SoLoMo: What is It?
SoLoMo is the lazy way to describe the integration of Social, Local, and Mobile platforms into one streamlined marketing strategy. As you've seen in other areas of marketing and digital dialogue, the lines of communication between you and your customer are increasingly blurred. You are also quite aware of the hefty percentage of your friends, family, and customers that look to their smartphones to find directions, hours of operation, and customer reviews of local businesses. In fact, you probably used Yelp! last Friday night to research the restaurant you've been dying to try.
Sounds Silly. Why Do I Need it?
Albeit a silly acronym, SoLoMo promises businesses a new way to communicate with customers and and implement efficient marketing campaigns. Entrepreneur reports some staggering comScore numbers that reveal why small businesses need to pay attention to their mobile-dependent consumers.
- 74 percent of the ~125 million U.S. smartphone subscribers search for local information with their mobile devices
- 38 percent wish to receive promotional offers from businesses relative to their current location (Tweet This Stat!)
- Almost 20% of smartphone users frequently check-in to local shops via social platforms
Thanks to the built-in GPS that performs location-based functions in almost every smartphone device, small businesses can interact with smartphone users by providing local deals and offers through platforms that facilitate SoLoMo marketing strategies . For example, if you own a local bakery and decide to implement a SoLoMo game plan, you can use platforms such as Foursquare, Yelp!, and Facebook to offer deals only to those located in your neighborhood or city. You can now persuade people in a real-time fashion, by marketing to those that are already looking for a bakery in the area, rather than wasting marketing dollars on those that aren't so interested.
Related: Get hands-on help from online marketing experts
Four Easy and Affordable SoLoMo Changes You Can Make Today
85% of SMBs currently lack the financial and technical resources to completely redesign their site to make it mobily responsive. If you're in that bucket, here are four quick things you can do today to amplify your SoLoMo marketing strategy:
1) Take a look at your web analytics. With a click into your Google Analytics or Facebook dashboards, you can instantly see the location of the majority of your visitors. Are your local customers coming to your site and leaving right away? Do you get a lot of traffic from travelers and want to entice vacationers to visit your shop while visiting town?
2) Sign up for free social sites like Yelp!, Foursquare, Facebook, and Google+. Simply establishing a presence on these four sites can do wonders. At the very least you'll be alive in the digital space, allowing for more brand awareness and communication with your targeted audience. You'll be able to receive feedback from customers and take full advantage of reviews on Yelp! and Foursquare. With Facebook you can create targeted ads offering coupons and discounts for those in your specific area utilizing a mobile device.
3) Make sure to include your phone number on your website and across all your social channels in text form rather than in graphic. Smartphones are intelligent and they recognize a text number as a simple two-step "click-to-dial" process. If your customers can't immediately contact you, then you're losing your easiest customers- the ones that were already trying to find you.
4) Use low-cost SoLoMo platforms like Kapture, SidewalkAd and LocalBox that make social, local, mobile integration seamless for the business owner crunched for time and money. Already building off the Instagram rage, the Kickstarter funded mobile app Kapture identifies the smartphone user's location and displays a current list of local offers with redeemable rewards or offers in exchange for picture uploads. Likewise, SidewalkAd and LocalBox display deals from local merchants that are available for immediate use or saved until needed.