Looking for Something?
Posts Tagged for

mobile

12 Days of Giveaways: DIY Mobile Webinar with Greg Hickman

Author:

Greg-Hickman

It’s another week full of gifts from NMX speakers. The 12 Days of Giveaways is in full swing tonight with a live webinar from Greg Hickman.

Tonight, join us at 7 PM EST (4 PM PST) for “How To Be Mobile, Not Do Mobile. The DIY Mobile Audit.” You don’t want to miss this one: Greg is a mobile expert, having worked with brands such as The New York Jets, AT&T, and Cabelas. So, it’s safe to say that at tonight’s webinar, you’ll learn a thing or two about mobile content! You’ll also have the chance to ask Greg questions about mobile, which is an amazing opportunity.

Better yet, if you can’t make it to the live webinar, sign up anyway and we’ll send you the recording afterward.

Register now >

Hope to see you at the webinar tonight. Don’t forget to bring your questions about mobile!

Find the Perfect Bite For Customers’ Mobile Appetite

Author:

mobile appetite

Mobile web site up and running. Check. Reading latest trends on marketing for smartphones and tablets. Double Check. Wondering what to serve up next to your mobile audience. Triple Check.

Now is the time to…pause between courses. First off, congratulations on making the jump to mobile. Next up:  Step back and look at your business big picture and assess what to add to your mobile marketing menu.

Consider these factors before embarking on a deeper financial and time investment:

#1 Focus on short and long term business goals: Does mobile fit with how your customers engage with your business? Are you a local business seeking new customers? Do you have an established clientele? An online store with a wide-reaching audience?  These are but a few questions to answer before proceeding.

#2 Mobile is part of your marketing strategy, not  plate du jour: Mobile promotion is an extension of your  integrated marketing program and should not operate in its own silo nor be a stand-in for a plan. In the excitement of the collective mobile moment, best intentions can get burned, resulting in a disconnect between your online and offline messaging and brand look and feel—not to mention confusing your customers.

#3 To-go with your customer adds responsibility. Sounds heavy but it’s true. Or as Ford Global Head of Social Media Scott Monty said at his NMX keynote this January, “Mobile is like a piece of jewelry, you have to be invited there.” He advocated using that privilege wisely. Otherwise, your business could be dismissed just as quickly as it was sitting down at the table.

So…are you hungry to go further down the mobile marketing path? Here are some popular and effective ideas to consider:

The Free Appetizer: Search

One of the most basic but sometimes overlooked mobile marketing tactics is listing your business on mobile search engines, portals, and web sites. And if you’re a neighborhood business, even better: Google reports that half of all mobile searches are local. Keep these three things in mind:

  1. Duplication is a good thing: mobile search is often separate than “desktop” search.
  2. Use consistent contact information everywhere.
  3. List your business in as many broad categories as possible so it’s found searching multiple ways.

Google Maps and Facebook are the most popular search methods, but other major ones include Google Local, Bing Business Portal, Yahoo Local, and YP. Don’t forget about secondary listings like CitySearch, city and neighborhood directories, and industry/trade group listings. Make sure you are also covered on mobile business sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Foursquare. Think of all the places you do business with, official and unofficial partners, and awareness opportunities.

The Weekly Special: SMS (Short Messaging Service aka Texting) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)

According to Mogreet, SMS texts have a 95% open rate and are accessible to 98% of all mobile consumers, making it one of the most cost-effective, targeted marketing tactics—yet one of the most underutilized. Reason? Companies sometimes overlook the humble text as not sexy enough or  right “image”…they might want to think again, but proceed with care.

While the high open rates is great news, there are caveats: Make your text count with a strong CTA, especially since some receivers may incur a fee, and there are also reams of intimidating text marketing guidelines. The three most important ones:

  1. Get  opt-out permission.
  2. Document it.
  3. Be clear on what the receiver will get.

(See Guide to Text Messaging Regulations and Best Practices for complete rules).

There are numerous ways to laser-focus your text program: day/time (lunch specials, holidays), customer segments (repeat buyers, zip codes), or exclusive offers (VIP, limited-time), to name a few. There are no official “rules” on frequency, but general guidelines are no more than once a week or as part of a specific campaign. There are many text service vendors and prices vary on quantities and features.

MMS is a bigger time and money investment but also more attention-grabbing. Add video, mobile coupons, QR codes, music files, or any other visual elements. The same rules apply as SMS except it may eat up more data for the receiver or be slower loading.

