Social media is changing the way people interact with each other, and the way they interact with brands as well.
According to new information from comScore Inc., more than 72 million Americans accessed social networks from their mobile devices in August 2011, a 37% increase over the previous year. Nearly 40 million mobile users (more than half of the entire social media audience) access the sites almost every day.
This is an area we have been tacking for years, and I think what we’ve seen happen this year is these numbers are now becoming pretty meaningful,” Mark Donovan, senior vice president for mobile at comScore, tells Marketing Daily. “We’ve gone from explaining to explaining why mobile was something that was going to be interesting to documenting a very large audience. It’s still early days, but we’re over the hump of mobile being active enough and large enough to warrant attention from advertisers. “
Of these people, more than half of them (53%) said they’ve used their mobile devices to read posts from organizations, brands or other events. A third of them said they’d received a coupon, offer or deal from social networking on their mobile devices, and more than a quarter (28%) said they clicked on an ad while on a social networking site.
“What you see here is a real clear sense that this is a channel or medium in which [activity is] not just about a place to follow the people you know personally, it’s also a way that you attach affinity to brands,” Donovan says. “It’s important for brands to add something that’s interesting and perhaps delightful to people, as opposed to just adding noise.
Facebook remained the most popular, with more than 57 million users in August, followed by Twitter, which had 13 million users and LinkedIn, which had 5.5 million. All three of those social network brands saw mobile usage increase by more than 50% over the past year, according to ComScore.
“I think one of the things that is still a bit up in the air is how these big brands are going to monetize the mobile audience,” Donovan says. “I think there’s lots of opportunity to create something that’s contextual and meaningful to the users.”