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Top 3 Mobile Marketing Initiatives for Small Businesses

2010 saw a massive growth in consumer mobile usage, and with the smartphone industry growing to more than 51 million users, 2011 is the year of mobile innovation and expansion. It's time for small businesses to pay attention to mobile and start planning their local mobile strategy now.

Here are the top 3 mobile marketing initiatives small businesses must look into be successful in 2011:

1. Mobile Social Media – A big part of a small business' mobile strategy should be social media. Social media has seen a huge growth over the past year, and services like Foursquare and SCVNGR helped that growth. It may be surprising, but there are more users on social networks than users of e-mail.

There are a lot of social media marketing options to choose from, but Facebook is by far the largest social media player with more than half a billion users. Since many small businesses already have some type of Facebook presence, the launch of Facebook Places and Deals is even more of a reason for small businesses to create a mobile location-based loyalty program by offering specials and discounts, promoting upcoming events and sales to their customers.

Using location-based social media marketing to proactively deliver messages and reach potential customers based on their geographical locations enables small businesses to actively reach their customers, increase foot traffic and boost profits.

2. Mobile-Friendly Websites – As mobile traffic increases, it makes sense for small businesses to create mobile-friendly websites to ensure they do not miss out on mobile traffic and sales. Mobile and smartphone optimized web design will be the key to driving online sales. Now is the time for small local businesses to invest in designing a website for the mobile masses.

In the past, optimizing your website for mobile was a painful and difficult process. Now there are a slew of services that make creating a mobile formatted website easier. Check out Mofuse and Instant Mobilizer.

3. Simple Messaging System (SMS) aka Text Message Marketing – Text messaging is huge, with 73% of new mobile phone users saying that text messaging is the most important feature on their phone. In fact, the typical mobile phone user sends more text messages than they do phone calls.

By communicating with customers via text messages, small local businesses have an incredible opportunity to reach their customers with targeted special offers, coupons, news and event notifications. With text open up rates at 95%, text-based marketing is probably the most effective way to get customers' attention.

With the mobile web estimated to overtake desktop Internet in usage by 2015, it's time for small businesses to get ahead of the competition and cultivate a great mobile website experience now.

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