Cross-promote SMS/MMS and provide ample opportunities to sign up on your web site, place of business, social media, business cards—anywhere your customers can see it.

The Fine Diner: Mobile Apps 

You might think apps are reserved for big budgets, large companies, and out of your league. These days, apps for your small business are within reach. There are many reasons to consider this prix fixe: For starters, if you are local business, research shows users prefer apps to connect.  Apps also show that you are catering to your customers, and lastly, they serve as a virtual mobile screen billboard  24/7. That said, an app should not replace a mobile web site, but serve as an alternate way to interact with your business. Make the app useful, intuitive, and require only few steps to complete a task. Be sure to cross-promote the app on your web, social sites, and ads.

There are several ways you can build an app for an iPhone or Android  (the most popular, but others are available): vendor-created or DIY . Because apps are now an established category, small businesses can take advantage of common pre-built functionality like maps, online ordering, appointment setting, social sharing, and other tasks that require  simple tailoring to your business. Not surprisingly, the more customization, the more expensive the app.

What’s the special sauce for your business?

These ideas may stir up  your mobile marketing recipe—there are also ads (including in-app ads), video,  and other tactics that haven’t even been introduced yet. Mobile marketing is a fast-paced, ever-changing landscape. Whatever approaches you take—like a new entrée—taste-test it, refine it, or decide it’s not delicious enough and scrap it altogether before making a big time or money commitments.

Image Credit: Altered, from Bigstock

Using Mobile Video for Your Small Business

Author:

As an increasing number of companies move online for most of their business activities, it becomes more important for customers to have a way to visualize who and what they’re working with. Mobile videos are a powerful tool for connecting with your customers and giving your business a personable face and real live voice. Used correctly, videos can help you grow your small business in big ways.

filming with ipad

Getting Started with Mobile Videos

You don’t need to invest in a lot of expensive equipment to make compelling, high-quality videos. While you can outsource this task, your video will seem more genuine and personal when it’s produced in-house. At the very least, make sure your own marketing department works closely with the production team so the finished product doesn’t look like a cookie-cutter piece put together by someone else.

While one video is good, a series of videos is even better. Continuously updating your mobile videos keeps customers coming back for more. Taking the time to learn how to make these videos yourself will make them easier to churn out regularly. As you’re developing your video concepts, look for ways to turn your ideas into a continuing series with new releases every week or month.

Identifying Your Message

Before you put your video together, you need to decide what the message is. At the end of the video, your customer needs to walk away with a clear idea of what to do next. Whether that message is “go visit our webpage” or “buy our blender and make a smoothie,” clarity is all-important. A great video with no call to action is a waste of resources.

Videos for Product Promotion

Product promotion is a popular strategy for mobile videos. Get creative about how you do this. Customer testimonials, live demonstrations on the street, and infomercials all carry out the goal of providing product promotion. If you’re selling a technology that buyers probably haven’t seen before, simply demonstrating it in a video will make them more likely to buy, since it will answer their lingering questions about the item. Seeing something in use or just viewing it in a person’s hand provides a better idea of the size and purpose than what you’ll get from a written product description.

Giving Your Company a Face

Companies that do most of their business online can use videos to give the business a live face. Take the cameras behind the scenes and show your customers the manufacturing process. Introduce your staff so the people on the other end of those emails finally have a face. Hearing a personable voice gives customers the sense that they know you. Seeing the office where your business takes place makes your company seem much more real and reliable.

livefyre interview

How-To Features

How-to videos are another popular area to explore. If your products have a variety of uses, use your videos to highlight these. A cookware company can offer weekly recipe videos featuring their products. A business that sells craft supplies might make videos featuring a quick how-to for popular crafts using their yarns, ribbons, and fabrics.

Engaging Your Customers

Length isn’t important when it comes to getting your viewers engaged with a mobile video. In fact, busy viewers have a better chance of getting through a short snippet. Consider quick and interesting ways to engage your customers and start a conversation. Show off your latest artisanal cheeses and ask viewers what summer recipe they’ll be using them in. Feature a snippet of your latest running shoes hitting the pavement and ask where your viewers are running this weekend.

Choosing Your Platform

Most people immediately think of YouTube when they think about mobile videos. Thanks to streamlined apps and fast connections, viewers can connect with your YouTube videos from their home computer, tablet, or smartphone.

