Smartphones aren't just a part of social media - increasingly, social media IS mobile.

There’s a tendency to think about search engine marketing in terms of desktop devices. After all, that’s where the conversation started. Yet it vastly understates the impact mobile is having on every part of the web, including search and social. As Brafton reported, smartphones are increasingly just another window for media, so brands should worry less about the types of devices customers are using and more about the content they’re providing.

According to comScore’s 2014 U.S. Digital Future in Focus report, mobile isn’t just a second screen for Facebook and other online networks – it’s frequently the primary screen. In fact, very few platforms get the majority of their traffic from desktop devices.

Smartphones and tablets put social media in customers’ hands

The comScore study indicates a whopping 68 percent of Facebook users access the site on mobile devices. Twitter is even higher at 86 percent, and Instagram (which is ostensibly mobile-only) checks in at 98 percent. The only desktop-heavy networks are Tumblr (54 percent) and LinkedIn (74 percent).

Mobile isn’t just for on-the-go users

Mobile is a bit of a misnomer because people aren’t just using their smartphones when they’re walking down the street, sitting on the train or waiting in traffic. Mobile use takes place in the home and at work, so social marketing strategies shouldn’t assume  all of this social use is roving  – it’s simply in the palm of consumers’ hands.

This is also true for email. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 55 percent of Americans regularly check email on their phones. The bottom line is that mobile isn’t just a niche corner of internet marketing – it’s the future. And if Google is taking semantic search to the next level by using context clues (including location data) into account to produce SERPs, social media can’t be far behind.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.