Smartphones changed the way we do just about everything. Smartphones are the key to people’s digital lives. They are inseparable from them. One of the things that smartphones have changed is the ways brands market to, interact with and sell to customers. If you’re a small business owner, you need to be harnessing the power of smartphone technology to your advantage. Here are four of the many ways you can be using smartphones to better connect your brand to your customers and potential customers.

Location-based marketing

Through built-in GPS and triangulation of cell towers, your phone’s position on the globe is always known. If smartphone users give permission to a mobile application, that app can obtain and use that location information. Many brands have found that by sending targeted advertisements to people within a certain distance (say a half a mile or so) they’ll be much more likely to act on that advertisement than they would if they were at home several miles away watching TV comfortably on their couch. If you develop a simple mobile app for your small business, you can use it to send push notifications directly to your customers phones when they’re close by and most likely to drop in to take advantage of a coupon or sale.

Text message marketing

In a relatively short period of time, texting has become by far America’s most favorite method of communication. Every day Americans send close to ten billion text messages. Approximately 98 to 99% of text messages that are sent are read by their recipients and 90% of those are read within three minutes of being received. When that little beep or vibration goes off signaling an incoming text message, people just have to check it. It’s an extremely powerful tool for businesses especially when they need to get time sensitive info to customers. SMS marketing is great for distributing mobile coupons, managing loyalty clubs and keeping customers in the know about new products, upcoming appointments, and order status updates.

Social media engagement

People like to share with their friends and family what they’re up to while they’re out and about. It’s free advertising for you when people sign into social media and “check-in” (share their current location) on Facebook or post a picture of their meal they just bought from your establishment. Businesses can encourage this kind of social media engagement by offering 10% off the bill in exchange.

Customer feedback

Nowadays, when people are searching for recommendations for a place to eat or shop, they don’t have to go asking their friends. Their smartphone can pull up every business of a certain type as well as an at-a-glance overview of their average customer satisfaction rating, address, and hours of operation. Because of the immediacy of smartphones, more people are writing online reviews since they can do it in just a couple of minutes on the spot without having to wait to get home and sit at the computer by which time they forget. You can encourage positive reviews and helpful feedback by offering visitors of your store a deal in return for honest feedback.