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Mobile vs Desktop: The Battle for Social Media Engagement


When creating content for your business, understanding the differences between mobile and desktop is vital to your success. Here's what you need to know:



Some statistics about mobile use of Social Media

  • As of 2021, more than half of global website traffic comes from mobile devices (Source: Statista).

  • On average, mobile users spend 69% of their media time on social platforms, compared to desktop users who spend 31% (Source: Comscore).

  • Mobile users are 1.3 times more likely to engage with branded content on social media compared to desktop users (Source: Facebook IQ).

  • I recently ran a pole on Linkedin that showed 85% of my audience were accessing on mobile!


What to consider when creating content for mobile AND desktop

The way users engage with social media content differs significantly between mobile and desktop.

As such, creating content that caters to both audiences is key to increasing engagement and achieving your objective.

These are a few of the reasons why it's important to consider the difference between mobile and desktop viewers when creating content.



Mobile Users Have Limited Screen Real Estate

Mobile screens are small, and as a result, users have limited real estate to view your content. The content you create for mobile viewers should therefore be concise, clear, and engaging.


Be sure to use short sentences and paragraphs, and break up the text with bullet points, headers, and images.


It's also a smart idea to be wary of looooong videos that can use a lot of data and take too long to load.


Desktop Users May Have More Time to Consume Content

Desktop users tend to have more time to consume content than mobile users - particularly on platforms like LinkedIn. They might be sitting at their desks, browsing through social media during their lunch break or in between tasks.


As such, desktop content can be longer and more detailed than mobile content.


However, it's still important to keep the content engaging, concise, and easy to read. You can use more graphics, charts, or videos - but you must not forget how that will look on mobile.


Different Users Expect Different Types of Content

Mobile users tend to have shorter attention spans and want to consume content quickly.

They might prefer content that's snackable, such as short videos, infographics, or snippets of text.


Desktop users may prefer longer-form content, such as whitepapers, research studies, or case studies.


Different Platforms Have Different Layouts

Each social media platform has a different layout and design. As such, the content that works best on one platform might not work well on another.


For example, Instagram is more visual than Twitter, and therefore, images and videos tend to perform better on Instagram than text-based content.


Even on images and videos though, understanding which platform prefers which format is key to success (square? portrait? landscape?)



So what do you do?

Understanding the difference between mobile and desktop viewers is crucial to creating content that resonates with your audience.


In reality, most people won't have time to fully reformat every piece of content for both groups of users so finding a happy medium may work (E.g. Square images will generally fit across more platforms than a 16:9 landscape image)


By keeping in mind the unique characteristics of each platform and audience, you can create content that is more engaging, more shareable, and ultimately, more effective in achieving your business objectives.

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