This week’s success stories brings you PCB Social app – an app that will make your visit to Panama City Beach unique and like no other.
What is PCB Social app and who is it for?
PCB Social allows tourists, spring breakers, and locals alike, a one-stop mobile app experience like no other. From daily weather and surf report, to a database of all of the must see places that make Panama City Beach unique, there is something for everyone. Other great features include: coupons, news, events, and social media integration to create a community of people who love Panama City Beach.
How did you come up with the idea to make an app?
I usually go to Walt Disney World every year and consider myself someone who knows the attraction very well. They rolled out a mobile app a few years ago that helped visitors around the parks and gave them information such as real-time wait times. It completely changed my experience for the good and then a light bulb came on. If one of the biggest companies in the world is doing it and I know first hand the benefits of a mobile app, then it must be doing well. I took the same concept and developed my own localized app for Panama City Beach, FL.
What planning and preparation did you make before going into the process of making an app?
As with any new venture, I always study and analyze similar competition to better understand what makes them successful and what I can do differently to bring more features to my end-users. With PCB Social, I wanted to create a beach themed app that was easy to use and navigate. I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like so I started playing around with making a logo and the rest is history. I am now bringing in ad revenue and am looking to start my own product line at the beginning of the year.
What are the main features included in your app?
I am constantly looking for more things to add to the app to keep people interested. Currently, users are able to check the weather, surf report, beach cameras, local places (food, hotels, attractions, etc.), local events and articles, as well as a social feed for everyone to share their pictures of Panama City Beach.
How easy was to make the app using Shoutem?
With anything new, there is always a learning curve. I have a technology background, so it was fairly easy for me to get started. Once I learned the ins-and-outs of the online builder, updating the app and changing things around was a breeze.
How was the app received in the community?
I created an entire city directory within PCB Social for both locals and tourists to find anything that Panama City Beach has to offer. I included all types of local events to keep people in the loop on what’s going on at any given day. By giving free local promotion, the app has really just taken off. A friend will tell a friend that their music gig is in a local app, and that friend will tell their friends about it. Believe it or not, many local businesses don’t even have a Facebook. I have provided them with a free tool to help bring in business and they love it.
Why is the combination of mobile, social and local a win-win combination these days?
I can’t tell you how many different articles are out there saying that the mobile platform is doubling and tripling year after year. Since the push of smartphones, almost everyone has one in their pocket. The majority of the population is on at least one social media service and people like to stay connected. Incorporating local community and you have a winning solution. When people can take their phone out of their pocket and see localized information along with a social media aspect that keeps them coming back, it’s just a no-brainer to create something people will enjoy.
What advice would you give to people who are planning to make an app?
I believe one of the most important focuses you need to, while planning to make an app, identify your target audience. Design your app based on the demographic who will be using it. For PCB Social, I wanted to go with a minimalistic and easy to use platform because of the wide range of age groups who I would be marketing to. Often times people who did not grow up with the modern technology we now have been easily confused and quickly become frustrated if they are unable to understand how to navigate through an app. Poor design can lead to bad reviews and uninstalls which can all be avoided by careful planning ahead of time.