2014 Social Media Strategy: Move over kids, the adults are here. On their mobiles.

How does this thing work? by onesecbeforethedub

Following our recent post on Facebook's healthy earnings, a twitter exchange led to Paul Fabretti's, Digital and Social Media Lead for Telefónica Europe, personal blog where he digs into more detail on mobile and the ageing of social media users.

There’s a lot of planning going on in the business at the moment – our social teams are preparing for 2014 activities and perhaps by default, that also means trying to look beyond 2014 at the kinds of strategic, structural and systems challenges that should be on our radar. 

And in looking at these future challenges, there are several really interesting insights from the hundreds of feeds and dozens of reports I’ve read over the last few weeks, which really bring some focus to where most businesses need to be:

Mobile Social Media

Growth in smartphone-driven SoLoMo
Growth in smartphone-driven SoLoMo

Growth in smartphone social profile management
Growth in smartphone social profile management

Global install base of mobile devices

Compatibility is a given. Smartphone adoption and the growth in ‘mobile social profile management’ and its associated behaviours, will challenge you to fundamentally change your approach to how you communicate TO your audience, but also question how you might expect your audience to communicate with you too:

  • Global smartphone penetration has risen from 5% in 2009 to 22% by end of 2013
  • Mobile internet use has grown 60% since 2011
  • Sharing of photos and location via a microblogging service rose 80% since 2011
  • Universal Mcann Wave 7 research also suggests 34% more people use their smartphone to manage their social media profile than in 2011 (the fastest growing device compared to Desktop in 1st and Laptop, 2nd)

What two things to these 4 fast-growing platforms have in common:

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Vine
  • Snapchat
  1. They are all predominantly mobile-first channels
  2. They are all visual/image-based

…and a third one for good measure…they reflect “the moment”, the often-cliche’d “real-time” marketing.

Point proven?

An Ageing Social Base

The Big 4 (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+) are not only reaching maximum penetration but are filling with an ageing population. Are you ready for what that means?

Are the audience, whose eyeballs are already seeing unrivalled levels of competition for attention, even there any more? And how are you going to adapt your long-established social messaging to an older audience whose natural instinct may not be to share but merely communicate with each other?

  • Twitter’s fastest-growing age group is 55-64 year olds, +79% compared to 2012
  • Facebook’s fastest-growing age group is 45-54 years olds +51% compared to 2012
  • The Median age for Facebook is 37.5 years
  • The Median age for Twitter is 33.8 years

The implications of just these two areas on behaviours, content, process and the wider business are phenomenal and go way beyond the immediate 12-months. And if you don’t start planning for this fundamental change now…well…let my friend Ferris give you a heads-up:

Reproduced with permission. Originally published on blending the mix blog by Paul Fabretti. Follow him @paulfabretti. Title changed from the original post. Pic (cc) onesecbeforethedub.