The Future of Local Marketing

SOLOMO marketingThe latest buzzword in the marketing realm is even sillier than many of its predecessors: SOLOMO. It’s a portmanteau of “social, local, mobile” but it sounds a little bit like a mispronunciation of “salami” after going to the dentist. It’s the intersection of geo-targeted marketing, gamification, social media, and the mobile technology consumers are adopting in droves. Users take advantage of their mobile technology to share geo-targeted information on their purchases with friends and followers. Take FourSquare as an example: Users impress their friends by checking in at locations in their area and compete for titles like “Mayor of Burger Republic.”

Why It Matters

As of September 2012, 45% of American adults own a smart phone. MomentFeed predicts smart phone usage will be ubiquitous at some point in 2013. As Americans simultaneously adopt mobile technology and social media, it’s reasonable to assume there’s a significant intersection between these two technologies. Enter opportunity for SOLOMO:

SO – The Social:

Prior to Facebook’s recent introduction of graph search technology, technology experts were predicting that social search was the way of the future. People don’t want to know which sandwich shop in their hometown has the best SEO. They want to know where their friends buy lunch on weekdays. The future of search is consumers’ finding products and services through the filter of their friends’ preferences.

LO – The Local:

By all accounts, developing a geo-targeted Twitter or Pinterest strategy is much more challenging than setting out to connect with a global audience. People still want to purchase local, and SoLoMo methods connect consumers with options in their area.

MO – The Mobile:

91% of U.S. citizens keep their mobile device within reach 24/7. As even B2B buyers move away from desktops and laptops to more nimble devices, a world where consumers can be connected every waking moment is upon us.

Introducing Location-Based Engagement

Location-Based Engagement (LBE) is by all accounts, the most attainable form of SOLOMO marketing for small- and medium-sized businesses to adopt. It’s a form of direct communication between the consumer and the brand, via smart phone applications. It can encompass the following forms:

1. Social Check-Ins

2. Tagging Tweets

3. Redeeming Offers

4. Tagging Photos

5. Leaving Reviews and Tips

Every company struggles with disengaged consumers and fans: Until the recent introduction of Graph Search on Facebook, the value of a Facebook fan who hadn’t engaged with the company in months was minimal. When a client can be enticed to engage on social media, it’s essentially a form of earned media. Check-ins and Tweets are visible to a consumer’s following, which is why MomentFeed believes that social media mentions are the new earned media, or the new word-of-mouth recommendations.

Leveraging SOLOMO Superfans

Few small business owners would tell you that they love all of their clients equally. Perhaps they do, but they certainly don’t value them equally. Some clients purchase more product and offer more referrals, while others purchase less and make daily phone calls to customer service. In the world of social media and search, the value of a customer will increasingly depend on digital influence: How effective is the client at generating brand awareness? If he or she has 20,000 Twitter followers, will enough of those followers be local and drive additional business? Companies will have to consider how far their clients’ word-of-mouth recommendations by way of FourSquare tips travel and whether they make a difference.

With the rise of SOLOMO, brands can’t afford to ignore mobile technology.

To increase your own local fans and followers, offer incentives to engage with the company through Check-Ins or Tweet mentions. Both can provide exposure and revenue to companies that require a geo-targeted marketing strategy.

image credit: silicon angle