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BFS Capital Blog

SOLOMO: Brands Meet Customers Where They Are

March 22, 2013

Even if you think you can’t learn one more acronym, don’t dismiss SOLOMO!  As a small business owner, you need to make SOLOMO a part of your vocabulary and business practices—it’s that critical to your visibility and sales.

SOLOMO is where social, local and mobile intersect: You need to get social, think locally and make sure you’re connecting with your customers who spend vast amounts of time on social media networks and are all mobile all the time with smartphones and tablets. And it’s adding local information to search that brings these three dynamic elements together.

Experts say that SOLOMO is nothing short of a revolution—and one that’s revolutionizing the digital marketing landscape.

So what’s the news here? Each of these areas has been growing for the past few years. But the new demand on small businesses, especially, is the need to have an integrated strategy that incorporates all three prongs and ensures that they complement each other.  When you do this, you leverage an understanding of your customers’ habits—literally ‘meeting them where they are.’

What’s driving an intensified push to go SOLOMO? Nearly 120 million smartphone users, for starters, three-quarters of which are accessing various forms of retail-related content on their smartphones—content that helped them decide to make nearly $160 billion in purchases last year alone! They’re constantly updating and sharing content on social networks and increasingly use local check-ins to find out what’s nearby.

Here’s how SOLOMO breaks down:

SO= social. This is the platform you need to engage customers and push your message(s) out to them. It’s how they’re getting personalized information and talking to each other. Examples include Facebook, Twitter and for businesses, content marketing. Research says that over half of marketers say they would make Facebook their #1 choice for advertising.

LO=local. How close/ accessible are you to your customers—whether online or in geo-local terms? More and more consumers are tagging social media posts and updates and photo uploads with their location. Which means that when you offer incentives to customers to check-in on Foursquare, Yelp or Facebook, you’re also generating free promotion for your business.

MO= mobile. The medium that connects your brand with customers and prospects needs to include things like making sure your website is optimized for mobile, mobile advertising and mobile apps. Users view mobile ads and make purchases as a result. But many say they’re not yet seeing some of their favorite brands on mobile.

But despite the opportunity SOLOMO affords, many say that businesses just aren’t doing enough or moving fast enough to engage customers. Digital media guru Brian Stoller is one of them.  Haven’t we all learned by now that consumers wait for no one? If they want something, they’ll find it—however and wherever they need do. Stoller said recently ( that marketers just aren’t keeping up with consumers, that simply adopting new platforms and technologies isn’t enough. Instead, he says, you need to become an adaptive marketer by first acknowledging that your mobile consumers are going to be receptive to nothing less than customized, rapid-response marketing. Delivering on that, he says, means quickly analyzing the data you’re getting, figuring out the ‘headline’ and pushing out your message before your customers decide to move on.

Image courtesy of sippakorn /