Social-local-mobile marketing, or SoLoMo, is an emerging area of online marketing interest for many brands. It combines existing technologies and strategies into an experience that, to the prospect, seems seamless and effortless. From the marketer's end, however, SoLoMo can seem a bit overwhelming. It can be helpful to consider the needs that arise in each area of SoLoMo separately, and only then begin to develop a total SoLoMo campaign.
Businesses must have a strong social media presence to engage in SoLoMo. This is already a top priority for many brands, which makes the transition much easier. According to Search Engine Watch, it's important for companies to claim their profiles on each social media site, regardless of whether they engage heavily in activity on it. Each profile should include simple information like the company's name, contact information, and a quick summary of what they would like a new prospect to know at a glance.
Aside from claiming all profiles, companies should ensure that they are active on the proper social media networks. There are possibilities for B2B brands in every social media space, but it takes research and time to determine which platform is best for a particular organization. LinkedIn and Twitter are solid starting points, and experimentation can lead to other less-traditional avenues like Pinterest.
One of the main goals of SoLoMo marketing is to influence prospects into sharing hyper-relevant, extremely focused content on their own social media pages. As such, content marketing is a huge part of SoLoMo. It is necessary to create posts that prospects want not only to read or watch but to share. A marketer's knowledge of what is most shareable is invaluable in this area. Research into what a target demographic commonly shares can also be helpful. A business' existing content marketing strategy may be suited to SoLoMo, perhaps with some alteration. It is rare that users will feel compelled to share white papers on social media, for example, but shorter content that already exists may do very well.
Local search and local SEO
The second component of SoLoMo is local. It is at this point that concerns about search engine optimization enter the picture. To reach local customers, it is necessary to have a local presence online. There are many easy ways to begin this effort. The first priority for businesses that are just starting to bolster their local SEO is to have contact information readily available on their websites and social media profiles. If a company has moved, it is necessary to remove outdated contact information from the Internet in order to generate more consistent results. A coherent presence will yield better local SEO.
Businesses should also make an effort to understand the latest in local SEO, including Google's transition to the local search carousel. This emphasizes attractive graphic content and review rankings as well as traditional search engine optimization concerns. Companies need to be able to alter their online marketing strategy when necessary in order to remain on top.
Mobile search and mobile SEO
The final piece of SoLoMo, mobile, is an exploding category in online marketing. Research shows that three out of four mobile Web users are exposed to ads, and that mobile ad spend quadrupled between 2010 and 2012. In order to stand out here, companies must devote themselves to creating an innovative and effective marketing strategy.
The basics of mobile are also very important to any SoLoMo strategy. Brands must ensure that their websites display properly on mobile devices in order to rank highly in mobile search results, for example. Google's recent changes to its mobile SEO algorithms necessitate that businesses have a mobile-optimized online presence not only to rank highly in results, but to rank at all. This is vital and should be prioritized. Company mobile websites must also be designed with the mobile user experience in mind, in order to create a path to purchase that accommodates the differences between mobile and wired Internet use. This includes streamlining graphics and using video only when necessary, in order to make the most of what is often limited bandwidth.
Creating a SoLoMo strategy
With the essentials of social, local and mobile marketing under control, companies can begin to integrate these domains into one SoLoMo strategy. There are many decisions involved in such a planning process. How will a company target local customers? How will it ensure that the content they receive is extremely relevant and moves them to share? These questions are both mechanical and creative in nature, which may necessitate collaboration between marketers and information technology professionals, or between a company and an interactive marketing agency with experience in the field. The potential of SoLoMo is great, and companies should seek guidance in achieving it in order to reap all of its possible benefits.