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I delivered a presentation this morning on “going mobile” which I enjoyed immensely. In addition I enjoyed an article I read yesterday on business mobility on ITweb which you can read here. I realise I’ve never written specifically about this so here goes.

A social business, to my mind, is one that has realised and is utilising the convergence of Mobile, Social Media, the Internet and Technology. There was a time when your computer was separate from your telephone. The information on your desktop was unique to the desktop and the only way you could access the data was to be at the desktop or have it on moveable media (CD, memory stick).

Of course just about all tech today has converged. Data sits on the cloud and you can access it anywhere whether from desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile whether these devices are yours or one you’re borrowing.

About 4 years ago it was kind of quirky and novel to have a mobile site but it was not taken seriously. Again we see convergence today, customers must be able to access your site either on mobile or desktop of have a great experience with either.

Therefore to be truly and properly social the mobile element of your business must be given serious thought, planning and execution.

Who could have foreseen the role mobile devices would come to play in our lives? In the 1990s a cell phone was a wonderful way to carry on your business wherever you found yourself. You made & received phone calls, that’s it! It was a tool: An extension of what you already had. A phone today is a pivotal point around which and through which we plan and play out our lives whether pleasure or business.

We’ve become lifestyle hackers – there’s hardly an element of life we can’t tinker with using brilliant and mostly free apps. We can count the calories we burn, work out how many more we need to be burn, how we sleep, the best way to travel, share our travel experience, plan our money, streamline our entertainment. It’s remarkable. All through a single device on the move. All of this before we’ve even touched our connectivity and communication options, our navigation option and on and on.

With this device playing a more central role in our existence they have become trusted devices and we are encouraged to use it even further which changes established behaviours. It’s often easier to whip out your phone to google something, even when your laptop is close by.

We are now mobile centric. Therefore we expect the brands we interact with to be so to. We have firmly arrived at a time where we, in business, must think “mobile first”. This is a buzzword you’ve probably heard. it’s been said enough already to be irritating. What does it mean?

Instead of thinking about how to make our websites sexy we must be thinking how they will work on mobile devices on the go. To do this you will need to be your own customer and try look for and interact with yourself while on the go.

  • How does your site look?
  • Is it easy to navigate?
  • Do you quickly and painlessly find what you’re looking for?
  • Can you contact the business without hassle?
  • How can you improve your service by thinking about what your mobile customer wants?

After you’ve thought about the mobile customer then you can think of the static, desktop customer.

That’s mobile first. That’s social business.