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Social Moms Lead the Way to Mobile

Moms more likely to own smartphones, tablets compared to general consumers

According to a new eMarketer report, “The Mobile-Social Mom: Speeding the Trend Toward ‘Mobile First’,” if you want to know who is moving over to mobile social media, look no further than mom. eMarketer estimates that as many as half of all moms with children under 18 in the household will use mobile devices to access social networks in 2012.

Moms are on the leading edge of a behavioral shift that has marketers and social networks scrambling. They may soon become the first demographic group who will use the mobile phone or tablet more often than the computer to access social networks.

The change is happening due to a number of factors. Moms are highly likely to own one of these mobile devices. February data from Arbitron and Edison Research found that 61% of total US moms surveyed owned a smartphone in 2012, ahead of the 44% of total consumers who owned one. The percentage of moms who own a smartphone has grown enormously over the past couple of years. As recently as 2009, just 8% of moms had one, according to Arbitron.

Tablet ownership also trends higher for moms compared to the population as a whole. Arbitron and Edison found in their February 2012 study that just over one in five US moms had one, compared to one in six total consumers.

And these mobile devices allow moms to log in more frequently: Arbitron and Edison found that 46% of US social networking moms surveyed visited social networks multiple times per day in 2012, up from 37% in 2011 and 32% in 2010. Mom may not have time for long visits to social networking sites but mobile allows her to snack throughout the day, whenever she has a spare moment.

As moms start to put mobile first for social media, they are changing the rules of the marketing game. The report addresses the key challenges marketers face in keeping up, answering important questions such as:

  • Who is the Mobile-Social Mom?
  • Why do moms turn to mobile devices for social interactions?
  • How can marketers reach these women?

“It is not enough for companies to simply add mobile to the mix,” said eMarketer. “They must consider moms’ social media usage holistically and plan their marketing accordingly—not only taking account of when and where they use social media, but also how and why.”

Posted on October 16, 2012.