SA businesses need to ‘mobilise By: Brett St Clair

While consumers have clearly gone mobile, many businesses are still playing catch-up. Most brands have not yet adopted a mobile strategy to engage with these connected consumers and as such are not capitalising on this opportunity.
The era of mobile has arrived. Driven by the explosion of smartphones, mobile is the fastest growing medium in history. Today, over half of all new Internet connections are coming from mobile devices and there are already more than one billion mobile Internet users around the world.

More smartphone users than DStv subscribers

In South Africa, there are more smartphone users (6.7 million) than DStv (5.2 million) subscribers, with 39% of urban South Africans and 27% of rural users now browsing the Internet on their phones (World Wide Worx, 2011).

Research has also shown an increase in the number of mobile searches conducted by South Africans in the last year, with a significant proportion of users searching for products and services on their cellphones.

Here are a few steps that businesses can take to begin building their smartphone Internet strategies today:

  1. Keep layout simple

    Keep mobile Internet layout simple so mobile users can navigate easily on the small screen.

    Use clear and concise headlines, keep scrolling simple (top to bottom) and make search easy for the user by ensuring that search boxes are visible and search results are clean and easily filtered.

  2. Prioritise content

    Make it easy for customers on the go to find content that is most relevant to to their needs.

    Select valuable content for users on the go and understand the limitations of the mobile attention span by providing an experience that is more transactional and action-oriented, rather than browsing-based. Ensure that site navigation and load time are as fast as possible.

  3. Use uniquely mobile features

    Users can interact through touch, sound, sight, and location on their mobile device. Take advantage of this functionality to maximise user experience.

    Offer users the most relevant information based on their location and leverage other functions on mobiles such as GPS, cameras and notepad. Building for feature phones is important but smartphones allow for a rich user experience.

  4. Design for thumbs, not mice

    Remember that most smartphone users will be interacting with your website through a touch screen.

    Design your site to prevent accidental clicks and avoid hover over menus. Distinctively coloured buttons and stand out conversion buttons should be larger and more prominent.

  5. Make it easy to convert

    Make it easy for users to convert on the go.

    Shorten the conversion process by keeping forms concise and reducing unnecessary fields. Keep call to actions clear and make account access and login processes quick and easy. If you have sales people: remember a phone is a communication device. Using a click-to-call option is the best way to connect sales representatives to consumers looking for specific products and services.

We’re in the earliest chapters of mobile’s history. As the mobile web expands, the opportunities available for marketers to reach consumers and grow their businesses will increase as well.

Businesses are boosting sales, brand-awareness, and purchase-intent through effective mobile campaigns. It’s not too late to be early to mobilise your business

Social Media Facts & Figures- the latest…

695 MILLION – Number of Facebook users.
148+ MILLION – Number of Linkedin users.
140 MILLION – Number of tweets created each day.
2.5 BILLION – Number of visits Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn together received in one month alone.
164 MILLION – Number of active blogs.
335+ THOUSAND – of members of the LinkedIn eMarketing Association Group.

Which Social Media Platform will you be using in 2011/12 Facebook, Twitter or Google+

It definitely seems that there is war going on between Social Networks… Facebook is Tops, Twitter is a major player and Google, with Google + and it’s surprisingly short growth spurt, surpassing both of the afore mentioned, in their launch phase, with the number of members in excess of 25 million within the first few weeks making. Making Facebook and Twitter shareholders and creators alike slightly nervous. All three cannot and in my opinion will not, be used simultaneously as people simply do not have enough time in the day to update status’s , check news feeds and pics etc.. Google benefits from Gmail owners already being apart of the Google + Social Network and other curious to see what all the fuss is about.

Would I have joined had I not owned a Gmail account? Definitely not! The thought of filling out more forms on my likes, interests, hobbies and connecting with people I am already connected with on Facebook/Twitter is really not something I would waste a minute doing. Nonetheless I do think that Google being Google will launch something within the network making it  necessitous  to sign up in the Digital and Marketing world to keep brands, products, websites, SEO et al alive  for SME’s and Large Corps alike.

At this stage which has your preference. Facebook? Twitter feeds? Or has Google+ caught your attention?