Many of the posts on this site are for B2B companies looking for advice on getting started in social media, but this one is for those looking a little further out. Remember how long it took the last time you updated your website? And remember how long it took to get enough traction to get started on the project in the first place? And no matter where you are in your social media planning, execution or success, it is time to look ahead at the next major milestone for your company’s online experience. The mobile web. And it’s going to be social too, so start preparing yourself now.
According to a Gartner report from earlier this year, the number of mobile phones that can access the web will exceed the number of PCs by 2013. And it will only take two more years beyond that for mobile phones to become people’s primary device for browsing the web. Take a cue from this report and plan what can be done now and what will be part of your future planning.
View Your Site on a Mobile Device
The first thing to do is visit your company web site or blog on your mobile device. And look at it on a variety of devices. What is the experience like? The first thing you will probably notice is that you spent all that time developing a horizontal, or landscape, website and most phones initially display the web in vertical, or portrait, mode. Many smartphones can rotate the display to show the web in its more familiar orientation. But the report above refers to all phones that can access the web, not just smartphones. Before you go down the wrong path and develop a site that is inappropriate for its target, develop a profile, or persona, of your customers and prospects that includes what kind of mobile device they use to browse the mobile web. You can confirm this with site analytics which tracks how people access your site.
Planning a B2B Social Mobile Experience
Under the guise of a mobile site, you can simplify your company message and hone in on what is really important to your customers and prospects. You can have a totally different site and experience located at mobile.yourdomain.com that loads when visitors browse your site from a mobile device. This simple mobile site needs to be clean and direct, with only one or two levels of content, easy to navigate, connected to your social presences and provide an easy way to contact your company for more information. Don’t ignore lead generation with your mobile approach, as this smaller site will be doing more and more work in the future. This means your message and your content must be even more compelling than ever, as mobile users have less patience waiting for pages to load and will not spend a lot of time looking for the answers to their questions. They will just move on.
Mobile Optimized Blog
An important part of your company presence is your blog. Frequently, blog articles are shared via social media. Since people access social networking sites on their mobile devices more than they do anything else, you can easily assume that if your content is shared in a compelling manner, it will be viewed on a mobile device. These posts need to be easy to access, read and share on a variety of devices. For WordPress blogs, there is a simple plugin called WPTouch that creates a simple mobile version of a blog that feels like an app by focusing on the content, not the design. This is for touch screen phones including iPhones, Android and Blackberry Storm.
Are you planning your mobile experience yet?