I always enjoy the looks that I receive from clients when I mention “SoLoMo”. I can only imagine what they are thinking (“has he finally lost his mind?” Comes to mind a lot). In fact, I’ve memorized the explanation and have learned to quickly throw it out as soon as I bring it up. Still, SoLoMo is my favorite marketing method for local businesses, mainly because of the success that it has brought our clients, so it’s a conversation that must be had with each and every local business owner that comes through our doors.
So, what the heck is SoLoMo?
SoLoMo is an acronym that stands for Social, Local, Mobile, and it taps into the buying patterns of more that 80% of consumers in today’s connected world. Here’s how it works:
How many times have you scrolled your Facebook or Twitter feed and saw one of your contacts (or maybe you’ve even done it as well?) asking others about the best “insert cuisine here” restaurants in the area? Or how many times have you checked online reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp etc. before going to a local business? I’ll bet you’re just as guilty as the other 62% of all online shoppers who do the exact same thing. And of that 62%, 75% of them end up clicking through to the business’s website in the process.
Having a social presence online is no longer a choice for local businesses. Nearly EVERYONE has a smartphone these days and has near-instant access to information on any business in their local area. If your business isn’t in that mix, you’re going to lose customers to the ones that are… lots of customers.
When someone who is close to your widget business searches for “widget sellers near me”, you have the opportunity to be right in front of their face at the very moment they are in the vicinity. Compare this to traditional advertising methods such as Yellow Pages, Billboards and Newspaper advertising – which are all super-expensive and not nearly as effective – and Mobile marketing is a no-brainer. Plus, with the technological advances being made with GPS tracking, it’s now possible to hit consumers with special offers when they are near your business location, making it 100 times more likely that they will stop in, even if they weren’t necessarily looking for what you’re selling at the moment.
As mentioned above, pretty much everyone (even my 82-year-old grandmother) has a smartphone these days, giving them instant access to the internet and everything on it. When you combine the above two marketing methods with the power of smartphone technology (such as Apps for your company, email marketing, location-based coupon services, etc.) you end up with an ultra-powerful marketing campaign that is guaranteed to not only get your business in front of consumers, but to really grow your bottom line as well. There is simply no better method of targeted advertising for local businesses. Period.
The problem with this approach for most business owners is that it does require a bit of technical know-how to set it all up, and a little TLC to keep it running smoothly. It can also lead to negative consequences such as receiving bad reviews for your company. My advice to businesses who share these concerns is to first weigh the pros and cons of using the SoLoMo approach to marketing. I’ve yet to find a single person who has found enough cons to justify not doing it. Even if you’re way too busy running your business to do it yourself, the gains you will no doubt experience from it would justify hiring a search marketing agency to handle it for you!