YouTube isn’t the only player in mobile videos, though. Vine is a mobile app that allows users to post short videos directly to Twitter. These videos are just six seconds in length and loop continually. This is obviously better for engaging customers in a brief fashion. Vine is an exciting new way to connect visually with just a few seconds’ worth of effort.

When Videos Go Viral

A viral video is something you should always strive for, but it’s not something you can purposefully create. Simply saying that something is viral does not make it so. A viral video is something so engaging that viewers share it with friends and family. The exact definition of “viral” is unclear. Viral video guru Kevin Nalts defines a viral video as something that gets over 5 million views in a period of three to seven days. Try to create something shocking, hilarious, or over-the-top to snag that elusive viral fame.

all the screens

Putting it All Together

Once you’ve established the purpose and general idea of your mobile video, you’re ready to put it together. Longer videos are more engaging when they feature several different shots. If you have trouble speaking directly to the camera, enlist an assistant so you’re speaking to someone else and not the screen. Video editing software is easy to come by, so there’s no excuse for sending a completed video out without a little polishing and trimming. Finally, cut excess fat out of the finished product so it’s as concise and to-the-point as possible.

Sharing Your Mobile Video

Once you’ve created a great video, you need to share it. Post your video to your Facebook page, include it on your company’s website or feature it in the blog. Email engaging videos to customers in your newsletters. Promote your finished piece heavily to get the most out of your work.

Mobile videos are still extremely underused, but don’t count on this trend continuing. Jump in now and become one of the smart businesses that are ahead of the trend of using video for engaging promotion. As these video creators state over and over, stay passionate and keep creating!

Have you already found mobile videos helpful for your business? Make sure to leave a comment and let’s discuss.

Mobile Apps That Would Make The Pentagon Proud

Author:

Apps these days go far beyond fun games and finding a great restaurant. These extremely useful apps seem a little like something out of a spy movie. Nevertheless, this technology can really be helpful if you lose your phone, want to create hidden accounts or snap a stealth photo of the person who stole your iPad. After all, there is no such thing as having too much security for a device that holds some of your most sensitive information.

Find My iPhone 1. Find My iPhone

Forget cell phone insurance. Next time you lose your phone, simply track it on a map to pinpoint its exact location and go there to pick it up. It’s easier than you think with the Find My iPhone app.

This app has a ton of great features. You can display a custom message to the screen of your device, sound an alarm that will go off for up to 2 minutes, or even remotely wipe all of your personal data if there’s no chance of getting the actual device back.

This app also has a feature called “Lost Mode” that works with your passcode to display your phone number on the lock screen for the good Samaritan to call you once they find your phone.  It also tracks the various locations you phone might travel to if it happens to be stolen.

Editor’s note: This would be great to download before the next NMX, since lots of cell phones are misplaced during the course of the conference.

2. GadgetTrak

Whether you lose your iPhone or it gets lifted by a thief, you greatly increase your chances of getting it back if you have GadgetTrak. This app allows you to initiate tracking so you can pinpoint your device. You can even take a picture of the thief to help the police catch the criminal. Similar to the, Find My iPhone app, it also provides you with detailed reports about the location of the device and allows you to data wipe your device, which provides a piece of mind to those who save their banking information on their devices.

The app also has something called “SIM change detection.” This feature alerts the owner whenever the thief attempts to add his friends to your contact list. This feature should make finding your device much easier.

GadgetTrak is available on all your devices, not only your phone or tablet. And is designed to encrypt both your photos and contact information. As an added bonus, GadgetTrak is the, “first and only mobile security solution to be enterprise certified by AT&T,” according to the GadgetTrak website.

3. Stash: Private Photos, Videos, Docs and Browsing

Stash is a fantastic app if you want to make sure no one knows what you’re doing what you’re doing online via your phone. They’re the self-proclaimed “most advanced private media and download manager in the App Store.”

You can use Stash’s private web browser to download media directly to your library and make sure it’s all cloaked. You can create hidden accounts that are only accessible if you use a secret gesture, transfer photos and other media wirelessly, and utilize the boss button to immediately hide whatever it is that you’re doing.

4. Safe Eyes Mobile

This is the app every mom has been waiting for and is the “first internet filter for the Apple iPhone.” With Safe Eyes Mobile, you can ensure that your children are not exposed to inappropriate content, from websites to ads and more. The app allows you to block things like pornography, violence, certain websites, etc. You can even use the app to enforce time limits across devices.

This app was recommended by Parents.com for cyber-bullying safety, and is a great app for those who have youngsters that access the Internet. It was a Mom’s Choice Gold Award Winner in 2011.

