Tips for running a business from your mobile
Ian Bowen-Morris It is possible to run a business from a mobile
Increasingly, companies are being run from mobile phones. Ian Bowen-Morris of Telnames gives some advice on how to manage your business this way.
The good news is that with the advent of smartphones and tablets, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are no longer tethered to their desks.
It’s no secret that mobile use has boomed in recent years; according to eDigitalResearch, six out of ten UK residents now own a smartphone and a recent survey from Nielsen reveals that 68 per cent of UK smartphone owners use their device to check email, peruse the mobile web (66 per cent) and social networking (63 per cent).
But it’s not just consumers embracing smartphones. According to a recent PeoplePerHour poll, nine out of ten SMEs are using mobile phones and apps to stay connected, organised and informed at all times.
Embrace social media marketingWhether you’re a FTSE 100 company or an SME, social media platforms provide a way to talk to customers directly and market your brand to a growing number of mobile consumers.
If you’re not already running business Twitter and Facebook profiles, you’re missing out on chance to connect and engage with customers – the trick here is to ensure your content relevant, interesting and useful. When it comes to organising your social media feeds, try using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule future tweets and social updates weeks ahead.
While Facebook and Twitter tend to be where most companies start with social media, they’re not the only outlets. Platforms like Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Vine are growing all the time. What’s important is finding the right fit for your company. For example, Pinterest and Instagram are image-led, so you need to think carefully about what works with your line of business.
Get optimised for mobileNo company can now afford to ignore the potential of mobile websites for customer acquisition. With Internet use on smartphones set to overtake desktop browsing in 2013, SMEs need to take full advantage of the boom in mobile search.
According to Google, half of all search queries on a mobile phone have local intent, so it’s essential you optimise your mobile website for your local area and improve your visibility in mobile search.
This will include ensuring your business is registered in free local listings like Google+Local, Bing for Business, Yelp, Brownbook, Hotfrog and Crunchbase. In terms of ranking factors, your business address, location targeted key works, local citations and location in the title tag are all important.
Finally, with 70 per cent of users taking action within an hour of completing a search on their smartphone, ensuring your website is mobile friendly website is a must.
According to Google, today’s online information searchers expect mobile websites to load in under five seconds, and make it easy to find the information they want – address, contact details, location details and map, opening hours and social network feeds.
Today’s hyper connected consumers won’t hang about waiting; 79 per cent of these local information seekers confirmed they’d quickly move onto another site if it didn’t deliver or perform against expectations.
As well as delivering what online searchers want, your mobile friendly website should be working hard for you. That means you need to be able to publish updates with ease and upload timely offers and vouchers that entice new customers and which you can promote via social media.
Become an innovatorThe way small businesses interact with customers is changing thanks to the mobile internet, which makes it possible to be more responsive and more connected that ever before.
Offering a low cost way to directly communicate with consumers, every small business can take advantage of mobile marketing to push out notifications, get creative with social media, and stay visible in local online search.
UK SME’s are leading innovators in using mobile technologies to give their business the agility and responsiveness to compete alongside larger brands. Done right, marketing from your mobile is the perfect way to target potential or existing customers and add an extra personal touch.