I’ve often poked at those who suggest that owners of small and medium-sized business need to be technology experts as well.
Instead, it’s about making it easy for SMBs to incorporate marketing programs that take into account the behaviors and interests of their customers and prospects.
With that in mind, here’s my take on a list of supposed “good” mobile marketing habits for SMBs published at firmology.com http://www.firmology.com/2014/02/12/5-good-mobile-marketing-habits-for-your-smb/:
1. Think of Mobile Marketing in Real Time
Posting on Facebook a few times a week and sending out a tweet here and there ignores the immediacy of mobile marketing. Customers are making decisions in real time when they’re out shopping. When it comes time to make a choice of what to purchase, they’re not likely to scroll through your entire Facebook feed or look back at tweets from two weeks ago.
Take full advantage of the real-time aspect of social media and SMS. Post deals and updates at least once a day — maybe even two times per day — so that when a customer is looking for a deal, you’re right there waiting with one.
My take: when it comes to SMS, do not pepper loyalty club members with constant offers or other texts. What is value when it’s done wisely becomes a nuisance when it’s done too often.
2. Be As Timely As Possible
Much like thinking of marketing in real time, it’s crucial to be as timely as you possibly can with targeted deals, promos and updates. SMS is a great way to send customers news of immediate deals and promotions. The open rate for SMS messages exceeds 99%, so it’s almost guaranteed that the customer will at least see your message.
My take: agreed. Be sure that you are ready for store visits. Have inventory and personnel on hand to manage demand.
3. Test, Test, Test
You have to know how your site looks on every mobile device out there. Pool your resources and check what your site looks like on different types of smartphones, ereaders, tablets and laptops. Check all of your social media sources, too. How does Facebook display on a tablet versus on an iPhone? Social media apps often update their design every few months.
Stay up-to-date on how your website and social media channels look by checking constantly. Be sure that no matter what changes the developers make, your site and social media channels are simple to navigate and that customers can easily find the information they need.
My take: this area is often overlooked by SMBs and others. Even if you rely on experts, test for yourself and don’t go live until everything is right.
4. Keep Your Local Directory Pages Up-To-Date and Consistent
Check your Google Places, Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp and other local directly pages on a regular basis. Be sure that your information is accurate and timely — and that your information is the same across all of your local directory pages.
My take: there are few things more frustrating for a consumer than bad information that takes them to the wrong place or to a closed store. You only have one chance to get it right.
5. Pay Attention To the Calendar
Keep an eye on the calendar so that you can take advantage of national holidays, unofficial holidays, noteworthy days and important local events. Have special offers for these special days and keep your customers in the loop a few days before hand, and, of course, on the day-of.
My take: an SMB can easily plan for such events, leaving more time to get back to the core business function – making sandwiches or cleaning clothes, for instance.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program http://Goo.gl/t3fgW, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.