AKRON — In the last blog post, I discussed the reasons why you want your business and your social media strategy to be mobile-friendly. The truth is, users are getting their social media fixes and researching information increasingly from their smartphones. Many people have apps scattered across their smartphone home screens for everything from news to games and everywhere in between.
As mentioned in Part 1 of this blog, there are different ways that a business can make its website accessible on mobile devices. I am going to break down those different ways and then get into some practices businesses can do to make their overall presence more mobile driven.
One way to handle being mobile-friendly is to create a mobilized site along with the company's main website. These, as mentioned in Part 1, are the sites with the "m" before the website. The benefit of this site is that you are not completely disregarding your customers who are looking for you on mobile.
Since we know that chances are people who are looking at a desktop are researching and a person on a mobile device is probably looking more for a "right now" solution. this allows you to cater to the needs of your audience.
Janine Warner, a digital design and Internet trends consultant, was quoted in an Entrepreneur article as saying, "The worst strategy is to ignore your mobile audience altogether."
One downside of having a mobile-specific site is that if the mobile site has a second URL, then search engines may not find it.
Responsive design has been deemed one of the most cost-effective methods of being mobile-friendly, so it could be beneficial for a tire dealer of any size. In this design, the website is a single version — so it's not broken up into a standard site and a mobile site. The website will change its format based on what type of device it's being accessed from; whether it's a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
The Entrepreneur article also stated that this auto-adjusting technology is applicable on all devices except for the oldest cell phones.
A similar concept is the adaptive design, which is a more expensive "display on any device" kind of design. In the adaptive design, the site can identify what type of device a person is on and then send out the page that matches that device.
Mobile apps are housed on the actual mobile device as opposed to being accessed through the browser as the other examples are. This is one of the biggest pros with the app because it's easily accessible to those who download the app. Things that could be put in the app for a tire dealer could have the ability to schedule an appointment or check out prices for products and services. All this information would just be one click away.
Although this can be very useful, the business would still want to have a mobile-friendly website. If individuals are looking through their browser and not through the app, then you still want them to be able to get the information they need.
Since the topic of this blog is about the move to mobile, I wanted to speak about your social media presence on mobile. First of all, realizing that many of your fans on social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., are accessing them through mobile is important. Although Facebook does not have the strict character requirement that Twitter does, that does not necessarily mean you want to write a novel on Facebook because you want to think about scroll time.
As stated in Mobile Marketer: "Mobile users spend a lot of time scrolling their feeds for the latest news. To stay in front of them, post frequently about your campaigns and content."
Keeping in mind that you want people to be participating in your initiatives, you want to make accessing them as easy as possible for mobile users. Make sharing easy. Since you do not want a lot of text, try using more photos in your posts to help generate interest.
As always, any kind of social media campaigns or promotions should be promoted in and outside the realm. Put literature around the store so customers can learn about it.
Coupons also have become a big part of marketing to customers on social media, but having customers print them out is not a successful measure anymore since so many are accessing from mobile devices. Try using scannable bar codes instead.
Some sites, such as YouTube, allow you to see how people are accessing your content. To check this out on YouTube, select "statistics" under the video. A menu will expand and you will see video views by day as well as the engagement. In this screen, you can see all different types of statistics, including a "Discovery" section that shows you the top playback locations: YouTube watch page, mobile devices, embedded player on other websites, etc.
Social media management systems, such as HootSuite, can also run special reports to find out how people are accessing your site.
Cost efficiency is going to be a major objective for many dealers, so keep in mind how important it is to reach all those mobile customers.
If you cannot justify breaking down your site right now, at least simplify the design of the company website. To understand why, try accessing your company website from a smartphone and/or tablet so you can see what it looks like for many of your customers.
In her Entrepreneur article, Ms. Warner said, "You'll go a long way toward delivering key information on any device simply by putting your name, phone number and a link to a map at the top left of your home page where it is easy to find."