I realize it has been a long time since I posted last, and I am mad ashamed at that…but i had technical difficulties with my phone, and that threw my whole world out of whack!!!! And why???
Because, all of my contacts, my Twitter, Facebook, and all four of my email accounts were hooked up to my phone. My main way of finding out the news and getting in contact with people was down for the count and I did not even have a land line to compensate. And while tragic, I did realize something quite meaningful when I decided to get a new phone, that the quality of your cell phone and the reliability of it can be life or death to a small business owner.
Business moves at the speed of thought now-a-days. If your phone doesn’t allow you to surf the web, you might as well be sending out snail-mail. Really…
This is not to put down those who have no idea what a data plan is, this is to say, that if you are looking for ways to increase your business; to grow then you need to be growing where your customers are growing. And just to be clear, even if your customers and clients are all over the age of 75, if you are looking to grow your business, then you need to look at your phone and take serious stock of what it is and is not doing for you.
For those who feel like constantly signing into and out of social media accounts are too cumbersome, may want to look into what applications if any they have on their cell phone. With almost all smart phones, you can download the application fit for your social media network and phone, and sign in once…and never do so again for the life of that phone. This can greatly reduce the headache of multiple social media outlets and make marketing and reaching out to potential customers much easier.
There are many different brands of phones out there, and I have only had a few in my lifetime, but two of the bigger players, the iPhone and the Blackberry, I have been fortunate enough to own. So my assessments of the two come from the Blackberry Pearl and the iPhone 3Gs.
For those who believe that they can do without all of the new fandangled stuff…the Blackberry is a great option for you. When I first decided to get a smart-phone, I wanted internet access without giving up true buttons. The cute phone also was small enough that it still felt like a regular phone, and fit into many of my pockets that were designed to hold regular cell phones.
It was easy to navigate through applications, and I could surf the web whenever I needed to. Newer phones come with the Facebook, Twitter and MySpace apps already uploaded, but even on my older edition, it wasn’t hard to get those apps and use them.Furthermore I could sync the phone to my iTunes library and listen while on the go and running, the battery life was GREAT and I never had to guess about new emails or text messages as all came immediately to my phone.
To me, this is more of a professional’s phone. As in, if you are apart of a company and deal only with a certain sector of your business overall, then Blackberry is GREAT!!!! You should never have to worry about charging your phone, as it has the same port as countless other electronics, including other cell phones, and digital cameras. Also BBM(BlackBerry Instant Messaging) is A-M-AZ-I-N-G. You can talk to anyone else with a BB for free, no matter what carrier they have. Transferring images and papers and music is also relatively easy and even if your screen is cracked it is not the end of the world.
However, the BB had and has its problems. I tried downloading the newest operating system(OS) onto my older (1.5yrold) phone, and the transition went off with many hiccups. My phone kept turning off and on to the point where I pretty much had no phone at all!! When I researched this problem online, I found that I was not alone in this problem. Then I went to my carrier’s store and found out that my most customer complaints and problems with their phones are from the BB brand. The guy I spoke to said the figure was like 8 out of 10. So if 10 people came in with a phone problem…8 of them had BB phones…not a good sign. And while I never had a problem with the phone before that time, my mind was made up to switch brands immediately. Which brings me to the iPhone.
Although many look at the iPhone as a yuppie phone or for those who like to play games…this phone could be the piece you are looking for if you are your business. If you handle your business’ marketing and the bottom line…the Black berry just won’t stack up. On the social media side alone, the iPhone blows the BB out of the water. With the iPhone’s Twitter app, you can handle multiple accounts from the settings page. For someone, like myself, where I handle the Twitter page of my own site as well as a separate Non-profit’s, this is invaluable!!! Also it is easier for me to “Quote” Tweets that come through, and I can leave that app with a half finished Tweet myself, and come back later to finish it.
The Facebook app, is also above that of BB, so much so, that I almost prefer dealing with my phone over my full web browser on my computer…which brings me to the web browser on the iPhone, which is fantastic. I mean for me, I knew that this phone would have to be my next one as most apps are made first for the iPhone and then are split between the Android and BB. And as a social media consultant as well as my own marketing executive (lol), I needed that which would enable me to demonstrate the most to my clients. From flight check in, to turning your phone into a credit card terminal possibilities for the Android and iPhone are endless
The down side to the iPhone is the relatively short battery life (coming from a BB that only needed to be charged every other day to the at least 2x a day charging of he iP…whew!!), then there’s the higher data plan. If you have been with AT&T or Cingular since before the merger, then you are good, you have the option of getting unlimited data for a great deal. But if not…then you will be shilling out some dough because you will be on the internet A LOT!!!! And although the device is Wi-Fi capable…there will be plenty of times when being on your own 3G network is better than the offered public connection…like when traveling in a motor vehicle.
The last downside is the fact that the iPhone is highly addictive, like coffee, but with more options for creamer. You may find yourself guilty to have not answered a text, FB message, Twitter mention or MySpace friend request if you get too caught up. The key is to set aside time to be on your social networks…and stick to it.
If you are your business, it would be wise to take serious stock into what your phone can and is doing for your business.