What apps do you use to make your phone more secure? Leave a comment with your recommendations!

10 Tips for Your Brand or Business to Get Started on Instagram

Author:
instagram homepage

instagram homepage Photo-sharing app Instagram isn’t the first service to help brands and businesses share pictures from a mobile device to your community and it definitely won’t be the last.

Instagram, fresh from finalizing its acquisition by Facebook and crossing the 100 million users mark, has become the prominent dashboard for capturing, editing, and sharing images across the social web. With the growing importance and emphasis placed on images within social media, Instagram has become an optimal visual sharing mobile platform.

If your brand or business is ready to integrate Instagram into your content strategy and social media mix, here are 10 things you can do now to get started on the path.

GET STARTED

Reserve Your Instagram Name

Instagram is currently not set up to have brand/business accounts, but you can set up more than one personal account. If you already have a personal Instagram account, just make sure that you sign-up for another account using a different email address.

KEY TIP: If you are having difficulty securing a username, Instagram does have a trademark policy in place and by contacting Instagram you may have a chance at claiming your business Instagram name.

Set Up Your Profile

Instagram allows you to add a profile image, bio, and link to your website. Take advantage of filling these out and keep your information descriptive and simple.

KEY TIP: Since Instagram is rooted in mobile usage, make sure that the website that you decide to link your profile to is mobile friendly.

Sync Your Social Profiles

Instagram can be an excellent visual starting point for any photographic content that you wish to syndicate on other platforms. Take Facebook, for example, you can share your Instagram photos to brand pages, ensuring that your content displays larger and more prominent in Facebook streams than conventional shares and updates.

KEY TIP: Be sure to connect your account to Facebook, Twitter and any other third-party social sharing sites where you have an account (Profile > Edit sharing settings).

DEVELOP A STRATEGY

What’s Your Story

Instagram is a great platform to tell your brand story and can allow you to connect with your audience on a very emotional level. Spend time researching what Instagram consumers are most excited about, what type of content they engage with the most, and why consumers should even follow you on Instagram in the first place.

KEY TIP: Planning out your brand story and content strategy ahead of time will give you the insight into how and where your Instagram content will be distributed within your social media ecosystem.

Develop Your Editorial Calendar

Much like an editorial calendar for your blog, Twitter, or Facebook page, Instagram should be viewed with the same comprehensive tactics.

Brands can earn greater reach and results by investing in a journalistic approach to their content. Move your editorial calendar away from promotional messaging to the delivery of very useful, inspiring, and meaningful images that will drive engagement and positive viewing experiences.

You can define a schedule on how often you would like to update Instagram. At the beginning of the week you may decide to post behind-the-scenes images of your business, followed by new product updates mid-week, and finally ending with inspirational quotes or photos leading into the weekend.

KEY TIP: Entering a social platform takes commitment and consistency. Over time, your brand or business should be able to understand what type of images are most engaging within your community. You will also learn when is the optimal time your Instagram audience is most active.

Cross Platform Integration

Since Instagram is a tool that works best in conjunction with other social platforms, developing a strategy within a holistic social media strategy is a strong approach. Visually-emphasized sites such as Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook can benefit from the additional photographic content that will help further the reach and engagement of your messaging.

KEY TIP: When re-publishing content across multiple platforms consider adjusting the copy on each platform’s post. Copy that is suited for Pinterest with a specific call to action may not work for Facebook.  Facebook and other social platforms may require a different call to action.

ENGAGEMENT TACTICS

Involve Your Staff and Employees

Sticking to a set Instagram editorial calendar can get overwhelming at times, especially when you find yourself with a shortage of visual content to update. This can be a perfect opportunity for your brand or business to begin involving your staff and employees.

Not only will empowering your staff in contributing to Instagram give them a stronger sense of ownership, it will also show your employees a more creative side of your business and how social media can play a valuable part.

KEY TIP: Like any other social platform it’s about defining a brand voice. Instagram is just a more visual medium. Behind-the-scenes photos from staff and employees can put additional faces to your brand or business, as well as show a holistic view of your brand.

Engage Your Community

Be sure that you stay engaged with your community even when at times you may feel like you have nothing to share. Just like any other social platform, remember that Instagram is a community too and that reciprocity is key! Reach out to your followers and other Instagram users by liking and commenting on photos, especially if they mention your brand or business. This can increase visibility and provide additional insights to defining your community. Responding back to comments can be viewed as active participation in the community and will continue to keep your consumers engaged and happy.

