The shift to use of smart phones (and tablets) with their smaller-than-computer screens is presenting some graphic design and feature challenges for social media platform providers and consequently for social media brand marketers too.
Smartphone Use for Social Media – Growing Higher than Computers
Growing smartphone popularity and convenience has increased mobile use for social media features to near equal levels in western countries. In developing countries, where computers are unaffordable for most people, smartphone and tablet pricing is falling and these devices have already outstripped computers as the main means for accessing social media. Here are the proportion of 2012 mobile users accessing social media from smartphones and tablets and where the trend is obviously heading:
- UK 42%
- Australia 61%
- US 73%
- India 92%
Source: eMarketer Webinar: Social Media Marketing on Mobile Devices
Currently smartphone users access social media primarily for reading posts, sharing posts, checking-in and creating social media posts. Mobile social media activity is now second only to text messaging for time spent on non-voice mobile use. In their 2012 Annual Report Facebook said the world-wide number of ‘mobile-only’ users is close to 25% of all their mobile Facebook users. Their CEO, Mark Zuckerburg said…”[Mobile] allows us to reach more people. We have more engagements from people who we reach.” Twitter users are also very active on mobile…60% of worldwide active Twitter users access the service via mobile.
Social Marketing on the Mobile Screen
Less space on smartphone and tablet screens have forced social media companies to make changes to the way text and image content is presented to users, and also to the functionality of certain features.
Facebook marketers are realizing that emphasis needs to shift from the full screen display of a brand’s business page to providing high quality posts that arrive in their mobile fans’ newsfeed…and the posts need to be much more image-oriented with far less text than was normal for computer screen Facebook viewing.
So, now it’s not about ‘adapting’ to mobile social media marketing experiences…it’s important to ‘begin’ with mobile marketing (for smartphones and tablets) as part of the core social media marketing strategy, right along with computer screens.