Everyday moments offer valuable insights into smartphone and social media behaviours of consumers

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Mobile and digital advertisers may have a significant advantage in getting their messages across by understanding how consumers feel in everyday moments. According to a survey of 52,000 people across 78 countries, UM’s The Meaning of Moments report has been tracking social stats for ten years.

The latest Wave 9 results suggest that consumers are increasingly doing more things with their smartphones. Activities including instant messaging, watching videos and managing social network profiles were all up in 2016 compared to the previous years. In addition, consumers are uploading more videos and photos using their smartphones than ever before.

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Consumers are also increasingly managing their social networks more actively. The majority of respondents use social media to promote themselves (30%) whilst fun and entertainment aren’t sought-after activities on social sites (-40%).

However, this has led to increased stress when Internet access is not available. 57% of respondents said they would likely soon spend more time on smartphones than PCs and roughly 59% are feeling stressed when they don’t have Internet access.

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Instant messaging service use is up 23%, from 69% in 2015 to 85% in 2016. This in turn has raised consumer expectation in what they want from brands and branded communications.

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When it comes to daily and present moments, respondents are finding it increasingly more important to be able to share these moments. Among top topics in 2016 such as the death of Prince or the US presidential vote, social media users want to be able to share their thoughts and contribute to the conversation.

Interestingly, moments are becoming shorter. That is, posts which delete themselves via Snapchat or similar messaging apps are gaining in popularity (up 14.7% from 2015).

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The Wave report points out that key moments include family events such as weddings or birthdays, hobbies, travel, socialising and health as well as work events. The emotions which guide these moments differ widely. Let’s look at shopping as an example. Whether consumers are sneakily shopping at work, or researching products online depends on the mood they are in. Relaxed, bored and joyous moods all promote sneaky online shopping at work, whilst product intrigue, inspiration and anticipation boost online research activities.

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In line with these findings, consumers tend to satisfy different needs depending on the type of shopping. As such, sneaky online shopping at work makes them feel able to relax or escape the current moment, whilst Christmas shopping is seen as fun.

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These insights offer valuable opportunities for retailers, brands and advertisers to match their campaigns to audience mood and moment.