Market researchers can reach mobile social users

OCTOBER 21, 2011 – Social media websites have proved themselves to be a valuable resource for market researchers, who often decipher consumers’ preferences and demands by what they post to their profile pages or what they say about specific brands and products.

With this in mind, research professionals may be happy to hear that the results from a comScore study show more people are accessing the online networks through their mobile phones, providing them with even more opportunities to gain insight on consumer behavior. The data indicates a 37 percent rise in the number of people who read a blog or social media website on a mobile device, reaching 72.2 million in August 2011.

Additionally, the researchers found that out of the group of people who have used a phone or tablet computer to view a social website, 80.3 percent personally knew the author of the post they were reading. Another 69.5 percent of the subset said they had posted a status update from their mobile devices.

“Social media is one of the most popular and fastest-growing mobile activities, reaching nearly one third of all U.S. mobile users,” stated Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president for mobile. “This behavior is even more prevalent among smartphone owners with three in five accessing social media each month, highlighting the importance of apps and the enhanced functionality of smartphones to social media usage on mobile devices.”

Donovan also said marketers and advertisers should seize on the fact that consumers want to interact with brands, as well as their friends and family, through the social channels. The three top-growing networks on the internet were Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the study found.

However, while each entity in the holy trinity of social media was able to grow its audience by at least 50 percent, another contender is gaining ground, BtoB magazine reports. The website Tumblr has managed to overtake WordPress in number of blogs, and it was able to increase its annual visitor rate by 183 percent year-over-year in May. In that month alone, Tumblr pulled in 12 million visitors, the source says.

As a result of this rapid success, more businesses may start turning to the website as a new method of reaching out to and communicating with consumers. The platform is particularly useful because it can support third-party apps, and its typically visual-heavy format also makes sharing content more simple, according to the magazine.