Four mobile apps to bring customers through your physical location

Marketing a business can be costly when you consider things like the design of a website, the filming and production of video marketing, and print marketing such as flyers, brochures, and newsletters. However, in order to get your brand, products, or services under the eyes of potential customers it’s necessary for success.

The great news is that as more and more people rely on their smart phones and wireless devices for information about where to eat, where to get a massage or dental check up, or who to depend on for products and services, marketing via smart phone apps has become one of the most effective marketing platforms—not only that, but often times it’s free!

The following apps provide instant gratification to consumers searching for information on what to buy, which means it’s very effective as far as bringing potential clients through the door of your business…and turning them into repeat customers.
1. LinkedIn (Free – for Android & iPhone)

The LinkedIn app, like the professional networking platform of the same name, is extremely effective for marketing your business or personal brand online. LinkedIn keeps things professional by providing users with a profile to post their business updates (i.e., such as product releases or specials) and it’s the perfect venue for making connections with other relevant businesses within the same industry, as well as potential customers searching for your products or services—to expand both your customer network and business contacts. Plus, customers and colleague can provide written recommendations for you and your business, which goes a long way towards establishing trust with new customers thinking about using your business. To garner some expertise around your business brand, you can use your LinkedIn profile to post links to your recent blog posts, share videos, or collaborate and answer customer queries.

2. Facebook (Free – for Android & iPhone)

This app gives you full access to a social network of millions of active users and potential business prospects looking for your specific products and services. You can create a Facebook fan page for your business and update it regularly with useful tips, current business specials, and helpful customer resources. You can also post your contact information, share photos, videos, and links to become an expert source of information in your field or industry. Plus, as your fan base likes and shares your information on their own profile page—your business activities are made aware to their contacts and have the opportunity to become viral. Android uses, in particular those with Samsung phones, have found the app to be glitch but most of the problems seemed to be fixed with the latest update.

3. TwitBit ($2.99 – for iPhone)

Most businesses with social media access prefer Twitter to Facebook because it provides a social marketing venue that requires only short tweets where they can share links back to their website, blog posts, product reviews, and etc. across Twitters effective and far-reaching social media network. The TwitBit app is Twitter for your mobile device. It offers similar features—such as Push Notifications, the ability to search via hash tags and “Nearby” tweets to engage and converse with prospective customers as well as answer any concerns, and to locate trending topics relevant to your business and weigh in on conversations in your industry.

4. Yelp (Free – for Android & iPhone)

The Yelp app leaves a permanent mark on your virtual marketing efforts by allowing users to ‘check-in’ whenever they visit a physical location to eat, get a spa treatment, buy a car, etc. Yelp is such a vital marketing tool because it saves threaded conversations for specific venues and businesses so as the business owner you can reach out, thank, and interact with the real customers who are reviewing and coming to your physical location. As you use social interaction to generate interest and customer participation, the idea is that loyal customer relationship will develop.

Bio: Jane Johnson is a staff writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone news, commentary, reviews and more.