Niall Harbison at The Dublin Web Summit

This is the fourth of my posts about the Dublin Web Summit.  If you missed my previous posts you can see them here.

Customer Service and social media

2 chunks of fun – The singing robot and the Tweet Cafe at the Dublin Web Summit

Stephen O’Leary on how to find out what people want on Social Media.

On Day one I was back on the digital stage to see Niall Harbison from Simply Zesty speak on a topic that has become of increasing interest to me recently. The growth of mobile. We need to understand that there has been a change in the way that people access social networks. They no longer just log in from their laptops and PC’s but are now looking at Facebook on the bus, when they are waiting for someone in the pub, when they wake up in the morning, before they go to sleep at night, even when they are on the toilet.  Here’s some key points from Niall’s presentation.

– In 1999 no one was online and there was a mad manic rush to get online, that’s happening again with mobile.

–  10,000 iPhones are sold in Ireland every week.

– Web search declined in the first time in December 2006 on desktops.

– Mobile devices will account for a third of all search traffic by the end of the year.

–  In the future computers will still be there but the vast amount of people will be using phones and tablets to access the net.

– There has been a huge migration from desktops to mobile, this almost caught Facebook out.

– The only newspapers working in Ireland are those free sheets that get shoved into your hand on a Dart or Luas (public transport) – the news in newspapers is totally out of date by the time it reaches you.

–  4 year olds to grandparents people are understanding mobile touch screen devices.

– The phone is becoming the thing you will be pay for stuff with – Your phone is absolutely going to become your wallet


Niall sited HailO the Mobile taxi app as something that would disrupt an entire industry.  It looks pretty cool, a much easier way to hail a Dublin Taxi. You just tap your phone twice to get a taxi and can pay by credit/debit card or cash.

Niall pointed out the big Irish retailers are failing to invest in mobile sites.

– Where Dunnes Stores mobile site is almost impossible to naviagate it’s American counterpart Walmart is fully mobile.

– The o2 website, a mobile operator that has a terrible mobile site compared to it’s American counterpart AT&T.

For more tips and examples here’s his full presentation

Tips for small business on Mobile

So how can we as small businesses adapt to the mobile revolution?  It’s even more important that we stay competitive so we need to be looking for solutions.  I’m re-developing our website at the moment using WordPress and I’m investigating the mobile plugins I can use to make it user friendly to those accessing it from their site.  It’s going to be worth making that extra investment when you are building your website now rather than doing it retrospectively.

But it’s not just our websites that need to be mobile, we need to make sure that everything we do on the Internet works on a mobile platform.

Here’s key considerations

– Make sure that you site is easy to navigate without zooming from a mobile device.

– Make sure your email marketing campaigns work on mobile. Send a test email to your phone to discover is it easy to read on a mobile device.

– On Facebook use mobile friendly apps for competition and other tabs.  Applications like ShortStack app (affiliate link) offer mobile versions of the tabs you create… but having said that…

– Don’t rely on Facebook tabs. Where as you might want to use a tab to promote a competition to stay within the rules be aware that people will rarely if ever visit your other tabs from their mobile device.  You will need to promote them constantly on your timeline in order to get people to click your mobile link.

Have I left anything out? Have you any advice for building websites or using social media to optimise for mobile?