more than in 2013, according to SocialMediaRevolver.com. On a recent earnings call with Wall Street analysts, LinkedIn announced that mobile devices now represent more than half of all traffic to the site.
As consumers become more comfortable with browsing and sharing on their phones, companies are getting active by inserting more messages and ads on social networks.
This combination of the smartphone with social media is having a big impact on how young people shop and make purchasing decisions. Fully 83 percent of 18-24 year olds say they now consult at least one social platform before purchasing in at least one fashion category.
Another obvious mobile-social trend involves sales and marketing strategies. For example, word of mouth marketing is catching on with users of social media. Today 81 percent of consumers say they are influenced by their friend’s postings about purchasing decisions, according to a report in CMSwire. Likewise, posts by company brands now influence 78 percent of social media users.
When accessing social media on smartphones, marketers need to strike a delicate balance between friendship and commerce. To do so, their messages must become more personalized and localized, with immersive brand experiences to really capture the user’s attention – think interactive chats, eye-catching videos, and multimedia presentations.
Marketers will also follow wherever consumers lead them. For instance, 30 percent of frequent online shoppers – those who buy things online more than twice per week – now use Pinterest to discover new products. As a result, those dedicated shoppers are drawing more manufacturers and retailers into the Pinterest community.
This accelerating mobile-social dynamic will require new tools to simplify access to social media on consumer smartphones. Dedicated social media users deserve new technologies that will reduce such unnecessary friction and improve their online experiences, ensuring that they keep coming back for more.