Businesses need to mobilise to capture extra market share

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Is your business stuck in a rut? Are you still clinging on to the idea that your main website is what will bring in the business? Can you not see the point in having a specific mobile website, or tapping into the social media revolution? If the answer to these questions is affirmative, then you could be missing out on a sizeable chunk of business. All companies need to ‘mobilise’ to capture the wealth on potential business out there. They need a website that’s specifically designed for mobile devices. Let’s face it your competitors have already done this, so shouldn’t you?

More and more people are accessing mobile internet these days. The number will only continue to grow as these devices become ever-more sophisticated. Of all mobile applications that are accessed on devices, social media is the king, particularly Facebook. More than 200 million Facebook users access Facebook from mobile devices every month, according to Facebook at least. If your business wants its share of those roving mobile users, it’s time to incorporate social media marketing into your mobile website design. Many consumers have already embraced mobile-social interactions. They didn’t need persuading by marketers. Despite its popularity, the major social networks appear to have been relatively slow in developing opportunities to market to mobile-social users. Yet, that’s no reason for your business to be just as slow.

If you’re currently thinking about creating a mobile website, or are in the process of having one designed for you, you should definitely consider incorporating social media into your mobile design. It’s the perfect platform for encouraging social interaction and building communities. Here are three suggestions that can help to drive more social-mobile interactions with your business whilst you wait for more abundant social-mobile marketing opportunities to emerge.

1. Offer check-in deals.

When people “check in” to a physical location using a mobile device via Foursquare or another application, they do it to share their location and activities with friends. Marketers call this “proof of presence.” If your customers frequent your physical location and tell lots of people about you through a social network, that behaviour should be rewarded.
How can you reward them? By offering these potential customers discounts and special privileges on social networks that provide check-in rewards features. Foursquare for Business and Facebook Check-in Deals both provide ways to reward people for checking in. Foursquare allows you to create deals for multiple check-ins based on frequency, and Facebook has a variety of deal options, including individual deals, group deals for up to eight people and even charity deals in which check-ins result in donations. Both Foursquare and Facebook currently allow businesses to create check-in rewards for free.

2. Update your followers via mobile.

Your customers aren’t the only ones connecting through mobile devices. Your business should be able to share photos, videos, deals and other information from anywhere so your social updates are timely and efficient.

There are two basic ways to update fans from your mobile device. You can use an app or website such as ping.fm or Seesmic to update fans on multiple networks including your Facebook business pages. And, you can update fans on a single network using a variety of methods. For example, Facebook allows fan page updates via text message, mobile email, mobile website and mobile app (currently for iPhone only).

3. ‘Mobilise’ familiar social interactions.

Mobile devices have installed capabilities such as cameras, GPS, speakers and even gyroscopes that you use to interact with customers.

  • Post a quick-response (QR) code to your social-network news feed or photo album containing a link to a mobile coupon or a video that educates your customers or demonstrates your value.
  • Use your social newsfeed to post offers that can be redeemed through or with a mobile device. Since people bring their mobile devices most everywhere, your news feed can be shown to a salesperson or customer representative for a discount or other special offer.
  • When you interact with customers, ask them to use their mobile devices to interact with your business. For example, ask people to take pictures of your products so they can share them with other decision-makers or ask your happy customers to write a quick review on a social shopping site or business directory listing.
  • Crosslink your Facebook page, Twitter page, blogs and other social sites to a mobile website. Make sure you also add share and follow links to your mobile website so people who visit on the mobile web can touch the link and start accessing your social updates instantly.

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