KEY TIP: Other engagement opportunities can include creating contests and promotions that encourage your community to talk about your brand or business. Feel free to share any promotions/contests you may have running on your other social profiles. This will help raise the awareness with your consumers that you are on Instagram and will be providing content that may be valuable to them as well.

Tag and Geo-Tag Your Photos

Incorporating hashtags (just like on Twitter) will help increase visibility. A great start can be as simple as using a hashtag for the photo’s subject matter, location, filters used, and maybe even additional inspirational descriptions. While hashtags can increase visibility and build context around your images, don’t go overboard.

Instagram now places additional emphasis on geo-located images with their integration of a map function in app, geo-tagging your photos can provide additional visibility.

KEY TIP: If you don’t like the look of all those hashtags in your photo caption, feel free to add hashtags in a comment below the caption. This will keep updates cleaner yet still prove functional within Instagram search queries. As for geo-tags, adding a location to your photos, whether it is a city or even your actual place of business, will provide greater context around your Instagram images that consumers can engage with.

MEASURE AND OPTIMIZE

Utilize Tools To Optimize Your Content

After all is said and done, gaining more insight into your community and content will keep you on the continued path of optimizing your photos. There are a number of different tools such as Statigram or SimplyMeasured that are available for brands and businesses that can shed light into your most engaged times to post during the day, best filter used, and even identifying your brand advocates who engage with your content the most.

KEY TIP: Define what your success metrics are when it comes to Instagram and developing your strategy. This will help you to know what goals you want to achieve and what you’ll need to optimize to get there.

Remember that Instagram should reflect your brand or business as a whole and not attempt to create it’s own identity. Instagram can be a positive investment within your social eco-system that you may be pleasantly surprised with later down the line.

Photo Credit: Bigstock

How to Optimize your Site and its Local Listings for Mobile Use

Author:
Google Mobile Search April Fool

Photo Credit: Mac Morrison

Imagine your average Joe Schmoe. Joe is driving to work, and he realizes that he wants some donuts. He doesn’t want the drugstore kind, though; he wants to get donuts without getting out of his car.

Until recently, Joe would have to rack his brain to remember the nearest drive-through donut place. Chances are that he doesn’t have any donut coupons with him, and he may not even remember how to get to the place he’s thinking of. In today’s technology-centered culture, however, Joe’s donut finding experience is a lot simpler. He just pulls out his smart phone and searches for “Donuts.” Within seconds, his phone pulls up three options, all within five miles of his location. The first option has four stars, it’s a drive-through, and it offers a 25% off coupon offer for an order of jelly donuts.

Joe clicks on that result, and he’s able to see the company’s list of donuts. He taps their phone number to call them, and he places an order with an employee so that it’s ready by the time he gets there. When he hangs up, his GPS-enabled phone guides him to the store, and he’s able to get his donuts without being late for work.

This all happens in less than 10 minutes. Joe doesn’t have to remember where he’s seen donut ads, where donuts stores are, or how to get to the few donut stores he remembers. He doesn’t bother asking friends, and he doesn’t need to worry about remembering recommendations. He lets his phone do the work, right up to telling him where to turn. Considering how simple this process is, it’s no surprise that mobile local searches are taking over in the search world. Mobile search is fast. It’s easy. And anyone with a smart phone can do it.

Experts predict that by 2014, internet browsing done with mobile devices will outnumber internet browsing done with PCs. Even right now, more than half of all local searches done are done on a mobile device with internet capabilities. That’s big.

Considering the huge number of searches being done on mobile devices, businesses can’t afford not to optimize their site and their content for mobile searches. It may not be 2014 yet, but getting yourself optimized for mobile local searches and mobile applications can put you way ahead of the curve.

So how do you optimize your content for mobile searches?

Optimizing your Listing

Most mobile searches use Google Places to provide listings of businesses near the searcher’s current location. Just as a normal Google search provides only so many listings per page, a mobile search will provide the searcher with a limited number of local businesses from which to choose. That being said, it’s possible that the searcher will never even see your business unless you optimize your listing.

Both Google and mobile searchers value listings with a lot of information. If you’re a mobile searcher, you are more likely to select a business with a lot of positive user ratings over a business with just a couple of reviews. Depending on your situation, you may opt to favor a business that lists their store hours over a business that doesn’t list this information. Google understands that businesses with a great deal of information and positive user feedback are more likely to be useful to searchers, so Google lists those businesses higher on mobile searches.

