In a vibrant virtual community members like to stay in touch – with the latest information relating to the social object they gather around – and with others. Mobile is the next step in facilitating that desire to keep up to date and build social capital. How can organisations and communities start to utilise and capitalise on the trend? The following examples illustrate the possibilities presented by the most simple of mobile technologies, SMS:
- National Express encourages customers to Rant and Rave at them via SMS.
- The Where Are You Now social network allows members to send SMS through the site for a price.
- Laura Papworth states SMS has been profitable in Australia, for those offering messaging between members and text voting.
- MGM Grand Hotel LLC cross promote hotel room offer via SMS & email marketing.
- Scottish Institute for Enterprise uses mobile marketing to reach entrepreneurs.
- Rangers Football Club uses Rant and Rave to tackle prejudice.
- Philladelphia campaign uses SMS to link city residents with HIV test locations.
- The Pink Ladies’ luxury vehicle service send regular text alerts providing clients with booking numbers and a reminder to book early on busy nights.
Mobile Tools and Services
These are examples only, it is advisable to investigate a range of options and verify relevant testimonials before embarking on any projects:
- Text Marketer allows you to upload your database of mobile numbers and send SMS in bulk. Cost per message sent is 4.9pence or less. You could generate revenue by finding a sponsor who is willing to pay to support the service, or use messaging to drive sales or other objectives.
- Startup Adfonic enables advertisers and agencies to bid for advertising on mobile sites and applications. This depends on having a mobile site or application, and gives communities and websites the opportunity to find suitable advertisers for their mobile activities.
- FrontlineSMS is free software that turns a laptop and a mobile phone into a central communications hub. Once installed, the program enables users to send and receive text messages with large groups of people through mobile phones.