There is currently much buzz, and much debate, in business and marketing circles over the meaning and usage of the term SoLoMo (social, local, mobile). Never one to miss an opportunity to inject myself into the conversation, here is my take on the two most relevant aspects of SoLoMo, what it is, and why it matters to businesses.
WHAT IS SoLoMo?
The first thing to understand about SoLoMo is that it's definition, and by extension its utility, differs depending on whether you're a consumer or a business.
Consumer Perspective: SoLoMo is an acronym that applies to the integration of one's social media platforms and physical location with one's mobile device. An example of SoLoMo integration would be a social mobile app that is aware of your physical location and that you can interact with from your mobile device, both to input information (check-ins, posts, status updates, ratings and reviews, etc) and to receive information (store hours, products and services, ratings and reviews, coupons and promotions of nearby businesses).
Business Perspective: For businesses, SoLoMo represents an opportunity to micro-target prospects and consumers wherever, whenever, with contextually-relevant content, information or promotion that is also designed to be shared on social media.
Put another way, from a business perspective,
Social Media is the platform you use to promote your message and engage with your target audience;
Local is your area of concentration or relevant proximity; this can be physical or even online.
Mobile is the medium of connection between your brand and its prospects and customers.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
So why is SoLoMo Important? To answer this, we need to think about how we got here.
In the past, a company's social, local, and mobile marketing efforts have been silo-ed. You had social media marketing campaigns, geo-centric marketing initiatives and mobile marketing, the latter being largely comprised of SMS text messaging.
However, the widespread consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets has changed all of this forever. One obvious but fundamental point many of us fail to fully realize is that smartphones and tablets are essentially pint-sized mini-computers. In fact, most of these devices have processing speeds and advanced capabilities that would eclipse many desktops or laptops still in use today. I, for one, freely admit that I am using only a small percentage of the available features of my smartphone.
The advanced functionality of smartphones and tablets provides the on-the-go consumer numerous options and capabilities, empowering them as never before. In this way, while the ascendency of high-tech mobile devices is largely seen as a cornucopia for consumers, it's created a bit of a Pandora's Box for businesses and marketers. We now must contend with the ever-increasing expectations and demands of sophisticated mobile users who, with smartphone or tablet in hand, want what they want when - and where - they want it.
So what's the bottom line? The explosion of mobile technology has elevated the concept of contextual relevance in digital marketing; mobile users now expect businesses to provide contextually relevant online resources that inform, entertain, or resolve. In short, SoLoMo has shifted power to the consumers, and they know it.
To stay relevant, businesses need to get social, think local, and spend on mobile.