In a report released this week, global consumer insight giant Experian Marketing Services revealed statistics on how consumers in various markets spend their online time. The report shows that in 2012, the average American spent more than a quarter of every online hour on social networking sites. By contrast, only five minutes was spent shopping, and nine minutes was spent on entertainment sites.
On mobile devices, email is still king, with the average American mobile device user spending 23 percent of their time checking, reading, and sending email. Social networking still ranked fairly high, though, coming in at a respectable 15 percent of time spend on mobile devices in the United States.
What this information gives us as business owners and marketers is some insight into how consumers prefer to spend their time online, and what that means to us in terms of strategy and planning on how to reach those consumers. If you were one of the few business owners who was still hanging on to the idea that social media was a fad and that there was no point in spending any significant time on social media marketing, now is definitely the time to rethink that position.
What’s even more interesting about the Experian report is that in the data retrieved for the first quarter of 2013, it seems that email is on the rise, both on mobile and traditional devices. This is good news if you have an email subscription service for your blog or newsletter, or if you rely at least somewhat on email marketing campaigns. If you’re not using email as part of your strategy, now may be a good opportunity to think about how you can use email to reach your audience.
In short, this report simply confirms a trend that has been growing for several years now – social media is here to stay, and email is not going anywhere. That information should help inform how you spend your time in terms of online marketing, and given that social media marketing tends to be more effort-intensive than funds-intensive, it’s probably a good idea to think less about how much money you’re spending on your marketing, and more about how you’re spending your time. If time is at more of a premium than funds for you, you may want to look into taking on a dedicated social media assistant to help manage your accounts properly.
How much of your online marketing strategy involves social media? How about email?