Are You Mobile?

cartvsI find that more and more, I multitask. It’s making me less of a phone person and more of a text/tweet/IM’er. Has anyone else found this to be the case?

In my case, it’s mainly because talking on the phone means I have to stop everything else. My brain (which may not operate like yours) has never been able to process multiple things when there is an audible conversation going on. As a kid, I was able to work on my homework if the radio was on; however, if the TV was on, all bets were off – I couldn’t concentrate nor problem-solve. I can multitask like a maniac when I don’t have to engage in a vocal conversation – but if I have to talk and listen audibly, I can’t.

If someone wants to talk to me on the phone, it’s like a radio interview – I almost have to schedule time to do it, away from the computer and any other projects I’m working on. That may be awesome for the clients that I have my weekly meetings with, since they get my full attention. But for friends, it’s a problem. Casual conversations get relegated to some text-based conversation. Phone calls that aren’t scheduled go to voicemail so that I can deal with them when I know I am able to deal with it unfettered. The nice thing is, people know they have my undivided attention when they talk to me on the phone. It also means I schedule regular offline periods, which is healthy.

Luckily, I’m not the only one. As BBC News reported today, more and more people are using social networks to communicate. They’re also using mobile devices rather than their laptops and desktops to do so.

As a business, are you taking advantage of this? Are you making sure that you are staying accessible via mobile devices and social networks? It’s becoming increasingly important to be able to not only capture an audience’s attention – but to maintain that over time. Billboards and television ads can’t do that since the world is just moving too fast on a constant basis to slow down and pay attention. Not only that, but they’ve forgotten the product name, URL, or phone number minutes after they’ve been exposed to the old-school ad because they’ve been bombarded by the 15 other things that are happening all at the same time.

Social networking allows you to stay in a potential customer/client/new acquaintance’s mind, because it’s a conversation. People tend to remember them – much like the way I get distracted when I hear a conversation going on. Ears perk up, my brain processes what I hear, and I either think of someone I can tell (ie the I know something you don’t rumor/gossip method) or make/do better (ie the I’m better than you ego method). The thing is, in both methods, the brain retains the information a lot longer. And that’s a key to turning someone from a casual observer into an interested participant.

Keep up with your customer. Don’t wait for them to come to you – go to them. Ask them about their interests, rather than be interesting yourself. Make them participate, rather than just observe. It may be the difference that makes or breaks your business.