LONDON: Facebook, the social networking giant, is aiming to persuade advertisers and agencies of the benefits of its mobile advertising offer at a traditionally slow time of year for the industry.

The company, which said the number of active monthly mobile users of Facebook in the UK had risen 22% year on year, claimed that it was well placed to reach a large audience during the warmer months when people spent more time out of the home.

James Quarles, Facebook regional director for the UK and Southern Europe, told Marketing Week, that for years the advertising industry had operated on the assumption that August was a quiet month, but said this was based on habit rather than insight.

"We think there should be a real shift in planning," he argued. "Mobile is so personal you take it out of home, to the beach, music festivals…advertisers that win will use that timeliness factor as well as the relevancy of the message and keep their creative similar to their out of home to provide this much stronger call to action."

Facebook also said that the number of messages sent daily via mobile had increased tenfold in the past year, while US data from ComScore indicated that Facebook mobile users opened the app between 10 and 15 times a day.

It has accordingly launched an education drive to persuade advertisers and agencies of the efficacy of its mobile offer, which has involved visiting them in a branded ice-cream van to dispense treats and to dispel "misinformation" in the market about its user base.

Quarles said the user base was "engaged and growing" and the visits would show the "very unique way users really make decisions about visiting family, when to travel and shopping".

In a further pitch, he outlined the benefits to advertisers of the social media site – standard format, easy to book and flexible to change, plus 21m users.

"Those are big planning numbers," he observed.

According to Socialbakers, the top Facebook brands in the UK, in terms of fan numbers, are Amazon, Skittles and Coca-Cola.

Data sourced from Marketing Week, Media Week, Socialbakers; additional content by Warc staff