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Stats, facts and future trends

An insight into how the world's top brands achieve engagement on Facebook, how tablets are boosting British ecommerce, and the rise of video and entertainment on the smartphone are just some of the research stories this month.     

Facebook hashtags fail to engage
study by Simply Measured, the US analytics firm, found that only 20% of posts from the Interbrand 100 have incorporated hashtags on the social network, despite 98 of the top 100 - including Coca-Cola, McDonald's and IBM - having an official presence on Facebook. 

  • Only 20% of posts from the Interbrand 100 have incorporated hashtags on Facebook.
  • 98 of the top 100 brands have a presence on Facebook. Two exceptions are Apple and Morgan Stanley.
  • Posting visual content on Facebook leads to 98% of engagement.
  • 29% of the top brands don't allow fans to post on their walls, typically leading to 15% less engagement.
  • The top 10 brands average 19.9m fans.

The study also found that posting visual content on Facebook leads to 98% of engagement among the top 100 brands, with photos gaining an average of 9,400 engagements per post, and video 2,500.

Car manufacturers remain the best at engagement on Facebook, with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Harley-Davidson and Audi USA all being among the top 10 for engagement, as pictures of their products lead to more fan feedback. The top 10 brands in terms of engagement average 19.9m fans, while Facebook is the most liked brand page, with 93m fans, followed by Coca-Cola (68.6m) and MTV (45.8m).

Tablets boost British ecommerce
According to a new report from Google and the British Retail Consortium, the UK ecommerce sector is benefiting from the growing popularity of tablet devices. The Online Retail Monitor for the second quarter of 2013 showed that British retail-related search volumes on tablet devices increased 132% compared with the same quarter a year earlier, while searches via smartphones grew by 66%.

  • British retail-related search volumes on tablet devices increased 132% year-on-year.
  • Searches via smartphones grew by 66%.
  • Total retail search volumes across all platforms increased by 15%.
  • Searches by UK consumers for overseas retailers increased by 51%.
  • DIY and gardening the fastest-growing sectors for online searches.

In addition, total retail search volumes across all platforms increased 15% while searches by UK consumers for overseas retailers increased by 51%, indicating that new mobile technology is reshaping internet shopping. The report also suggested that good weather and a series of public holidays helped to make DIY and gardening the UK's fastest-growing sectors for online searches.

Smartphones and tablets herald new age of fragmentation
According to a new eMarketer report, diverging uses of smartphones and tablets herald the end of mobile as a monolithic category, with advertising and commerce brands needing to respond not just to different screen sizes, but to different screen uses.

  • Overall, more US consumers currently shop on their smartphones than on their tablets.
  • In the future, tablets will take over from smartphones as the technology of choice for shopping.
  • Almost 71m people will actually make purchases via their tablet in 2013.
  • 53m people will make purchases via their smartphone.
  • 63% of tablet users will make purchases this year, compared to 39% of smartphone users.

Overall, more US consumers shop on their smartphones than on their tablets-102m vs 94m in 2013, according to April estimates. This is partly because more consumers own smartphones than they do tablets and use them in more situations. On a percentage basis, a larger share of tablet owners (84%) are forecast to shop on their devices, compared with smartphone owners (75%).

When it comes to actual purchasing, the report predicts that nearly 71m tablet owners will make purchases via their device this year, compared with 53m buyers using smartphones. In addition, a much higher percentage of tablet users will make purchases compared to smartphone users, at 63% and 39%, respectively.

UK smartphone users embrace mobile entertainment
A study by Mojiva has found that three out of five UK smartphone owners say they watch major broadcast or cable network content on their phone, meaning those who don't are actually in the minority.

  • 60% of UK smartphone owners say they have at least four or more entertainment apps.
  • Two out of five respondents spent an hour or more with mobile video content per week.
  • 64% of the UK's smartphone owners say they watch at least some of the pre-roll mobile video ads.
  • Almost half say they remember brands or products advertised in such ads.

In total, nearly 60% of UK smartphone owners say they have at least four or more entertainment apps on their phones (excluding games) and more than a quarter say they have more than seven. The study found that nearly two out of five respondents spend an hour or more with mobile video content per week.

While 36% of the country's smartphone owners say they skip pre-roll mobile video ads when given the option, the remainder watch at least some of such ads, with 30% watching the entire ad. And just less than half of mobile video viewers say they remember brands or products advertised in mobile video pre-roll ads.

Mobile takes an increasing share of email opens
As more consumers access their emails on mobile, there's a growing imperative to make sure emails are smartphone- and tablet-optimised. However, that doesn't mean marketers can forget about the desktop just yet.

  • Consumers in the US use the desktop to open 55% of B2C and B2B marketing emails.
  • The smartphone takes one-quarter of email opens.
  • When adding in the tablet, mobile's share of exclusive email opens rises to almost one-third.
  • Desktop and smartphone email opens happen most often between 10am and 4pm.
  • Tablets see the greatest percentage of opens in the evening, between 6pm and 10pm.

Research from marketing solutions provider Harland Clarke Digital found that consumers in the US used the desktop to open 55.2% of B2C and B2B marketing emails. The smartphone takes one-quarter of email opens, but when adding in the tablet, mobile's share of exclusive email opens rises to nearly one-third.

There is a stronger correlation between the smartphone and desktop when it comes to when consumers are most likely to open emails. Desktop and smartphone email opens happen most often between 10am and 4pm during the typical workday. Tablets, meanwhile, see the greatest percentage of opens in the evening, between 6pm and 10pm.

7thAug 2013


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