Don’t you just love digital marketing with all these new phrases and whiz-bang gizmos popping up? It’s hard to keep up, to be sure—even for those of us who do this for a living. But enough complaining—let’s get to it. What is SoLoMo, anyway?
The ‘what’s hot’ in digital marketing, and where the gurus say we are heading, is into SoLoMo marketing, which is short for Social-Local-Mobile—but you can just call it SoLoMo marketing. Think about how mobile can be active at any location and instantly connect you to your social graph. Is Foursquare coming to mind?
If you’re thinking this is still too futuristic, then maybe the fact that sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 of smartphones outpaced those for PCs should be a wakeup call.
So how does this affect small business, or any business for that matter, and why should you care?
SO - The Social:
Search is motivated to answer search queries based on the searcher’s social network connections and their previous interaction with the companies from any of the available options relevant to the searchers’ request. That means that when anyone in your network—which could be thousands when you mix them all together—who has interacted with a company online that is relevant to your search, you’ll get a notification that your buddy Fred liked a particular company or ate at a particular restaurant.
LO – the Local:
Search results are based on physical location of the person searching or the area that they requested in their inquiry relevant to the options of companies available. That means you can help yourself by making sure to include your address on your website, a map – preferably Google’s, and then connecting with directories that provide location information.
MO – the Mobile: the internet is the communication thread between a business and the customer and now with consumers (especially) and even B2B buyers online away from their desks (asking Siri or surfing from their iPad), mobile has moved from theory and is living and breathing now. So if you are planning ad campaigns or other online marketing, check to see if and where mobile would make the most sense for your business.
So here’s the skinny: people are quickly moving toward viewing the world through their mobile devices. That’s a fact. Just look around you where ever you are and notice what folks are doing—annoying no doubt, but they are thumbing their way through a game, or sending a photo they just snapped, or searching for something, or texting a friend.
Keep in mind that your website should be built in what is referred to as ‘responsive’ so that it loads fast and plays well on smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Beyond a mobile website, you might want to start planning how you can show up on someone’s mobile phone or tablet without being an invader.
Start thinking about using QR codes to bring visitors more information (restaurants can link to menus, realtors to virtual tours or more information about a house, an item on a retailer’s shelf can deliver coupons, and on and on). Heck, you can even start taking donations or payments from mobile phones.
Think SMS messaging to send loyalty coupons or private sales, status updates for delivery. Creating an app that is a working solution to improve your brand experience can also make you an invited guest on someone’s mobile. Let’s face it—even in the B2B arena people are becoming unchained from their desks and going out into their world, packing their smartphone or tablet. Don’t you want to go with them?
If you have an app that is great and if you don’t, might I suggest that you start planning and building one now? People probably don’t want you to call them, but if you can give them a doorway on their phone into your business or service then you just blocked out the competition.
Ka-boom! Did a big sound just happen? Gosh, I hope so. You see, if you are an app on someone’s phone, they aren’t going to be searching, they are going to be engaging—and if they aren’t searching then you have a captured audience. Likewise, if your competition has gotten there already you are going to have one heck of a time getting an invitation.
On the internet, your competition is just a click away. On a mobile device using a mobile app—well, heck, it’s the private party you’ve been dreaming of.
Just remember: there’s an app for that. What’s yours?
Mardy Sitzer is a certified inbound marketing professional and president of Bumblebee Design & Marketing. Since 1993, Mardy has been delivering creative and innovative marketing solutions. An avid reader of all things internet and marketing, she also writes blogs, articles, and web content for industry magazines as well as for Bumblebee’s clients. She is an adjunct professor at Fordham University and instructor at Rutgers University teaching social media for business. Follow her on Twitter or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.