How Increasing Facebook Mobile Usage Is Changing Engagement Trends

Jenny Wolfram
May 6, 2016 10:53:03 AM

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Clearly, Facebook is still the dominant social network. When you consider that Facebook has 18 times as many users as its nearest competitor, and on a monthly basis, 1.31 billion of them are active on mobile – brands need to be aware of what is happening in this large market.

As of September 2015, there were 1.01 billion daily active mobile Facebook users – that is 88.5 percent of their total user base. Users spend 1,299 minutes a month on their phone scrolling through Facebook, as compared to the 330 minutes per month spent browsing it on a traditional computer. That translates to 79.7 percent of active user time being spent on mobile.

With the majority of active user time being spent on mobile, it’s a no-brainer that markers need to understand the changing ways users are engaging with brand content.

The following trends will only become more relevant as Facebook’s mobile audience continues to grow:

1. Newsfeed ads will become more relevant than right-hand side ads

Now that the right-hand sidebar ads are not providing a strong ROI (as they are not at all visible to mobile users), more and more ads are being placed directly within the newsfeed. This means more opportunity for users to interact with your advertising content. Being prepared to handle the extra opportunities for both positive and negative comments will become a necessity.

2. Users will be viewing content at anytime, anywhere

Mobile allows users to review your content at any time of day or night, in the most diverse situations: when waking up, when commuting, when cooking, when out partying, when going to sleep, and even when working. The shift from accessing Facebook on desktop to surfing it on mobile can mean an increase in comments at all hours of the day, with a wider range of emotions involved.

3. The use of emoticons and smileys will continue to increase

Facebook allows for large stickers or smileys to be used alongside, or in place of a comment. These, along with emoticons, will continue to grow in use on par with mobile. That means Facebook users prefer to be reached in a more personal way. Brands are also exploring this trend and some brands (Mentos, Coca-cola, GE and more) are even creating their own branded emoticons.

4. Brands have 100% share of voice as posts are displayed full screen

Rather than being stuck in the sidebar, advertising right in the newsfeed allows users to focus on your content fully, without distraction. This increases the importance of coming up with compelling content your fans will want to engage positively with.

5. Mobile users are more engaged and more positive than traditional users

While the adaptation to mobile over desktop advertising involves some adjusting, there is quite an upside to this new way of interacting with users. Studies show that mobile users not only comment more frequently and positively, but they’re also more likely to share a branded post.

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While Facebook engagement trends continue to change as mobile usage increases, social media managers need to be aware of the best practices for dealing with users reaching their content in this more personal way.

Thus far, the move toward mobile has been positive for brands, allowing them to reach customers directly, while creating more of a positive conversation around their content.

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