SoLoMo – Going beyond social media marketing

SoLoMo is a buzzword that has had most marketers eagerly adopting the methodology. This post talks about how businesses are moving beyond social media marketing.

SoLoMo is an acronym for Social Local Mobile. It is the integration of social media marketing, location-based marketing and mobile marketing. Popular examples for SoLoMo marketing include Foursquare, Groupon and Gowalla. SoLoMo has gained importance especially because of the fact that customers are connected today in ways that were not possible before. Mobile devices have made this possible. Since customers are reachable on mobile devices and behavioral targeting helps marketers understand what customers need, it is natural for marketers to reach out to their audiences through this approach.

Why businesses need SoLoMo marketing:

  1. Consumers today are constantly on the move. They need to be addressed while they are on the move with their mobile devices. While mobile marketing strategies address this problem to some extent, SoLoMo takes potential one step further.
  2. Mobile devices are extremely personal to consumers and therefore an ideal means to reach them.
  3. The hyper-connected state of consumers means that marketers have to be on the social networks where the audiences are in order to facilitate sharing, peer reviews and viral promotions. Applying the potential of social media marketing to mobile devices makes the tactic more powerful.
  4. Location-based marketing is gaining popularity with consumers
  5. SoLoMo helps marketers combine time and context to deliver powerful marketing messages.

A brilliant example of SoLoMo marketing involves Nike. Previously perceived as a brand that catered to the needs of sportspeople, Nike decided to reposition itself as an ally to health-conscious people by introducing activity tracking apps and devices. The devices (the latest in this category being the Nike Fuelband) transmit workout data to the apps which in turn allow users to connect with similar-minded people online and recommend routes for subsequent workouts. Another successful implementation was by American Express bank’s Small Business Saturday which allowed users to sync their Amex cards to their Foursquare accounts and check-in to receive deals and discounts from businesses in the locality.

When businesses decide that they want to adopt SoLoMo marketing approach, there are a few things they should remember.

  • Develop a sound, well thought out strategy
  • Use data-led insights to target the right people
  • Build valuable activities for your audience
  • Identify contextually appropriate places or situations
  • Identify the time with the maximum impact
  • Focus of covering all touchpoints during your customers’ journey
  • Emphasis should be on the customer rather than the technology
  • Ensure that you have the permission of your audience. Considering that mobile devices are extremely personal, unwanted messages can seem like intrusions to your audience, ruining your chances.
  • Provide utility
  • Utilize insights from listening to your customers to help them in ways they would appreciate
  • Make it possible for audiences to share their experiences

While the entire concept may seem like a vague uncomplicated process, there are certain errors that businesses should protect themselves against when it comes to SoLoMo marketing. Some of them include:

  1. Creating strategies that don’t integrate social, local and mobile aspects
  2. Not focusing on providing value to the customer
  3. Not setting adequate metrics to measure progress
  4. Not dedicating experienced professionals to the process
  5. Not aligning campaigns to the brand story
  6. Broadcasting instead of engaging audiences
  7. Limiting opportunities to promotions

All things considered, SoLoMo marketing has still not been explored to its maximum potential. Therefore businesses should look for opportunities to innovate and stand out of the crowd.


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