The rise of smartphones has paved the way for the SoLoMo revolution. Today, people are increasingly using social media as a natural part of their everyday lives, especially when on the move. People are connecting to their social networks through their mobile phones, and last week Socialbakers announced that the majority of Facebook users (57%) access Facebook through mobile; a fact that convincingly underlines the mobile revolution. Besides social media platforms as Facebook, geo-localising applications are popular amongst smartphone users who check into locations or tag the location onto a photo. This geo-targeting trend adds the local dimension to the social and mobile movement.

Social, Local, Mobile form a convergence of sweeping trends in marketing, which is an inevitable part of our present world and the foreseeable future.

 

SoLoMo and location-based engagement

I recently stumbled upon this report, which was released by the social marketing platform MomentFeed, back in November 2011. Though not recently published it’s far from outdated. The increasing popularity of location-based mobile social networks such as Foursquare, Foodspotting and Instagram, indicates more than ever that this is the future.

Smartphones have become the primary channel for storing, accessing, and leveraging information about our identity, friends and network, activity and location. The report states that what characterises the SoLoMo space is location-based engagement, i.e. when people engage with a place through a mobile activity via smartphone applications and the mobilephone such as local search, photo tagging, checking-in, leaving tips and reviews, redeeming offers, responding to ads, and tagging tweets. For companies, the location-based engagement is valuable because brand mentions are shared across the user’s social networks while it gives the company access to information about consumer opinion, behaviour, awareness and intent, as well as giving them a direct channel to stay in contact.

 

What implications does it have for brands?

It is therefore imperative for brands to maintain a mobile presence and optimise their physical locations for engagement. In the world of social media 2.0 people are constantly online but navigate in the offline world, meaning that they aren’t attached to a desktop, but access the social web from the little computer in their pockets. People therefore also want to integrate the online experience into the offline world, and that’s where the SoLoMo technologies come into the picture. The SoLoMo convergence enables brands to connect people to their real-world locations in creative ways. When brands succeed in connecting the online and the offline worlds, it can be very powerful and provide true value to their users. Consumers are increasingly sharing their experiences at specific brand locations, and brands should therefore take into consideration how to encourage this behaviour in their SoLoMo strategies to maximize value for the consumers.

So, with the SoLoMo technologies, brands can hypertarget their fans and potential customers and understand and engage these at a local level – such as by using the monitoring tool, VenueSeen, which I blogged about last week.

For inspiration, check out for instance H&M’s recent SoLoMo campaign run in New York, L.A. and San Francisco, endorsed by David Beckham. Statues of the soccer icon were placed around each city. Shoppers snapping a picture of a statue and posting it on Instagram with the hashtag #HMBeckham are entered to win different prizes. A mobile microsite allowed shoppers to find where the statues were located, browse through the Instagram photos and “Like”, tweet, or pin them.

 

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