In short, the best way to optimize your mobile listing is to provide as much information as possible. Make sure that your business is listed on Google Maps, as many mobile applications use this tool to find relevant results for the searcher. Provide your address, site information, store hours, and phone number. In a mobile search, the mobile search application may create easy-to-use buttons with this information, allowing the searcher to call you with just a click. The easier it is for the searcher to find relevant information and contact details for your business, the more likely it is that they will choose to patronize your business.

Positive user reviews are vital to creating a healthy, optimized mobile listing. If a searcher is on the fence about selecting your business, having even one positive review can tip the scale in your favor. You may want to ask current customers to leave good reviews and comments on your listing. You may even want to include the positive testimonies of former clients. Just make sure that your positive comments and reviews are genuine. Google and other search engines can tell if you are creating spammy, disingenuous reviews for yourself. This practice could hurt more than it helps, and it may even get your site de-indexed altogether.

Finally, remember that some mobile search applications bypass Google and other search engines by using specialized directory listings. Proactively submitting your business to relevant directories whenever possible will ensure that your business is listed in these and other mobile “answer engines.”

Optimizing Your Site for Viewers

Mobile searchers are less attentive than desktop searchers. Their focus is usually divided between their search and the other things they happen to be doing—shopping, talking, running, babysitting, driving. It’s crucial that your site be easy for a mobile searcher to read, navigate, and understand. Google has recently come out with a set of guidelines and recommendations that serve as a great guide for content writers and webmasters who are trying to make their sites more mobile-friendly. To convert searchers into customers, however, you should also consider the overall impression of your listing and your site.

Here are a couple of guiding principles that will help convert customers:

1. Offer coupons, promotions, and deals on the landing page of your site. When using a mobile device, searchers are more likely to select a company that will give them a bargain. In fact, studies show that customers are ten times more likely to redeem mobile coupons than traditional printed coupons.

 

2. Make sure that your site’s font is legible and visible (no grey text on black background). Making sure that viewers can access important information as quickly as possible will help to ensure that your customers follow through and buy, rather than simply giving up and going elsewhere.

 

3. Get to the point. Make sure that your customers see the most relevant information first. What questions do you get most often? Make sure that the answers are displayed prominently on your mobile site.

 

4. Format your site so that it is easily navigated. A lot of mobile devices have small, touch-sensitive screens. Make sure that links and buttons are easy to tap, as this will drastically improve your visitors’ experience and increase the possibility that visitors convert into customers.

 

For more info, check out Angie Schottmuller’s great SEO advice on other ways to streamline your mobile site.

Mobile marketing is already a huge, multi-million dollar industry, and it’s only getting bigger. Getting on board with and optimizing for this growing trend will help to secure your local business’ success not only now, but in the future as well!

What do you think about mobile optimization? What mobile optimization techniques have been effective for you?

 

Want to Find More Fans? The #1 Place You Need to Be (And It’s Not Facebook)

Author:

Want More Fans? Go Mobile! We talk a lot about how you have to find your audience online. Go where they like to hang out, whether that’s Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest or somewhere more niche like a community forum about your industry. It’s solid advice that you can use to build your business online or find more traffic for your blog, podcast, or videos.

But are you missing out on the number one place where your audience is hanging out?

Forget about Facebook. Say ta-ta to Twitter. The number one place you need to be to connect with your fan is on their mobile devices. This week, Pinterest released new mobile apps to connect with their social network via your Andriod phone, iPhone, or iPad, and this was a much-needed, smart move for the company. If your audience uses a mobile phone (and chances are good that they do), you need to be there.

Mobile by the Numbers

Mobile is growing at astounding rates. When Tom Webster talked about the state of social media at BlogWorld New York 2012, He kept mentioning over and over again how millions of people are accessing social sites via their mobile devices. According to a June 2012 report by mobiThinking:

  • As of the end of 2011, there were 6 billion mobile subscribtions world-wide. This is a huge increase from 5.4 billion in 2010 and 4.7 billion in 2009. Even when you take into account the fact that many people have more than one subscription, there are an estimated 4.2 billion people world-wide who are connected via their mobile devices.
  • Sales for mobile devices were up over 11% from 2010 to 2011. These sales are expected to grow another 7% by the end of 2012.
  • In 2011, over 470 million smartphones were sold (up over 60% from 2010). IDC predicts that in 2012, 686 million smartphones will be sold.
  • 68.7 million media tablets sold in 2011. This is predicted to rise to 106.1 million units in 2012.

