Marketers need strong social strategies for 2014 if they want to keep online consumers engaged across channels.

Marketers may find social media content is the best way to reach always-on buyers who are still outside of the sales funnel. According to eMarketer’s Key Digital Trends for 2014 report, consumers spent a significant amount of total ‘screen time’ social networking regardless of the devices they use to go online.

Visits to Facebook, LInkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and other networks account for 28.8 percent of the average time U.S. adults spend on the web. When accessing the net via smartphones, Americans navigate to social networks around 28.4 percent of the time. Meanwhile, tablet users spend slightly less time participating in online conversations – only 19 percent of their web browsing activities include social networks. (They spend an equal amount of time watching video content.)

Consumers are visiting social sites via desktop and smartphone devices.

We’re reaching a tipping point where some internet users are just as engaged in digital interactions as face-to-face conversation. Brafton recently listed five surprising social media stats, including one from a Google study that asserted 57 percent of people carry out more communication online than in person. This may seem exaggerated, but consider how frequently people check their smartphones (or mobile devices) for text messages and emails during off-hours, let alone the amount of time they spend in front of screens at work.

Even activities that were born in the offline world are gradually becoming web mainstays. Take news coverage, for example. Nielsen’s coverage of digital news consumption revealed 111 million Americans visit publications’ websites to read digital content.

With internet-using Americans spending an average of 27 hours a month online, it’s up to marketers to find the forums they use and start conversations that create golden opportunities for lead generation.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.