Tips, Creative Solutions, Internet Trends, MobileToday, the news is full of articles about patents, acquisitions, lawsuits, and product launches all focused on one industry: mobile technology. We’re rapidly entering a period where demand for desktops and laptops is diminishing and want for tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices is skyrocketing. The computing capabilities of mobile devices today are so advanced that you check the weather or surf the web as well as complete more complicated to-dos, like transfer money into your checking account. Mobile technology is advancing everyday, making everyone’s lives a little more convenient on a personal and business level. Here are some interesting ways that a business can maximize smartphone capabilities to grow your business.

Advertise on FourSquare

Tips, Creative Solutions, Internet Trends, MobileIn a previous post, we talked about FourSquare, a great social media service that allows users to check-in to restaurants, shops, and anywhere else they hang out and notify their friends. This is also a great way for  some or most businesses to advertise at a low cost through the recommendations of friends and family. In January 2011, FourSquare allowed businesses to create official brand pages, which attracted customers through deals and promotions.

However, this perk was more or less limited to major brands since small to mid-sized businesses were unable to become involved because their following wasn’t large enough. Luckily, FourSquare recently made their Business Pages “self-serve” and any sized business can start one, under the condition that they also have a Twitter page. FourSquare can be a great advertising tool and businesses should optimize this exposure by creating a loyalty program and leaving tips for your clients and customers. One of our blog posts “Getting Creative to Compete” talks about how small, mid-sized business must personalize their customers experience to stand out from the competition and FourSquare is a great way to do this.

Market via Text Messaging

If you look around a crowded room, chances are someone is texting away on his / her phone. Businesses can also interact with their customers through this means of communication by creating a text messaging list and asking your customer base to opt-in to receiving these texts. This is a great way to directly communicate with a large number of your clients and inform them about recent updates, promotions, or coupons. If your business requires appointments for your services, you can also send out reminders so that your customers are aware of their appointment and see how awesome and personalized your customer service is.

To help with your text messaging campaign, you can use a text-messaging provider such as Message Media or Ez Texting, which gives you a short phone number (also called a common short code) and an opt-in keyword for your customers. You can then use the service to send out periodic personalized messages to your customers.

Mobile Payments

Tips, Creative Solutions, Internet Trends, MobileWith the growing popularity of mobile commerce services such as Square and Inuit’s GoPayment, your cell phone is becoming more and more like a wallet. Mobile money is the next big thing in the U.S. and other lagging countries as we catch up with others such as Japan with mobile commerce. Services such as Square and GoPayment lets businesses easily set up accounts without a credit check and carries lower costs of traditional terminal-based merchant accounts. Businesses will get paid on the spot and customers will be emailed or texted their receipt. This convenience is great for businesses on the go since they can be paid from virtually anywhere.

A Mobile Evolution

The modern lifestyle is extremely active and businesses need to adapt and keep up with their customer base. In order to market your business effectively and in an affordable fashion, a company needs to be as creative as possible and use any outlet you see fit, whether it be social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, or FourSquare, or a mobile texting campaign. Developing mobile commerce and advertising in conjunction to your Internet / search engine marketing strategy will surely increase the interest and revenue of your business. And with contemporary analytics, a business can see exactly what’s working and what’s not.