In other words…mobile is important!

Taking Your Content Mobile

So how do you get a piece of the mobile pie? There are three main options, and I suggest that you explore all three:

  1. A mobile version of your website
  2. Mobile advertising
  3. A mobile app

If nothing else, it’s very important to have a mobile version of your website. Don’t point to your stats and say that no one mobile is visiting your site. Of course they aren’t if the site isn’t mobile-friendly. I can’t tell you how often I go to a site using my mobile phone and there’s some kind of pop-up feature that completely blocks everything and is so big I can’t click out of it. Even if you don’t have that problem, though, your site probably has teeny tiny text and is hard to navigate on a smaller screen. And let’s not forget about data costs. If your site isn’t optimized, it’s going to be expensive for someone to load, as well as taking a long time. So, install a mobile version of your website or develop a responsive design.

Mobile advertising is also a facet of this conversation to consider. If you’re a small business, use geo-targeting to reach people in your immediate area. But even if you’re not, you can make use of mobile advertising. Think about the huge number of apps that are downloaded every year and consider purchasing advertising with some of these apps that fit your niche/industry best.

Lastly, you may want to consider developing your own mobile app. App development can be expensive and if you aren’t a tech-savvy person, it can seem impossible. However, before you go out there and hire someone to create a custom app for you (or write it off completely), check out the affordable options offered by companies who specialize in helping small business owners, bloggers, and others online create their own apps. Some require more knowledge about app development than others, but at least you have options:

If you work in a specific industry, there may also be customizable apps you can choose. For example, here at NMX, we’re in the conference/trade show industry, so it makes sense to work with a tool specifically for events.

Not everyone needs an app, of course, but don’t ignore this option. If done properly, an app can bring you tons of new fans and customers.

Be Mobile

For a long time, I made the mistake of saying how much I hate my smartphone. I complained often about how I wish I could just have a phone that made calls and nothing else. I think a lot of people are in that same boat. But it’s the wrong boat to be in.

If you truly want to be successful on mobile, you have to understand how mobile devices are used. That doesn’t mean becoming an expert on the technology behind mobile, but it does mean having first-hand mobile experience. How do you use your smartphone most? When it’s your primary means of connection, what are some of your patterns of use? What are some of your biggest mobile frustrations? These are questions you can really only answer by being a mobile user yourself. So pick up your phone and learn to use it so you can see how your audience is using it too.

Why Small Businesses Need to Go Mobile [Video]

Author:

Did you know that an astounding percentage of mobile searches are people looking for local information? It makes sense, right – someone is out and about, has the urge to stop for food, and wants to find the hours and location of nearby restaurants. Or they’re at the mall, decide to see a movie and need show times. Or their car breaks down and they need to find a nearby mechanic.

If you’re a small business without a mobile-optimized website, you’re missing out. This video explains further:

We’ll also be talking about video at BlogWorld New York next week! Check out our mobile track, as well as the Social Media Business Summit, which has even more great social information for small businesses. There’s still time to register and get tickets here!

New Media News Break: Google’s Knowledge Base, Student Hoaxes, and More

Author:

Every week, we post a New Media News Break to help catch you up with what’s going on in the world of new media and get you through the work week. Here are this week’s top stories:

Google Begins Rolling Out Major Search Changes

This week, Google began rolling out “Knowledge Base,” which will drastically change the way we search and use other Google tools. If you search for an ambiguous term, Google will now ask you which term you really meant. The hope is that people searching for cats the animal will no longer see results for Cats the musical. Basically, it’s a way to filter your results. Google will also show you related results (if you like Cats you might also like Fiddler on the Roof). They’re also incorporating an error reporting system, in part because this new web of knowledge will draw from sources like Wikipedia, which are user-generated and often include subjective opinions or misinformation. Check out this video to learn more about Google’s Knowledge Base will work.

46% of Americans Believe Facebook is a “Passing Fad”

For those of us working in the new media industry, Facebook is a part of our daily lives, almost second nature. But not all Americans like this site – and a new study has revealed that nearly half of them believe Facebook is a passing fad. About half also believe that the company’s stock market value is overvalued and only 18% said they were “extremely confident” in the ability of Mark Zuckerberg as CEO. You can read the entire study from Associated Press and CNBC here (PDF). It’s eye-opening, especially if you’re in a niche other than social media/blogging. It’s not that Facebook isn’t important, but remember that it might not be the best place to connect with your target market.

