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CU marketers, flex those thumbs: Social media goes mobile
NEW YORK (1/10/13)--Social media is going mobile, with marketers scrambling to catch up with consumers where they connect--on tablets and smartphones, says a new eMarketer report. Credit union marketers dabbling in either area need to flex their thumbs and employ an outreach strategy encompassing both.

"The key opportunity for marketers in the shift toward mobile is that mobile users not only log in more frequently, but they also spend more total time on social media sites," said the New York-based eMarketer (Jan. 9)  in its new report,"Social Media Marketing on Mobile Devices: Turning Challenges into Opportunities."

"As devices integrate social media more deeply, such as by making it easier to upload photos from a mobile phone to a social site, it reinforces the mobile-social virtuous circle, making it even stronger, "said the report.

Last March, 60% of U.S. smartphone users polled by Google visited mobile social networks daily, up from 54% in July 2011. In 2012, users accessed social media in various ways, with fewer using computers and more employing mobile phones and tablets:

  • Computer, 94%, down from 97% in 2011.
  • Mobile phone, 46% up from 37%;
  • Tablet, 16%, up from 3%.
  • Handheld music player, 7% in both years.
  • Game console, 4%, up from 3%;
  • E-readers, 3%, up from 2%.
  • Internet-enabled TV, 4%, up from 2%.
"The most engaged folks on social networks are people who are accessing via mobile," said Chia Chen, senior vice president and mobile practice lead at Digitas. "So the question is, how do we think about it from a mobile perspective in the beginning? How do we make the social experience for them mobile at the core?"

Emarketer's advice to marketers: think broadly and strategically.  Other recommendations critical to social marketing campaigns:

  • Understand the ways consumers use their devices, especially the differences between smartphones and tablets. Make marketing content accessible across all devices.
  • Overhaul the credit union's Facebook strategy. Focus less on promotions tied to the brand page and more on content delivered to the newsfeed. As Facebook's mobile usage rises dramatically, the newsfeed takes pride of place on smaller-screen devices.
  • Think opportunity as well as adaptation. Photo sharing is among the top activities for mobile social users. Lean toward imagery instead of text. Also, mobile offers the location component to marketers aiming to catch the attention of mobile users on the go.


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