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Until recently, companies or individuals wanting a website featuring the latest social media tools that works well on mobile phones and iPads have had to pay high prices, putting an effective modern website out of reach for many people. Often a secondary website was required targeting mobile use, but now-a-days, both sites can be incorporated giving a consistent look and feel.

Up to 45% of web browsing in the UK is no achieved via a mobile phone

Much has now changed, with some sources suggesting that up to 45% of web browsing within the UK achieved via a mobile phone. Many businesses are now offering more reasonably priced websites, with responsive design.  This aleviates the requirement for multiple websites, using multiple technologies, and reduces costs.  This can be a great leveller, meaning that small companies can compete with even the largest international businesses by showing a professional and cutting-edge face to the world.

In our recent poll of businesses in Essex, many said that having a website that worked on mobiles was imperative

Giving customers the information when they need it

Many local businesses within Essex and further afield are finding that the most effective way to target customers is when they are on the move, out with friends, looking for places to go and things to do. This is when a web site specially designed for viewing on a phone or tablet computer can bring real return on investment to a business. Furthermore, by only having a single website for computers, tablets, and phones, the cost of designing multiple websites is reduced.

Automating the marketing process

Modern websites with built-in social media functions make it easy for users to share information with their friends, using a variety of tools such as Facebook "Like" buttons, Facebook comments, and easy ways to post to Twitter and other sites. The big idea, from a marketing point of view, is that people are more likely to trust comments and recommendations that come from their friends, so incorporating these features will increase sales and conversion rates, as well as bringing additional traffic to the site. A cheap yet high quality design from Square Balloon can bring all these benefits with an attractive return on investment.

One of the main uses of modern smartphones is for social networking. From the perspective of a business, whether it sells to consumers or to other businesses, social networks can be a great place for getting a message in front of customers in a way that resonates with them. What many people forget is that even if a company is selling to businesses it is actually selling to individual people within those businesses, and so many of the consumer marketing techniques will still be appropriate. The secret to success with social networks is to offer real value to the customer, with interesting and useful information, tips and videos increasingly being used to build a relationship and a bond of trust with consumers.

Choosing your social market

Alongside Facebook and Twitter, other social networks can also be incorporated into a site, making sure that businesses can communicate with customers in a way that the customer is likely to both see and appreciate. Businesses who sell to other businesses are likely to want to engage with users on LinkedIn, the specialist business social network. Companies targeting younger buyers are likely to want to consider up-and-coming social networks such as Pinterest which concentrates on images and photography, ideally suited to camera phones. Businesses whose location is important, such as shops, cinemas and bowling alleys, should consider social networks that concentrate on geographic location, such as FourSquare.

Finally, cheap yet high quality sites are allowing small companies to flourish in the new digital age.

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