Social engagement is all about sharing right? Brands expect us to share every message they send about their latest marketing campaign.
They want us to engage and they want us to respond by talking to the brand, giving feedback, and extending the reach to turn a campaign viral.
But it does not always happen the way that brands want and they can often be disappointed by the response that they get from users.
In June 2014 there were over 18 billion visits to consumer facing websites and 700 million mobile app use sessions according to the US Mobile benchmark report from Adobe.
San Francisco based mobile optimisation company Moovweb analyzed mobile user behaviour across 61 million mobile sessions. It wanted to find out whether any one used social sharing buttons on their mobile devices.
The company found that only 0.2 percent of of users on mobile devices ever click on a social sharing button. That means that 99.8 percent of mobile users do not share using the buttons.
When 60 percent of our time is spent interacting on smartphones and tablets, this is not a good figure.
When sharing happens, the sharing buttons most often tapped are Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Mobile users were three times as likely to share information through Facebook compared to Twitter.
According to the benchmark report, Pinterest gets 64 percent of its referred traffic from mobile browsers whilst 62 percent of Twitter referrals are from mobile devices.
Users on mobile devices are 11.5 times more likely to tap an advertisement than tap a social sharing button. Desktop users are 35 percent more likely to click on a sharing button that mobile users.
Before brands get too concerned, these findings do not reflect behaviour across all mobile device usage. The report covers social button clicks from the web. As apps get more sophisticated and available across platforms, we use these apps to access the social sites instead of using a browser.
Logins also pose a challenge according to Moovweb. The challenges of logging in on a mobile device is still clunky and cumbersome.
OAuth goes some way to alleviating this problem but not every site users the technology as they want to keep their own data for themselves.
Without a login, you can not use sharing buttons. Without a login, data capture often is meaningless to brands.
Until brands come up with smart ways to capture data using other fields such as hardware, or location this problem is not going to go away.
Perhaps engagement could be better served if brands invested time creating more intelligent ads instead.