SOCIAL MEDIA Social Networks in the Palm of Your Hand: How Mobile Devices are Transforming Social Media Lead Analyst Yael Yungster Contributing Analysts Michael Gartenberg Zak Kirchner An Interpret Syndicated Research Service subscription is $10,000 per year and includes twelve research reports and unlimited analyst inquiry. For subscription inquiries, email email@example.com or call (310) 255-0590. Reproduction by any method or unauthorized circulation is strictly prohibited. Interpret’s syndicated research reports are intended for the sole use of clients. All opinions and projections are based on Interpret’s judgment at the time of publication and are subject to change. Published December 2009. © 2009 Interpret, LLC Social Networks in the Palm of Your Hand: How Mobile Devices are Transforming Social Media Catalyst: Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to access social networking sites, but is this trend affecting the way social networks are being used? Executive Summary: Overall Interpret Insight: Mobile social networkers are valuable consumers. Compared to non-mobile social networkers, they spend more time on social networking sites and are more highly engaged with content on these sites. While mobile social networkers have successfully created a new touch- point for businesses, the majority of their social networking behavior continues to take place on computers. Social networking companies can further connect with mobile users by tailoring websites and applications to better fit their existing needs. Mobile social networking is also a major opportunity for companies to expand their online social media strategy from the computer; however, companies will also be required to distinguish mobile from computer-based social networking tactics, given that the context of interacting with a cell phone creates an entirely different experience. Core Questions: • What does the current mobile social networking environment look like and who are the major players? • Do the needs and behaviors of mobile and desktop social networkers differ or is mobile social networking just desktop social networking on-the-go? • How can companies leverage the evolving mobile social networks to achieve their business objectives? Key Insights: • 59% of Americans are active social networkers (i.e. participate in social networking activity for at least one hour per week), and 10.3% of these active social networkers access these sites from a mobile device on a weekly basis. While Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are the top three sites accessed by both mobile and non-mobile social networkers, almost twice as many mobile social networkers access Twitter (27% compared to 15%). Twitter is an example of effective mobile-social network integration. • Mobile social networkers are more active users compared to non-mobile social networkers, both in terms of hours spent on social networking sites (7.2 vs. 6.0), as well as the variety of activities conducted on the sites. In addition, mobile social networkers are more susceptible to advertising on social media, as 20% have clicked on an advertisement or sponsor on a social networking page in the past month (compared to 11% for non-mobile social networkers). • Companies have a major opportunity to reach consumers in ways and at times that were previously not possible. For social networking companies, there are two major opportunities: convincing more active social networkers to go mobile and increasing mobile activity among mobile social networkers.
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