Twitter Introduces Top Stories Emails

Twitter announced this week that users will soon have the option to receive a weekly email with a digest of top stories. This digest will include the “most engaging” tweets from your friends, tweets you’ve liked or retweeted, links that are important based on what your followers are sharing, and more. These emails aren’t yet available for everyone, but will be rolling out over the next several weeks. For content creators, this can be a great tool to see how your tweets are performing, what kind of content your followers want, and how you can make changes in your tweeting activity to better connect with others.

Verizon Kills Unlimited Data Plans, Even for Older Customers

Verizon customers used to enjoy unlimited data, but recently the company has moved away from this model. Still, users who had previously purchased this unlimited plan were not made to change, so many (myself included) have been clinging to their old contract. Verizon, however, has put their foot down and will be killing the unlimited plan altogether in the coming months, forcing data users to change to a limited plan. Why should you care? Well, as a content creator, it is important to ensure that you’re taking these limitations into consideration. If users have to “spend” a lot of data to view your content, they likely won’t come back, at least on this mobile devices. It’s important to at least have a mobile version of your site, keeping in mind that you been to be optimized for these users.

Reddit Catches Student Hoax

A few years ago, Professor T. Mills Kelly and one of his classes pulled the wool over the Internet’s eyes by planning an elaborate hoax complete with fake Wikipedia pages, videos, and expert interviews. He’s at it again, teaching a class where he encourages students to form groups and attempt to fool the Internet. It’s a social experiment of sorts, and one that many, including Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, detest. This year, though, Reddit users shut down the hoax in a matter of minutes. That should be a lesson to anyone even thinking about lying online. People will find out, so it’s better to always be 100% honest from the start.

In Case You Missed It

Here’s what you might have missed on the BlogWorld blog in the past week:

Awesome from the Archives

There are some golden posts in the post hidden in the BlogWorld archives. Here are three of my favorites that I think you should check out:

Check back every Wednesday for a New Media News Break just when you need it!

Is Your Small Business Missing Out on the Mobile Crowd?

Author:

As much as I hate to admit it, if you see me, there’s a good chance you can also see my cell phone. Or at least hear it if it rings. I was a late bloomer, not getting my first cell phone until I was in college and only getting my first smart phone about two years ago. I’m still a little resistant. I like a phone that makes calls and allows me to send text messages from time to time.

But even as a new media lover but a cell phone hater…well, I have to admit that my cell phone comes in super handy when I’m not at home. I can use it to set alarms. To check Twitter and Facebook. To take pictures. To send quick emails. To look up product prices to see if I’m getting the best deal. If you have a small business in a physical location (or locations), cashing in on utilitarian cell phone users like me can boost your profits more than you think. Let’s face it – you might be cutting edge, but most smart phone users are still pretty new to the whole new media thing. So how can you grab their mobile attention?

  • Create some kind of very useful free app. 
The likelihood that I’m going to pay for any app is slim to none. Seriously, I think to date I’ve purchased three apps…and I’ve had my phone for over two years. Of course, other users may be more likely to shell out a few bucks for an app, but if you create something useful and FREE? I’m there. Maybe you’re a restaurant that creates an app allowing me to order online. Or maybe you’re a bakery that creates a simple game I can use to win free cupcakes. Whatever. Be creative and get people downloading!
  • Give me a mobile version of your site.
Nothing annoys me more when using a cell phone than trying to look up something on a business’ website on my cell phone and there is no mobile version of the site. Half the time, some ad pops up on the screen making it impossible to click on anything. Yuck. Creating a mobile site is actually extremely easy (WordPress users have their choice of plugins that create it automatically for example). So no excuses!
  • Reward loyalty. 
People are still kind of figuring out location based mobile apps, but there are already likely thousands of Foursqaure and Gowalla users in your area. Reward their loyalty when they check in to your business’ location. An easy way to do this is to give a free item or discount to anyone who shows a waiter/clerk/etc. that they’ve checked in. You can also give a bigger reward to the person who is the mayor on the first of every month – it encourages coming in often to compete with other users.
With more and more people embracing their smartphones every day, your small business will really miss out if it is ignoring mobile altogether. This crowd will only continue to grow and it doesn’t take much time or money to reach out to these consumers and get them spending more money with your business.

Learn About NMX

NEW TWITTER HASHTAG: #NMX

Recent Comments

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. (Please Confirm Your Subscription by Visiting Your Inbox)

Categories

Archives