First, there are computers. Old, antiquated lumps of unexciting technology that require dirty mice and even dirtier keyboards to manipulate. Most of us probably use them because they are familiar to us and easy to use. Those computers are how we perform a huge amount of our research and, most likely, most of our work.
And then, in a smaller, seemingly less capable but equally as powerful spectrum, are mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. These are the devices that we almost always have on us in some form or another — a second set of lungs, if you will. Regardless of whether it’s an iPhone, an iPod or a Blackberry, these devices grant us the capability to perform that same research and work that we would normally perform on our home computers (a dying breed) everywhere else. On a smaller scale, of course.
And I place a heavy emphasis on the words ‘everywhere else’, because whether we’re at a Starbucks, a restaurant or our local auto repair shop, smart phones have quickly become the preferred (and only) method of information access from those remote locations.
That’s why simply having a web presence is slowly becoming an unacceptable norm for small businesses. Why? Because, unless that website is optimized for the mobile web, it does nothing to take advantage of the business opportunities inherent in the mobile world. Suddenly, your business has become a penguin trapped in a world full of, well, birds that can actually fly.
And fortunately, smart phones have graciously afforded struggling businesses plenty of inexpensive opportunities to market their business in new ways. Here are just a few ways in which businesses can translate themselves to the mobile world in order to take advantage of its various marketing opportunities…
Mobilizing Your Website
For most small businesses, even just having a website is typically an afterthought. Something they dish off lazily to a web development company in India that eventually churns one that is well below their expectations and far above their quoted price.
But for even more businesses, creating a mobile-friendly website is even less of a thought; an idea that is briefly discussed with friends over wine, maybe.
Which, frankly, is just ridiculous.
In the past, that mentality might have been okay. “We can deal with that later,” you said. But now, in a world where more adults own smart phones than degrees, not having a mobile website could be seriously cramping your business’s style by limiting the ways in which current customers — you know, the ones that actually come into your respective business — are able to interact with your business.
Apps Apps Apps
Depending on what sort of business you have, another viable method with which your business can communicate with current and potential customers is through apps. Not fart apps, necessarily, but apps that supplement your business’s current offerings in some way.
Not only do apps typically provide individuals with unparalleled user experiences, but they also allow for businesses to provide other purchasing opportunities for their products or services beyond the confines of their web and/or physical business presences.
Surprise! Social Media, Too
Social media has also become an inherently mobile-friendly way for businesses to represent themselves to their customers. Facebook, Twitter and especially Foursquare, automatically provide methods for business customers to seek out information on a respective business through their mobile devices.
The one caveat is that those businesses have to be on those various forms of social media and, better yet, active. Yes, having a Facebook business page, a Twitter account, and your business registered for Foursquare is a start, but it won’t necessarily get customers singing about your brand. Activity is important to help grant your customers reason and incentive for seeking out and even interacting with your business through those mediums.
Ultimately, though, there is no one, universal solution towards mobilization for any particular business. It’s truly a matter of finding out what works to effectively drive the most traffic for your individual business. Industry, competitors and budget are just some of the important factors in adequately determining an appropriate mobile strategy.
But the most important factor is to simply embrace the mobile world; for some, that might mean accepting defeat. But, all within the past several years, it has become abundantly clear that computers are rapidly being replaced with mobile devices which provide customers with more interactive and intuitive ways to interact with businesses. Now stands a brilliant opportunity to get ahead of the curve, not behind it.
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester NY web design firm specializing in SEO, social media, web and graphic design and much more.