social media mike glynn

MG Retail Consulting Mike GlynnAs we casually check our emails on our smartphones before instantly opening Whatsapp to add a quick comment in a group consisting of friends spread out across the country, followed by a brief browse through Facebook, it can feel like these digital tools have been around as long as we have.

The reality, of course, is that these new technologies have only been around for a blink and still presents a substantial opportunity to businesses that are able to harness their reach effectively.

Industry marketing consultant Mike Glynn discusses why mobility retailers should embrace the digital age and, in particular, social media.

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By Mike Glynn

January is a peak time when it comes to internet searches for mobility products and solutions so it is vital to be visible to these internet-browsing prospects who want to become customers.

Why is January a peak time? Call it guilt or concern, the truth is that after families get together, children of elderly parents notice differences, challenges and needs that raise concern, be it a struggle to get up and out of a chair or up the stairs. It leads to a search for answers and solutions.

When it comes to search engine searching, more and more people are conducting their browsing on mobile phones and that trend isn’t restricted to fashion and food retailers – it is now evident in the health and mobility sector. Some sectors are more advanced than others but the trend is rippling through to mobility.

Search terms that categorise under mobility however are quite varied and often bring up searches for mobile phones, adding a barrier for would-be customers to find mobility retailers and solutions.

Also, with the number of shops boasting the word ‘mobility’ in their company name, it makes it more difficult for a customer to search and for retailers in the sector to stand out.

Making sure you are investing in SEO to appear for searches that prospect consumers might search for is important. This means thinking beyond ‘mobility’ as a search term and thinking what someone who has seen their parent struggle to use the kettle or sit down might search for instead.

Interestingly, search patterns vary slightly, with the majority taking place during the week with a dip at the weekend. Monday’s tend to be quieter with a peak on Thursday and Friday generally. This might be something worth bearing in mind, particularly when it comes to investing in pay-per-click advertising on search engines and social media platforms.

With all that said, in a review of retailers and manufacturers within the sector, less than 20 percent make good use of social media.
Social media is no longer a choice for businesses if they want to remain competitive and it’s not all about price.

Did you know:

  • In 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse
  • Two in three people get their news from social media, with more accessing fake news
  • 93 percent of buying decisions are influenced by social media
  • The attention of a goldfish is 8 seconds vs the time humans spend on social media posts which is 7 seconds

When it comes to embracing digital in the industry, the point was made perfectly by Socialnomics author Erik Qualman: “We don’t have a choice on whether we digitally transform, the choice is how well we do it.”

From 2017-2018, the baby boomer generation adopted Facebook and massively increased the number of users in the UK by 300k in the age 65 and over category.

So when I speak to retailers and they say that they want more new private clients, many of them fail to see the obvious. Those new customers are out there and on social media – the problem is that they are not talking to them.

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