Corporate Eye

Mobile Social Networking Set to Explode – Is Your Brand Ready?

Earlier this month, I wrote about the expected growth trends for mobile advertising asking if your brand is ready to leverage the medium.  Today, I’m asking a similar question – is your brand ready to leverage mobile social networking?

According to a study by ABI Research, more than 140 million mobile subscribers around the world will use social networks through their cellular phones by 2013.  That projection is actually very small in comparison to projections made by other research companies.  Juniper Research estimated in a report released a year ago that approximately 600 million mobile subscribers will use social programs through their cellular phones by 2012, and Pyramid Research estimated earlier this year that the number would be closer to 950 million by 2012.

eMarketer predicts a higher number, too – 800 million by 2012 to be exact.  According to eMarketer, in 2007, only 2.7% of mobile phone subscribers use social networking tools through their cell phones, but in 2012, that percentage will increase to 18.8%. 

Taking into consideration that these projections don’t include pay-as-you-go mobile users, the case can be made that not only is mobile advertising a medium marketers need to include in their budgets but so should experimenting and learning how best to leverage social networks both online and through mobile access.

Is your brand prepared for the mobile trends?  If not, you need to make mobile marketing and social media marketing priorities and start developing a plan.  Doing nothing is the worst decision.

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

Susan, you’re talking about right things – today each company that looks towards the future definitely needs to be involved in social networking. But why do you consider that prepaid mobile users don’t need to be included? In many countries these may constitute a large share of all subscribers.

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