Using mobile technology to reach customers on the go

April 1, 2013

 

It seems like every day a developer announces a new app or technology that makes it easier to market to mobile users. These days we all have smart phones in our hands, computers that are always connected to the Internet and ever expanding friend networks. This connected world makes it easier for businesses to get their products or services in front of the eyes of potential customers.

Facebook is a good example of a platform that was built to market to its users. It is actively building tools that allow businesses to put information in front of the eyes of users who would most likely be interested in it. You can create a page for your business and communicate with those who have chosen to “like” your page and receive updates from you. Facebook has recently integrated this into its mobile apps to make it easier for you to get your business or content in front of mobile users while they are on the go. I created a complete Introduction to Facebook course you can get for free at Udemy.Com. There are many other platforms that make it easy to reach people through mobile platforms. Social network services such as Foursquare, Yelp, Google+ and many others are creating ways to keep users connected and allow advertisers to reach their users with relevant topics.

Everybody has his or her own idea of what mobile marketing is and how to do it. The problem is that each situation is different. When I market my photography business, I do things in a way that would work for a photographer, not a restaurant. There are tools out there to help pretty much any kind of business. Here are some tips I have found work for most businesses when it comes to marketing to mobile users:

1. Know what your customers need – If you have a local business location that customers travel to, such as a restaurant, office or retail store, you should make it easy for them to find your location. Google is making it easier, but you should never leave it up to search engines to provide this information. If a customer goes to your website and cannot find instructions on how to get to your business, you will lose out because those customers will go back to the search engine and look for someone else. You should also have your phone number, hours of business and other important contact information easily accessible on your website.

2. Location-based social networks – If your business has a physical location that customers can visit, it would benefit you greatly to create profiles for your business on Yelp, Foursquare and Where! There will be other location-based social networks in the future as this is a popular space right now. Setting up a profile and completing it will assure that users of these social networks have relevant and up-to-date information about your business. It also shows that you are actively involved with customers, which promotes trust. You can also set up special offers for those who check in to your business. When someone checks in to your business, their friends are notified that they are there.

3. Emails should be mobile-friendly – If you send emails or email newsletters, use a service such as Mailchimp. This will ensure that your emails always look good on mobile devices. Nothing is more annoying than an email that you cannot read because it was improperly formatted. Services such Mailchimp are free to use until your subscriber list reaches 2,000. Email marketing services make it easy to create nice looking emails and email newsletters to send to your customers or clients.

4. Encourage interaction – Facebook and Twitter make it easy to engage with your clients and customers. I never recommend that a business only focus on social networks, but I do encourage engagement. You can post things to social networks that you would never waste a blog post on. Asking questions or sharing inspiration from Pinterest is a good way to get users to join the discussion.

5. Use QR codes – I am still not convinced that quick response or QR codes are part of the mainstream yet, but it does not hurt to look like you are on top of the latest technology. Make it easy for customers to sign up for your newsletter or emails by providing a scannable QR code next to the cash register or in your waiting room.

Mobile marketing should play well with your other marketing efforts. Everything should be integrated and mesh well. Marketing should be consistent just as your brand is. Don’t be afraid to try new things. If done well, mobile marketing will not only help customers find you, it will help them talk about you as well.

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