The first step to effective mobile marketing is to make sure customers can find you when they’re looking for your business on their mobile phones. Keep in mind, there are many local search apps, and the best case scenario is to make sure your business is listed on all of them. You never know which of the following Android-friendly apps a consumer might be using to find a business just like yours!
1. Google Places: Make sure your business is listed on Google Places, so people can find you online as well as through the popular Google Places Android app. Consumers can also rate your business and offer recommendations when they use Google Places, providing even more opportunities to market your local business.
2. Citysearch: Another very popular local business search tool is the Citysearch Android app. With this app, customers can publish reviews and view business’ Twitter feeds. Combined with the Deals by Citysearch app that offers local deals similar to Groupon and Livingsocial (described below), this app offers multiple ways to get your business in front of consumers.
3. Yelp: Similar to Citysearch, Yelp is one of the most popular web-based and mobile local business search and review tools. Make sure your business is listed on Yelp so you appear in local searches on the Yelp website and on the Yelp Android app.
4. YP Yellow Pages: The print Yellow Pages might be dying, but the YP Yellow Pages Android app is booming! People can use it to find local businesses, hours of operation, ratings, reviews, and links to business websites.
Apps to Offer Discounts and Deals
5. Foursquare: Foursquare is a social app that your business can use to connect with local consumers, offer discounts and deals, create games, boost loyalty, and more. If you have a local brick-and-mortar location, then the Foursquare Android app is definitely worth using to market your business to a mobile audience.
6. Groupon: Groupon is perhaps the most popular service for local daily deals. Use the Groupon Android app to offer deals, coupons, and more to consumers on the go.
7. Google Shopper: Google’s answer to Groupon is Google Offers, also referred to as Google Daily Deals. This application launched in early 2011 and has been rolled out to multiple cities across the United States — with more cities being added all the time. Using the Google Shopper Android app, people can receive local deals through email and find local deals in real-time as they’re out and about.
8. Livingsocial: You can’t talk about mobile deal tools like Groupon and Foursquare without including Livingsocial. With the Livingsocial Android app, people can subscribe to local deals and find instant deals when they’re on the go. There are even opportunities for businesses to promote activities and travel. You have to apply to have your business featured on Livingsocial.
Apps to Close Sales
9. Square: Close sales anytime and anywhere with the Square Android app. When you download the Square app, you’ll also receive a Square Card Reader device through the mail so you can accept mobile payments through your Android device. Square works with all major credit cards, and businesses are charged a fee on every transaction.
10. MobileBiz Pro Invoice App: If accepting payments on the go isn’t right for your business, then how about creating and sending PDF invoices from your Android device with the MobileBiz Pro Invoice App for Android? You can create estimates, sales orders, invoices, statements, reports, and more. You can also capture signatures on your invoices and send them to your customers instantly through email or text messages. If you’d prefer, you can print your invoices from the app.
Have we missed any of your favorite Android apps for local business? Let us know in the comments below.
Susan Gunelius: Susan Gunelius is a 20-year marketing veteran and President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has authored nine books about social media, content marketing, branding, copywriting, and blogging, and she is a marketing columnist for Forbes.com and Entrepreneur.com. Susan speaks about marketing, branding, and social media at events around the world and is often interviewed about marketing topics by television, online, print, and radio media organizations.