We are excited to be partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to present a five part webinar series on social media and some of the key topics that support it (blogging, mobile, content creation, influencer outreach). A recap, recording and slides from the first webinar on Getting Started with Social Media can be found here. You can also access the recording and slides from the second, Blogging 101 — Helping You Get Started, third, Creating Content and Engagement for Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter, and fourth, Managing and Connecting with Your Influencers webinars via the links to those posts.

During the webinar, Getting Started with Mobile and Location-Based Marketing, Stephan Merkens of the W2O Group spent time addressing key trends and best practices on mobile and location-based tools and marketing techniques . Because Stephan had some technical difficulties with the questions module, he took some time to answer a number of the submitted questions below.

As promised, the full recording of the webinar is embedded below. You can also find the transcription here. You can also click through to see the video on Youtube

In addition, the slides from the webinar are below on Slideshare.

As promised, here are the answers to the questions Stephan wasn’t able to get to during the webinar:

  • I have more than one business. Would you suggest trying multiple platforms for testing?
    I would suggest treating each business individually. Each brand will probably have its particular audience that will probably gravitate towards a particular platform. If each business has a separate location, I would set them up in Foursquare and look at how people engage with them.
  • I have a mobile business; I actually have a trailer I take to an event. Any different thoughts from what you’ve already presented?
    Mobile businesses like food trucks have paved the way for other mobile businesses with the innovative ways that they use mobile marketing. Consider these options:

    • Allow users to follow you on your twitter handle along with a link to google maps to update your location while on the road.
    • Use SMS with an autoreply to share your next location
    • Use a mobile payment system with WIFI to handle your transactions and send email receipts to your customers.
    • Also, if you’re looking to invest in something more permanent, take a look at mobilemeteor.com they provide mobile tools for vendors like you who make their living in more than one place.
  • If you are a mainly web based business don’t you think most of this would apply?
    Depending on the business model and product, it might make sense to offer your products in a mobile optimized form if your audience thinks about your product while away from their computers.
  • Are QR codes still a viable mobile marketing tool?
    While QR codes still account for the majority of print to mobile conversions, the desire to use them in marketing campaigns is slowing.

    • Brands are realizing that QR codes take up a lot of valuable retail space
    • Technology has advanced enough where barcode scanning and image recognition that can take the place of a traditional QR code.
    • Content tends to be non mobile optimized and unimaginative, which has led to consumers ignoring them
  • Do I think they will ever go away?
    No, but we will see many more ways for consumers to connect with a brand in more meaningful ways.
  • Can you detail more local mobile search?
    Mobile search is not that different from a typical local search. People do however use mobile search at different times and for slightly different things. Mobile search typically happens when people aren’t at their computers, so evenings and weekends see the biggest numbers for searches. Also, search on mobile typically comes from people that are looking to take action immediately (Google reported that on Mother’s Day, 33% of searches for “flowers” were from mobile devices).
  • What’s your timeline expectation to see that 56% go to 75%?
    1 year ago, the industry projected that smartphone adoption would hit 50% in the U.S by around 2014. I would expect smartphone adoption to hit 75% early 2015.
  • How would you tell a small business to start, from square one?
    • Make sure that your address information is up to date so that people can find you
    • Engage with Foursquare and Yelp to set up small local marketing efforts around your location.
    • If your audience is suited to it, set up a twitter account to communicate with your clients on the go.
    • Buy local search.
  • Can you further explain Nerdwallet?
    Nerdwallet.com is a site that provides reviews of mobile payment processing as well as credit cards and personal finance options.
  • Why we need an extra apps or devices on the smartphone for payments if we can directly pay from the vendor’s webpage?
    Mobile payment systems like square are for retail locations that don’t want to go through traditional methods of setting up a merchant account to sell their products. While people can still go online and purchase a product, these tools make it easy to take a physical credit card as payment in a retail location.
  • Any pros and cons to using Paypal mobile
    Paypal mobile uses a phone dongle to allow users to scan cards similar to Square and NCR. Nerdwallet profiled the service along with others in the space and had this to say: “PayPal Here is best for merchants who:

    • Do less than five figures or more than six figures in monthly sales AND
    • Have an average transaction amount under $26 and take American Express OR
    • Have an average transaction amount under $17”
    • They also provided this chart listing service fees. As you can see Paypal here falls near the higher end of the spectrum.