Capturing the Attention of Consumers in the Fragmented Mobile Social Landscape

Posted on February 25th 2014

Capturing the Attention of Consumers in the Fragmented Mobile Social Landscape

Mobile Social Fragmentation

We all know that mobile social is kind of a big deal.

On average, consumers are spending 37 minutes daily on social media, which is a greater amount of time spent doing any other activity on the Internet – email and porn included.

Of those 37 minutes, 60 percent of that time – or 22.2 minutes – is spent on mobile social media.

There, probably enough said.

It’s clear that engaging your business’ audience on mobile social media is becoming increasingly critical.

The trouble I find many businesses have isn’t about realizing that mobile is an important platform on which to have a solid presence, however, it’s how to establish that presence, and where.

Facebook is a mobile juggernaut

On desktop computers, determining where to socially engage an audience is pretty clear for most businesses. With over 1.2 billion active users, and significantly more time spent per user on the site than any other social media network, Facebook is an obvious social media starting point, and for many businesses, serves as a hub of social activity.

On mobile, as it pertains to users and usage, Facebook is actually a great place to be as well.

In fact, it was revealed in Facebook’s Q4 2013 Earnings Report that the platform had 874 million mobile monthly active users. What that means is that of Facebook’s 1.2 billion active users, 72 percent of them were also active on mobile, or were mobile-exclusive users. Which is huge.

But there are other players you need to pay attention to on mobile

Unlike on desktop computers, where Facebook is the far and away the attention and time consuming champion, the mobile social media landscape is much more fragmented and competitive.

While Facebook on mobile is still commands the most of time spent on site per user out of all mobile social networks, there are a few key players that demand significant attention as well.

When you combine monthly time spent on Instagram (3 minutes, 40 seconds), Twitter (3 minutes, 7 seconds) and Pinterest (1 minute, 39 seconds) – all heavy hitters in the mobile social arena – it actually amounts to more time than is spent on Facebook (7 minutes, 43 seconds) (source: Nielsen Digital Consumer Report)

And all of this makes sense. Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest offer streamlined and focused experiences that are well suited to mobile engagement and are aligned with mobile user expectations, whereas Facebook has shoehorned its platform into a messy and notoriously sluggish mobile experience.

This isn’t to say that all of these platforms might be right for your business and target audience, but it clearly demonstrates that there are networks worth paying attention to beyond just Facebook, despite their efforts to provide stronger mobile experiences with the introduction of standalone apps such as Paper.

So, what should you do with this information?

For starters, I recommend thinking more openly about which social media platforms you choose to engage your targeted audience on. Mobile social’s fragmentation means there is no obvious choice of social network to serve as the hub of your mobile social activity.

Figure out which platforms your audience using and for what purpose, determine the value that you can provide through engaging them on those platforms, and what benefit that will yield for your business. If you fail to do this – simply put – you’re missing a tremendous opportunity.

Also, on Facebook, it’s increasingly important to consider mobile when developing your social media and content strategies. Determine which types of content resonate most strongly with your audience on Facebook’s mobile apps, and think about mobile technological limitations and opportunities when prompting them for interaction.

Taking a photo and sharing on mobile is a relatively simple ask because mobile devices have the tech built-in to easily facilitate that interaction.

Asking for essay-length comments or responses to your content, however, is a terrible idea because typing anything of any length on a virtual keyboard is a sub-par experience.


How have you adapted your social media and/or content strategies for mobile?

Are there any social media platforms that you use to engage a mobile-specific audience?

It would be great to chat with you about this more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial


Matthew Peneycad

Matthew blogstweets, and posts as RGB Social with the aim of sharing his advertising agency experience in social media and digital marketing with businesses and brands of all sizes.

Blog: | Twitter: @RGBSocial

See Full Profile >