There is no doubt that social media has become a deeply ingrained part of our everyday lives. Local news now relies on it for up-to-the-minute feeds and status updates on what is happening and many start-ups have succeeded purely on the fact that it exists. However, social mobile networking has far greater impacts for small business.
The ease of access to community-shared information and feedback on companies, businesses and products, means that individuals now turn to social mobile networking platforms and communities to seek feedback and often reassurance that a product is right for them, even before contacting a business directly. Small businesses therefore needs to be where their customers are.
If your customers are on Facebook then your business needs to be on Facebook. Analysing your site stats and referrers will help you determine this. Having an active presence on the relevant platforms not only means you can be across what people are saying about your product or service, but you can be actively involved in those discussions. Regardless of whether the discussions are good or bad, it gives you the opportunity to fix something if it’s wrong or leverage and reward something that is good for your business.
Having no mobile presence at all can be damaging for your business!
There is something you can do today
There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure you are maximising your social presence and return on your investment in social mobility, whether this be labour, technical resources or funding — from actively monitoring your interactions online to communicating with your customers on their social platform of choice.
However, your first steps may involve assessing your businesses mobile accessibility:
- Ensure your website content is optimised for search and your website is using the correct keywords in its content. This improves your chance of showing up in a search engine result when people search for your business or product/service.
- Make sure your website is accessible and functional on a mobile device. If it isn’t, potential customers will be less likely to use it for their own product research. You may want to investigate a mobile version of your website or a responsive design (i.e. a design that adapts to the screen size of the device being used to view your website).
- Make your presence on social platforms known and visible from within your website. If you’re on Facebook or LinkedIn for example, ensure your status updates appear on your website and visitors can like or recommend (share with friends within their network) your website while they are there.
- Monitor your website statistics. Use your website statistics to understand not only where your visitors are coming from but what type of device they are using to browse your website. If half your visitors are on mobile devices, then you definitely need to cater to this.
Is there more?
There is plenty more, but we will save that for another post. Just remember — Start with bite size chunks and begin by assessing your degree of involvement in the above four areas and you will be well on your way to catering to your website users and potential customers and being actively engaged in Social Mobile Networking.