It’s been said before: Technology is the Great equaliser. This is especially true in business, where things that once only large businesses could do can now be done just as well by small businesses. Nowhere is this any truer than in marketing. That smartphone that you have in your pocket — whether iPhone or Android cell phones are your preferred weapon — have all sorts of marketing potential. All you need are the right apps. For example:
Your business needs to make use of Facebook–and there’s an app for that. Actually, there are several. In addition to the dedicated Facebook offerings for iPhone and Android, there are several good third-party ones. Particularly nice for iOS are Friendly Facebook and Hootsuite. Hootsuite is also available on Android, as are the slick TweetCaster and Seesmic.
So how do you use Facebook for marketing? There are tens of millions of people on the site every day, which means the chances are good that there are thousands of potential customers for your business there. Create a page and update it regularly with tips for how to use the merchandise or services you sell. Also, welcome complaints or suggestions to your page. Start conversations on your “Wall.” Try to keep them light and cheerful, but never shying away from the customer with a gripe. One complaining customer who refuses to be silenced can counter a whole lot of positive marketing that you try to do.
Your business needs to make use of LinkedIn–and there’s an app for that. If you haven’t seen this site, think of it as Facebook for business professionals. There, it’s easy to network with those in your same field–or with clients who might need what you have to offer. Both Android and iPhone have dedicated LinkedIn apps. Those who are skilled with using LinkedIn use it to expand their network of contacts. That is, add a contact who is in your field, and then ask him for contacts who might need your services. Add them as contacts and then ask them for more contacts, and so on.
Your business needs to offer deals on Foursquare–and yes, there’s even an app for that. Foursquare is a service that allows businesses to post daily or weekly deals that they’re offering. This information is then broadcast, through location-based services like GPS, to members who have signed up to receive the alerts. The Foursquare iPhone and Android apps offer you direct access to customers who want to know what deals you have to offer. Your customers are already talking to them; you need to be, also.
There are apps for other couponing services, too, that are worth considering: Check out the dedicated apps for GeoQpons and Valpak Mobile Coupons.
There are many creative ways for using today’s mobile technology for your business. Some involve producing letters, budgeting, and more. But perhaps the most important to your bottom line are those that help you market what you have to sell. The smart small business person will keep on top of all of these new trends.
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