Where Mobile Meets Social
Smartphones are everywhere. So many in fact, that it has been reported there will be more smartphones than humans on the planet by the end of the year. Using our phone for voice calls is becoming more and more a thing of the past. But using our phones to locate the best deals, happening clubs, places to eat and where our friends are is becoming the norm very fast.
When approaching this from a business perspective, you can’t help but wonder how to tap into the millions of folks staring at their mobile screen in search of a product or service you very well might be selling, and more importantly, that they are at that moment looking for.
Advertising and socializing
Ads are great and ads are effective; ads work even better when a voice is in front of them. I have found, through years of social media interaction, that ads work best when a social aspect can be integrated.
For me, (as someone who sells luxury product and services) my number one asset is knowledge and information. Customer service is also a top priority. If I implement an ad campaign to capture eyes, the conversion ratio more than doubles if I have a social media presence to answer any questions immediately or shortly thereafter an ad has been viewed and action taken.
Recently, I have tested Twitter-promoted products using my personal account, and the results have been better than anything we’ve executed before. Being present, and conversational instead of forceful, is key when creating a campaign geared towards social ads, especially when a brand representative is the one communicating the message.
Where, when & how?
Activity streams, Alerts, Check-Ins, Searches. Are you being found as a result of all these social actions being undertaken on the mobile platform? There is no doubt that having a social media presence in today’s highly competitive world is a key advantage for your overall marketing strategy. It’s even more important now, with mobile technology barriers close to completely broken down.
Going to eat and need an address? Google it and then check out the corporate mobile site. Want to see what others are saying about a new local eatery? Search Twitter for the restaurant’s account or even its username to see if people are talking about it.
People are doing all this in the background. Social research is quietly being executed by these potential consumers you don’t even know may be out there, trying to prove it to themselves that you get the seal of approval. The seal of approval warrants a visit through your door and possibly buying products and/or services you are offering over a lifetime.
Crossing social mobile platforms with your digital web presence into location based (check-ins) and popular social networks are powerful tools in validating a business to individuals, and even their peers looking for guidance and suggestions for future reference. Learn how to tap into your market. Your potential customers need data through social involvement to research on their mobile devices. Who you are and what they want to know needs to be a message that’s readily available, with as few taps as possible.
Response and return
One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is having social media accounts with little to no personal activity or interaction. It’s like having a sign and a building, without friendly employees to greet customers when they come through the front door. The mobile platform is the tool to find you. The social response is the most effective way to earn the trust and loyalty from the consumer who wants or needs to do business with you. Finding you is important. Social earning (business) is even more so. One cannot happen without the other, and if you go to the trouble of making yourself present, don’t leave the job unfinished and expect the rest to take care of itself without effort. Not only does that harm your brand by appearing as if you don’t care, it also carries on to others by word of mouth. It gives your brand a negative customer service perception problem. So, have a plan in place to be available to answer questions and respond in a timely manner.
When research is being done by a potential customer, they very well may reach out to you on Twitter just to ask a question to see if your company is listening. Mobile makes it so easy to ask a business anything, anytime, and on a positive note, to respond anytime as well. The nature of the feeling of intimacy through social network communication can give a business an unparalleled advantage over competitors. You just have to care more than they do.
At the end of the day, in business, we are all trying to generate leads, convert, and sell products and/or services to potential clients. Acquire and retain. Plain and simple. No rocket science needed to understand that. The difference today is that mobile devices and social voices are now creating the most powerful decision-making platform on the planet. Peer advice through smartphones which can be used as megaphones to blast to their social network worlds asking things like “Where should I go?” and “Whose product should I buy?” are the way of today’s commerce culture, and it’s not a novelty any more.
Think about ways you can tap into the mobility of social media, not only to be found by search results, but also, to market and capture eyes and ears by responding with answers and information immediately, with the answers delivered to the palm of the their hands. We are all now carrying an ad or knowledge base of some ‘thing’ that pops into our minds at any given moment, and if we are present, we can set ourselves up to be tapped to deliver what the person might be needing at that moment in time.
Dan Gordon is digital media specialist at 7 Media Group