The age of the smartphone is here…or has been, for a few years now to be exact. We live in a world where smartphones have become the centerpiece of everything. Almost everyone you know probably has one and is using it as a camera, a music player, a portable game console, to check and send email, comment on Facebook and almost everything under our red-orange sun. Today’s smartphones can do anything and we absolutely cannot live without one.I personally rely on my phone for everything –meetings, birthdays, notes, navigation, entertainment, fitness and of course, camera-phone photography.
But there’s one thing that a lot of users use their phones for, and its local business search. It seems that many people opt to check out reviews by other people first before venturing into the world of the unknown, and they do it all on their phones. It makes complete sense – why would you risk going to a place that sucks? It’ll be a waste of time and money just to get there. Local business apps on your smartphone can help you make informed decisions on what places to go to.
We’re all Connected
If you’re a local business owner and you want people to find you, you need to be listed. You also need a little bit of marketing to get yourself talked about. Our world is more connected that ever before, and now is the perfect time to take advantage of the internet to promote your business. Consider these:
- In the latter part of 2014, the smartphone ownership count was 2.7 billion people already, 800 million of which was added that same year. According Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report, 90% of the world’s population over age 6 will own a smartphone in 2020.
- In 2013, 2.2 billion people were using mobile internet, which represents 30% of the global population. GSMA Intelligence forecasts that in the next six years, an additional 1.6 billion people will use mobile internet, bringing the number up to 3.8 billion people, nearly half of the projected global population in 2020.
Local Business Apps can help
There are local business apps that can help your business be found and talked about. Whether you’re a barber shop in Dubai, a restaurant in Florida or life coaching in London, it pays to be on these apps.
- Yahoo Local
- Google Places
- Facebook Places
- YP (Yellow Pages)
These apps work pretty much the same in the sense that you need to register your business with them so users can search for you and leave feedback.Others, such as Groupon and Shopkick, are voucher and rewards based. The most important component of these apps is the fact that people can rate your business once they visited you and experienced all your business had to offer.
This can work for you or against you, because not everyone can be pleased and there will always be unfair criticism. When you get enough stars, you will be highly rated and more people will check you out. Be sure you’re on top of these sites and responsive to any queries or complaints.
Most business searches on mobile phones are intended for local search and it is mission critical for your company to get listed on one or more of these sites (depending on what you’re offering) because the battleground for local marketing efforts is now spreading from social media to local search. Just rememberthat user feedback is very important, so be sure to respond fast and always be respectful.