Have you heard the term “SoLoMo” yet? If you’re a marketer who hasn’t, you soon will, because SoLoMo – Social, Local, Mobile – is fundamentally changing the way marketing, public relations, and social media work.
It’s not that social media, local targeting, or mobile communications are brand new, of course. But when you put all three together, it’s a combination that’s revolutionizing digital marketing. For the first time, you can target and communicate with your target audience in new ways because technology has caught up with the way people behave when they’re ready to make buying decisions.
Marketers have always known that the proverbial Holy Grail of small and mid-size business marketing was to identify consumers who are (a) close to the business, (b) in a narrowly defined demographic group most likely to buy from the business, and (c) ready to make a buying decision. For generations, that meant direct mail – by zip code – targeted at expectant moms, parents of teenagers, or other broad, poorly defined groups. There were other ways to market to people of course, but it wasn’t easy. Until now.
Like it or not, the smartphone is becoming a kind of digital database that constantly allows smartphone users – and the companies marketing to them – to store, access, and use information about who we are, who we know, what we like to do, where we are, and where we have been. We volunteer this information in exchange for goods and services.
This exchange of information between consumers and marketers allows for location-based engagement (LBE) marketing in near real time. Within the next two years (by 2015, according to major analyst groups like IDC and Gartner), we’ll have near-universal smartphone access. And that means that consumers are volunteering for access to a range of applications designed to make connections between people, brands, services, and information.
Maybe your customers check in with Foursquare so their friends can find them easily, use Qwiqq to find a daily deal from a local business, or rely on filtered search applications like Nommunity’s Food Community app to find a vegan or gluten-free meal on the go. They get immediate access to information they want and need – and the marketers who are using SoLoMo platforms effectively are finding a ready audience for their information, products, and services, plus access to massive amounts of data they can use.
Are you Ready for SoLoMo?
Is your business ready for this revolution in how consumers look for information? If not, it’s time to start planning ahead. Social media marketing is the first step, because the rise of the social buyer is second only to the rise of smartphones themselves in changing how consumers buy products.
Facebook served over a billion active monthly users during 2012, and more than 100 million active Twitter users are on Twitter this month. We’re becoming increasingly social creatures – and more of us are accessing our social networks primarily or exclusively on mobile devices. Nielsen says that 37% of social media users access the services solely on smartphones or mobile tablets.
We’re working with our clients on a range of SoLoMo initiatives, each framed around the LBE strategy that fits each client’s specific audience. For instance, we’re helping with:
- Optimizing websites for local search
- Measuring social media marketing results
- Earning share-of-voice and customer loyalty
- Delivering and redeeming offers
- Maximizing results from ads
- Creating social listening programs
- Delivering custom apps to provide instant access for your customers
First Steps Toward SoLoMo
Facebook Nearby, Google+ Local, and Foursquare are the first steps toward SoLoMo for most businesses. Facebook Nearby has just released new IOS and Android features that let users find and rate businesses in their local area, including user-posted reviews, check-ins, and filtered local search.
If you haven’t done so already, creating and claiming your place on Facebook Nearby is a step you should take right away. Visibility is job number one, because until you officially “claim” your spot, users can’t rate your business – and if they can’t rate it, you won’t get good ranking on Facebook Nearby search results. You must create a Facebook Place page for each physical location where you do business in order to see what visitors are saying and doing, as well as visitor recommendations and check-ins.
The potential for Facebook Nearby is significant. Unfortunately, if you’re not an expert with Facebook’s software development kit (SDK), you may need some help to get your business ready for the LBE features that are part of the new Facebook service.
Let us help. When you’re ready to chat about social media marketing with us, we’re ready to help you take advantage of the potential for SoLoMo integration and marketing!