Social commerce is sweeping the nation in terms of how businesses need to market effectively. While social commerce is a big part of the “always connected” population, mobile commerce is considered the next big thing.
The question that all businesses are asking is “How can I cut through the noise and reach my target customers?”
Here are 5 ways you can develop a mobile presence yourself without breaking the bank.
1. Make Your Business and Location Known
When people are searching for your business on their smartphone, they will see a list of the nearest businesses within your industry.
If you’re a pizza place, you want your location popping up when consumers search for pizza in your geographic area.
Visit all of the big directory sites to make sure your business is listed. You need to claim or own your business and location to take charge of it all.
This includes going on Yelp, Google Places, Yahoo Local, Foursquare, Bing and any others you can find.Some of the sites will even let you run specials to market to your customers.
Best of all, it’s free.
2. Check Out Your Reviews
There are more places for customers to review your businesses than ever before. From Yelp to Open Table, Foursquare to Google, people are leaving reviews. You can’t control what people are saying, but in many cases, you can reply back to the bad ones if you have taken ownership of the account. This may be what you need to get traffic back to your place of business.
3. Test How Your Site Looks on Mobile Devices
Searches on mobile devices has grown by 400% in 2011. This trend is only going to continue. This means that your business must be found on mobile devices, and must be visible on mobile devices. Google may not even show your site in the search results if it’s not mobile friendly.
Fortunately, Google has a great tool at http://www.howtogomo.com/en/d/test-your-site/#gomo-meter that allows you to view your site on various mobile devices. This is great for testing your site before going to your web developer to build you a mobile website.
4. Accept Coupons from Phones
Offering coupons on a mobile phone is a great way to make happy customers, as well as track how well your mobile marketing campaign is going. You can offer coupons right on your Google Places page!
5. Accept payments from the Phone
People don’t use cash like they used to. If you are expecting your customers to pay in cash, you may be losing a lot of business. Don’t make people go to an ATM machine because they might not come back. Instead, turn your mobile phone into a credit card machine.
Square, Stripe and a number of other apps will send you a gizmo to plug into your phone, allowing you to swipe a credit card.
As a business, you need to embrace the mobile phone. Life will go on without you participating or not. Chances are, reviews are already out there about you. Consumers are looking at the reviews to make decisions on products because they are doing more research. When you become forward thinking, you take matters into your own hands – and drive business through your front door.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to participate in mobile marketing and many of them are free. All you have to do is get started.