by Curt Finch

SoLoMo: The Newest Trend You Need to Pay Attention To

Jan 12, 20124 mins
Computers and PeripheralsConsumer ElectronicsiPhone

How many times have you passed through your marketing department and been utterly confused by the new buzzword of the moment?  The newest buzzword to hit the tongues of trendy marketers everywhere is SoLoMo, which stands for the collision of social media, local search and mobile search.  Essentially, SoLoMo pins down the habit of consumers who use smartphones to socialize about products, search locally, and call or check in to local businesses using their mobile device.  Considering that more than 20% of all searches being done on a mobile device now, it is clear that the era of mobile work is at hand. This is one trend worth paying attention to.

Have a Mobile Ready Site

If your company decides to cash in on the SoLoMo trend, you won’t get very far with a website that looks awful on a smartphone.  To attract mobile users, your company website needs to be an incentive to potential buyers, not a deterrent.  Here are a few things to keep in mind for a successful mobile site.

  • Have clear navigation:  readers need to be able to get to your company’s most important content quickly and easily
  • Create readable content:  with all of the noise going on around us, you need to grab reader attention instantly
  • The less images, the better:  if readers have to scroll past the break because of a large image, then the image is not effective
  • Stay away from Flash:  you can argue with Apple all you want but the fact remains that Flash is currently not mobile friendly

Think Beyond Apple Apps

Though iPhones have the corner market on apps, there are actually more total Android users.  The Android mobile operating system is free, which is why Android phones are so cost-effective, reaching a market that Apple seems to constantly ignore. So if you decide to invest in a mobile app for your business, it would certainly be wise to create one that works on both iPhone and Android. 

Beyond smartphones, also consider the rise of the tablet.  Again, think past the iPad.  Tablets have very specific display and interaction constraints which will affect your entire online presence.  Standards for these devices are already well-known so use that knowledge to your advantage.  If you can develop these new apps in-house, do!  Your mobile app will be a lot more effective if you don’t treat it like a quick fix.  Instead, think through your product up, down, backwards and forwards and determine how will an app will best align your product with evolving consumer behavior.

Be Involved in Social Media

I’ve said before that social media can’t be ignored. Not only would you miss a whole slew of business opportunities but social media actually helps your company as a whole be more transparent if you and your IT department take an active role.  Social media tethers a connection between you and your customers.  You can connect directly with current and future customers to gain insight into what is desired in future product offerings.

Another reason to be involved with social media is to be aware of the privacy policies with each social stream your company is involved in.  If location-based tactics are put in place in your company, you’ll have to make sure that customer privacy is kept in mind.  According to Innovation Excellence, “Fueled by multiple ‘geo-awareness’ technology components, location-based marketing will create new types of value exchanges between marketers and consumers. Behavioral data tracking will evolve to real time value creation between marketers, content creators, consumers and social networks.”

Your company will need to be respectful of customer privacy and be transparent in what you do with customer information.

SoLoMo is going to demand mobility, preparation, and transparency from your IT department.  So are you going to take SoLoMo head on?  I’d love to hear what you’re currently doing or thinking of doing with this new trend.