A Study of Mobile Social Networking Around the World

Elias Veris
Elias Veris Senior Research Innovator, InSites Consulting

Posted on September 23rd 2011

In our freshly released “Social Media Around The World”-study, we see that more than 1/3rd of the western world possesses a smartphone, and the majority of them are constantly connected through the mobile internet too. If there was ever a good reason for me to focus on a couple of mobile findings, this is it.

Europeans connect more to social networks via their phone than they surf the internet with them.
47% of smartphone-connected-Europeans will surf the mobile internet every day. While that is quite a huge amount of traffic, an even more overwhelming finding is that 66% of connected smartphone users log on to their social media profile(s) every day. This again illustrates that the mobile phone is and stays primarily a communication device; especially because the general population (that is not connected via smartphones) has a lower daily logon rate. Literally having your social network in your pocket makes a pretty large difference in terms of frequency and intensity of use of social media platforms. Facebook itself confirms for example that “People that use Facebook on their mobile devices are twice as active on Facebook than non-mobile users”. Social media is made easy by smartphones, one could say.

Activity equals branded activity
So mobile users are more engaged with their social networking platforms, but does this have any impact on brands? It has. One consequence is that mobile users are more eager to connect with brands on social media. We know from this same social media study that the key drivers to start following brands on social media are either a real product experience, or some kind of word-of-mouth from an acquaintance. In a lot of cases, these two don’t happen in front of a computer… but in the real world out there. Whenever a product is experienced, it’s very easy for a smartphone user to show appreciation for it on social media (right there in their pockets). People thus have an easier way to act upon their branded experience by liking the page or starting to follow the brand immediately. A logical consequence is that mobile connected users will have more connection with brands on social media, than others.

Mobile consumers expect more
Mobile consumers are thus more closely connected to their social network and to brands. And the modern consumer wants to take full advantage of this connection to brands. Consumers nowadays are actively asking brands to share ideas and provide updates on future products and services, and want to be invited to give feedback and co-create with them. In addition, they are open for announcements of events & promotions on social media, which again makes them feel connected. This goes for all consumers, but this tendency seems to be even stronger among mobile connected consumers. As the convenience of communicating with brands goes up, the joy of doing so increases too…

Any brand that is considering involving users in online co-creation efforts, or communicating around events or promotions on social media, should keep in mind that the first eyes on your efforts might be staring to it on a mobile phone… While this can be a challenge, one must not forget that there are a whole bunch of locations in which these users naturally engage (like neighborhood stores), that you would love some more information on. For market researchers like myself, a huge opportunity indeed.

For more mobile figures, check out our Mobile presentation, or contact me via mailto: elias.veris@insites.eu or @eliasveris on twitter. I’ll be happy to talk to you. Really.

Elias Veris

Elias Veris

Senior Research Innovator, InSites Consulting

Interested in all things humans do, Elias started off by studying psychology. Soon realizing that lots of great things are done in within the business environment, a focus on consumer and work psychology, and an extra master in marketing management at Vlerick management school got him involved in the research world at InSites consulting. Now an R&D consultant, Elias further explores human behaviour and how to research and apply it to make it profitable for the marketing & HR department. Inspiration comes from versatility he believes, with some of his other passions being the online world (on twitter via @eliasveris), art and design and a vast array of other stuff. He’s always looking for a conversation and a coffee, so please feel free to contact the man!
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