If you have a cellphone the chances are pretty darn good that you have a smartphone with all kinds of stuff on it. Smartphone sales were up 63% from 2010 with almost 500 million sold in 2011. Interestingly these units were used less for making phone calls than any other task. For more mobile stats in living color we found a cool infographic because it isn’t true unless it’s got little icons and stuff.

With the advent of smartphones and their variety of applications, folks check their emails, chat via SMS or will engage on social media through web apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite, and a variety of utilities. Over 300,000 apps have been developed over the past three years with 10 Billion downloads to go with them.

So how does mobile fit into small business? More infograph pictures show that 77% of mobile users use their phones for searching, primarily using search engines (although that will undeniably change as voice recognition technology matures) and a big chunk of that searching was done for local information. It makes sense that users are looking for local retail, dining, services or attractions close to where they live or work.

So what can small businesses do to get included? As mobile search, marketing and development is a living and practically breathing entity it pays to pay attention. But there are a few basic moves you can make.

Start local-target your mobile ad spending by your city location and consider other geo-location approaches. Mobile users often search within a mile or so radius for immediate needs (food, retail, even emergency services such as automotive repair) so it pays to go local.

Offer relevant content-present deals or coupons over just business promotion. Most people who click “Like” on Facebook company pages do so in anticipation of getting something in return so your mobile ads should do the same. Offer a one day only or “say you like ice cream” call to action and you will have a way to engage the customer when they come in to use your deal.

Join Mobile Directories-Google Places offers a way to put your business on the mobile map. Be sure and fill out all of the 20 or so different fields in your Places listing, most businesses don’t and that can make a difference in how and where you show up.

And probably the most important way to participate in the mobile deluge is to make your website mobile compatible. Here’s a factoid for you: According to a recent survey conducted late 2011, 79% of Fortune 500 companies do not yet have a mobile optimized site. Seriously? It doesn’t matter if you show up first in search with bells and glitter if your customers can’t view your site. Then it just makes them mad. And for some reason mad people won’t buy your widgets.  There are simple ways to improve your mobile site.

Mobile use will only continue to rise so getting involved is increasingly mandatory.  Getting your feet wet in the mobile space now can head off any hasty decisions and wasted money in the future. Sure it seems daunting and complicated but that’s why you call your friends at Turn The Page Online Marketing. We can help you forge the mobile landscape and offer relevant recommendations and advice to get your business onto the mobile highway.





Author Amanda Hall

More posts by Amanda Hall

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