Monday, 18 August 2014

Why an App Can Complement Your Social Media Skills

Most businesses can probably see the attraction of social media and what it entails. Forward-thinking SMEs and one-man-bands are creating time and space to build a list of followers. The benefits might not be immediate, but with a little work Twitter, Facebook and Google+ may become an integral part of your business strategy.

The key words are ‘a little work’. For example, the outsider might question the wisdom of investing effort in Twitter or Facebook, for example - isn’t it all silly pictures and irrelevant links that ‘young people’ tap into? Well, no it isn’t –according to research from GlobalWeb Index the fastest growing age demographic for Twitter is 55-64 year olds, which has leapt by 79% since 2012. For Facebook it is 45-54 year olds (46%). Other impressive figures: 100 million people a day use Twitter, and there are 10 milllion Twitter users in the UK. 

You can bet that thousands or tens of thousands of those users will be relevant to your business, so let’s say you’ve found the time to build up a gathering of followers - wouldn’t it be great to reward them for their support? Mobile is the perfect platform; The latest Ofcom communications report says that 72% of UK adults now own a smartphone and 73% would be interested in interacting with loyalty programs with their mobile devices. And this is where an app can be so useful for both business and customer; targeted, engaging rewarding content and offers geared towards them.

One of those who saw the value of investing in an app was RS Direct Specialist Cars, based in Bristol. The company buys and sells quality sports and performance cars as well as tunes and modifies all modern cars. Company director Adrian Thompson had overseen a business which had built a good social media presence, including a substantial Facebook following with more than 40,000 likes. Adrian felt it important to give customers and fans an extra avenue into the business and decided a mobile app would be a great way of doing this. After talking to other developers Adrian settled on in February 2014 – after finding it through a friend on Facebook.

He was able to integrate the RS Direct app with the company’s popular Facebook page as well as their active Twitter account, a great way to get more exposure for work the company is already doing. Because of the nature of the business, a gallery feature of the latest fleet of vehicles was a crucial component of the app, alongside an info page and click-to-contact, so potential customers can get in touch instantly and easily. 

Adrian said: “Our app gives people another way to connect with the business beyond social media”, and the early statistics showed it has worked. In one month the app had one of the fastest growing audiences of any Appsme app, garnering over 700 downloads, as it was promoted regularly on Facebook and Twitter along with some of the high resolution app marketing graphics provided by The RS Direct team is also working on a new website launch which will complement the app.

RS Direct is a company that has blended the traditional practices of strong customer relations with a 21st through a mobile app. And it’s paid off!

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