What is SoLoMo and How Can I Use It for My Small Business?
Social, Local and Mobile, or SoLoMo, is quickly turning into the best way to reach consumers. People are moving into this market by shopping online, looking up local businesses and checking social media for reviews, all from their mobile devices.
Eventility, an event-promotion company, reported that 97 percent of customers search online for local businesses, 72 percent trust online reviews and 61 percent look to social media for ideas on where to go. According to their research, 71 percent of small businesses get at least a quarter of their new customers from social media. When is the last time you saw someone without a mobile device like a smartphone on their person? It has probably been a while, which is why you have to meet consumers where they are.
Many small businesses now have at least one social media site, usually Facebook. That’s great, but are you using it the right way? You must be active on all of your social media networks, so don’t stretch yourself too thin. If you only have time to consistently post on one or two networks, then do that. Having stale profiles on six different platforms will not draw people in. Check out our article on how to use each popular platform, and think about using a tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social that combines your accounts into one easy-to-use location.
Connect with people. It is important to promote yourself, but the main purpose of being social is to connect with new customers. Forming a relationship is very important. On social media, share content your customers will care about. Promote your brand, yes, but mix in content that will build trust and a good repertoire with consumers.
Encourage people to check in with you. There are various social apps like Foursquare which allow people to “check in” online saying that they visited your store. This can also be accomplished on Facebook. You could even offer a discount or deal when people check in. There are apps such as Kapture that allow people to receive discounts when they post photos of your business online.
Host social events. Set up a meet and greet with free drinks or snacks. People love to interact with each other. They are more likely to enter your shop if they see people already inside. Look for events that are already happening, such as a sidewalk sale or fair, and see if you can join in with other businesses. Promote your event on social media and get ready for new customers.
Connecting with the audience that is actually in your area is very important. Sure, you got three likes on Facebook from California, but if you’re based in Miami that isn’t going to help you much. You need consumers who can truly become leads and then customers.
People enjoy using a local business. If they have their location services turned on, the first businesses that pop up when they search for a service will be local businesses. Many of the social strategies fit right in with the local market to get those consumers into your business.
Target your advertising. Whether it be online ads, billboards or TV commercials, there is really no need to market yourself outside of your target market. You can set up a target audience for online ads, including on social media.
According to ComScore, 54 percent of mobile subscriptions in the U.S. are for smartphones, which is over 125 million smartphone-owning people. Consumers use their phones to search for places to eat, services and pretty much every other type of business they need.
Optimize your site. With so many people using their mobile devices to find you, your website absolutely must be mobile friendly. It is great if potential customers can find you when they search for a service online, but if they click to your website and it does not work properly on their phones, they are going to move on.
Use new mobile technology. One way to reach both the smartphone users and the old-school mobile phone users is to text. Many businesses use SMS ads with great success. These campaigns are fairly inexpensive and have a much higher open rate than emails. Think about the last time you deleted an email without looking at it versus a text. Chances are, you delete emails much more frequently, and almost always open your text messages. Most people also check their texts more often than their emails.
You can probably tell that a lot of these ideas cross over between the different categories of social, local and mobile. That is what SoLoMo is all about! You will not have as much success if you focus on just one category versus combining and utilizing all three.
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