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Mobile users prefer ads to sharing

News, 26 August 2015

NEW YORK: Mobile consumers are far more likely to click on an ad than on a button inviting them to share branded content via social media, new research has claimed.

"We analysed over 61m mobile sessions and found that only 0.2% of mobile users do any social sharing," said Haresh Kumar, vp/marketing at Moovweb, a mobile experience optimisation business.

In fact, mobile consumers were 11.5 times more likely to click on an advertisement than a social sharing button, Mobile Marketer reported.

"This has deep marketing implications," Kumar noted, "since mobile device traffic is, on average, over 60%."

There are practical reasons for the reluctance to share, as users have to log in first. A single tap on a mobile ad is far easier than laboriously typing out a username and password.

One possible tactic to counter this obstacle would be to add a strong call to action with an incentive, such as a discount or a sweepstakes entry.

"Social sharing has evolved, specifically as it pertains to shopping priorities," said Kumar, explaining that while consumers are increasingly happy to shop on mobile devices, they are not ready to share their purchases with their networks.

"Social is likely the channel of influence during discovery and preference phase," he said. "Social is not top of mind when a consumer is in the moment and making a purchase."

The research showed that Facebook had the highest social sharing button engagement, followed closely by Pinterest. Twitter was third but mobile users were three times more likely to share posts on Facebook.

Kumar advised that while a multiplicity of social sharing buttons could work on desktop, "on mobile it might make sense to limit [them] to a few".

Data sourced from Nobile Marketer; additional content by Warc staff