What do marketers do when everyone has a mobile device?
It’s not rocket science. While the boom times for social network adoption in the UK are over (new user growth is set to slow to a near standstill by 2018), the growth is coming from users expanding their social network activity to mobile devices.
That’s the uptake from a new eMarketer report, “UK Social Networking Trends: Mobile Is Becoming the New Normal,” which concludes that the proportion of UK social network users who will access their accounts via mobile phone will continue to increase substantially throughout eMarketer’s forecast period, growing from 75.3 percent in 2014 to 90.2 percent in 2018.
As UK consumers move their social networking business to mobile, smart marketers are beginning to move their business along with them. That real-time engagement is critical for advertisers and marketers who want to meet people where they are most receptive to messages.
That jives with results from a February 2014 study by immediate future, a social media firm, which indicated just how many benefits UK marketers felt real-time social engagement offers. While general audience engagement was the most cited among respondents, other benefits were noteworthy—for example, 35 percent felt real-time social engagement brought increased customer retention and loyalty, and 25 percent said they credited it with a better ROI (return on investment).
Mobile ad revenues are becoming increasingly important to social networks. For instance, Facebook’s recent earnings call paints a picture suitable for the news feed: In Q1 2014, the company logged a 72 percent year-over-year rise in total global revenues. But here’s the key point: that growth was driven by mobile, which accounted for 59 percent of ad revenues during the same period—up from 30 percent in the previous year.
UK marketers may have had qualms about the effectiveness of advertising via social media, but the future indeed in shaping up to be a mobile social one.
Marketers in the UK will be OK if they start riding that tiger today.