SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile) is a term coined a long term back when the smart phones were introduced. SoLoMo has made a deep impact on small businesses because it leverages the power of social media on mobile phones to bring business within the reach of the customer (using geo-mapping service).
Let’s say, you are an avid pizza fan. You have shifted to a new locality and you want to know the best pizza joints with great ambience in your locality. What will you do? Obviously you will ask people around if they know the best pizza joint nearby. But will you able to find the right information you are searching for? It may happen that people you ask to aren’t ardent pizza fans and don’t bother to care about where the pizza joints are. In other case, they may know where the nearest pizza joint is. But will they give you complete information about the food and the ambience of the place? Probably not!
The next option you have is to resort to your smart phone to find the best nearest pizza joint. You will not only find the nearest pizza joints but also you will find the reviews and ratings about the food quality, images through which you can judge the ambience of the place and also other related information.
In the latter case, you have harnessed the power of social media with the help of a smart phone using location based services.
Now let me explain each of these terms:
Consumers opt for social media to find the products and services they need
Nowadays most of the businesses have an online presence in the form of websites or apps. Social Media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp is the recent marketing channel where the businesses target the customers for selling their products.
Over 2.37 million active users are on Facebook. Of which, 1 billion are mobile-only users. This comprises of the 47% of the total population.
500 million out of 1 billion are active Instagram users who use Instagram daily. Instagram is ranked 2nd for its usability and engagement. Facebook being the 1st. Almost 71 % of the US businesses use Instagram to promote their products and services. 83% of the Instagram users says they find new products and services on Instagram.
It is found that 8.5 million users follow retailers on twitter. Business use twitter to attract customers in a creative way.
For Business use
Consumers too leverage the power of social media as they can get enough information about the various products and services offered by the business, at their fingertips. They can also read the reviews from the other customers who have already bought the product or used the services. The review in turn ultimately determines if the purchase will be made by the customer or not.
Consumers’ social activities includes sharing about their experiences about the business, reading and writing reviews posted by the fellow consumers, posting pictures on the social media.
According to the study, it has been found that
Consumers usually look for the local places in their vicinity
Small business and start-up firms are gaining immense popularity post the technological advancements in the processing power of the smart phones and especially after embedding GIS (Geographical Information System) functionality. GIS enables to track the location of the person and can suggest the places in proximity to the user. GIS has made a remarkable progress in driving business sales.
With the advent of GIS, the location specific information is available at the fingertips of the consumers. From transportation services to food joints, personal services to delivery services has availed the location precision information to connote their business presence and thus increase sales.
Mobile phone usage has drastically increased compared to the past decade
According to the study published on Statista.com, above 200 million American users own a smart phone.
Mobile phones are becoming more popular among the masses due to its portability and the ease of access. A mobile phone user can conveniently access the web whenever and wherever he wants. He often visits the website of the business more than once for preliminary research. And also has the privilege of comparing it to different sites and that too, for a single transaction.
Few websites also incorporates the functionality of comparison between different websites on the web to give the customer a best deal, Eg: Trivago
Advanced analytics is used to process information from various sites available on the web.
Nowadays, Groupon is an acclaimed website as it collaborates with the business and offers discounts to the users, thus driving the growth of business sales.
On a final note
SoLoMo has not only led to growth in sales for small businesses but also it has fostered loyal relationship with the business and the customers. If the customer is satisfied with the product or service the business has to offer, he/she will definitely spread the fact through the word of mouth and become a loyal advocate of the brand.