October 5, 2011 Leave a comment
Keeping your customers socially engaged with mobile apps!
There’s been a lot of chatter recently about the sustainability of social media and mobile apps. Over the last decade the term “social media” has evolved into more than a place to connect with friends, but into a vehicle to connect with brands and businesses of every size on a deeper level. Social media is more than a fad, it’s a layer of communication between businesses and their customers that is now becoming an expectation.
So where does mobility fit into the equation? Not only are your customers online, they’re browsing the web more than ever via their mobile phones.
The Mobile Landscape
Mobile usage across the US has reached an all time high and even though Smartphones have yet to dominate the mobile market, usage is seeing a steady upward climb.
Let’s revisit some mobile stats previously presented in our post Mobility & the Way We Browse the Web:
- global mobile usage has reached upwards of 4 billion
- 27% of global mobile users have a Smartphone (up 60% from the previous year)
- by 2014 the mobile internet is expected to exceed desktop usage
- one half of all local searches occur on a mobile device
- 29% of mobile users will scan a mobile tag for coupon offers
- 86% of mobile users are on their mobile device while watching TV
- 91% of mobile users access their device to socialize
The Social Landscape
It’s a fact that our world is more social than ever. Sharing, tweeting, searching…consumers have information right at their fingertips, and they’re using it. Brands that aren’t using social media are missing out on important conversations – conversations that could include negative or positive reviews about your products and services.
Let’s go to the numbers:
Social Media Users
- Facebook: 750 million
- Twitter: 200 million registered
- LinkedIn: 115 million
- Google+: 43 million
- Foursquare: 10 million
- Yelp: over 20 million reviews
CONNECT –> LISTEN –> IMPLEMENT
Whether or not social media is your cup of tea the fact is your customers are talking about you today! So what are you doing about it?
Let’s take an example of a small pool store who isn’t engaged in social media.
[Insert name] local pool store hasn’t been very kind to some loyal neighborhood customers. Let’s call them John and Jane for this example. John and Jane have been loyal customers for years, supporting the local pool store instead of the nationwide chain up the street. This week John went in for his usual water inspection and the store employees didn’t feel like dealing with John’s small request today. They shrugged him off and treated John like a small fish in their big pond. John demanded to speak with the owner who then came out and expressed to John that they were busy today and he wasn’t a big enough customer.
Outraged, John went home and vented his frustrations to Jane. Jane, who had also been in the store many times (to purchase merchandise), angrily grabbed her Smartphone and started tweeting, posting, and reviewing. The local pool store wasn’t listed on a very popular review site, so Jane’s review was the very first one that showed up. Soon it started to spread that the local pool store wasn’t very neighborhood friendly, and that customers might be better off at the national chain down the street. A year later the local pool store saw the review and reached out to John to please remove it because it was effecting business in a negative way.
Not only was the owner of the pool store unaware of the bad review for more than a year, but his lack of engagement in social media was actually hurting his brand in return.
So now that the importance of social media has been hammered in, what does this have to do with mobile apps? Not only are customers using mobile technology to preach about your brand, when they want to engage with you they expect you to be mobile.
Establishing a mobile presence, albeit a mobile site or mobile app, will keep not only your brand engaged with your customer base, but it will create additional opportunities to market and promote your brand.
Here are some examples of how social media and mobile apps interact:
- E-Commerce – browse and purchase a product straight from the app
- Side by side product comparison
- Offers & coupons
- Customer Service
- In-store promotions – utilizing area based advertising to reward foot traffic
Not only is it crucial to stay socially engaged, but by providing a mobile presence to your customers you are keeping them engaged with your brand.
How has social media and mobility affected your business? Let us know in the comment section below.
Visit WorldLink AppsPhoto of social media icons: credit http://www.loyola.edu/ Photo of various smartphones by Phil Roeder: credit http://agentgenius.com/ Photo of customers tweeting: credit http://hackettsbistro.wordpress.com/