Did you know that 91% of the US has a cell phone?
How many of those cell phone users do you think are reading your emails on their phone? How many are looking at your Facebook page on their phone? And what about your website? Have you tried to navigate your website from a Blackberry or iPhone?
Mobile is huge. For most people today, a phone will be their first computer, their first connection to the internet. Think about that. Are you prepared to connect with your customers on what will soon be the dominant communication device?
According to Pew research from April 2010 the top five activities people do on their phones today are:
Take pictures 76%
Access the internet 38%
Play games 34%
Of those five, let’s highlight three key areas where you can do the most to improve engagement with your customers via mobile devices:
Internet access (mobile browsing)
1. Internet Access
We know mobile users are browsing the internet and if you’ve got a blog – I’d highly recommend making a mobile enabled site. If you use WordPress like me; the WPTouch plugin is a five minute solution that will make a world of difference. It will detect users on a mobile phone and send them to a mobile theme. Below is an example of the theme in action, is a screenshot of my blog viewed via iPhone.
If you have a budget to put behind this, a custom mobile site and even a custom smart phone app is the next step. When you make it easier for customers to access your site via their phone, they are much more likely to keep coming back more often.
2. Texting (SMS)
Something every phone can do is text (SMS) and it’s a great way to connect with your customers in short-form format. Messages can be about “insider” specials, new inventory, coupons or an update for top of mind awareness.
Regardless of the message, sending texts to your customers allows you to be present on the device they carry with them everywhere they go. Sign ups often look like the image below (taken of a Van Heusen door) encouraging you to text “Sample” to 23456 for updates. If you’re curious to see one in action, sign up for texts from the restaurant chain Houlihan’s for hilarious and actionable texts.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and start messaging, try out Tatango to send them out.
Start up an email newsletter. Send out your thoughts once a month, with tips for your industry from your perspective. Focus on offering value. Be helpful and actionable and email will build your business.
To get started building your email list Social Fresh sponsor, and all around good company Blue Sky Factory offers 50 Tips to build your list which you can download here. Other email services you can start with are MailChimp or Constant Contact.
Lastly, with internet access’ rise mobile search is becoming incredibly powerful. As our phones know where we are (GPS) it provides another layer of context to give better and better results to the person searching. If you’re a retail business, you need to head to Google Places and make sure your listing has your accurate address, phone number and other information.