The use of social media and adoption of mobile usage have been intertwined with the local business in the recent years. Each aspect has been complimenting the other towards rapid growth. Social-mobile-local with the acronym SoMoLo has been here for long such that it’s no longer just a name but it is simply applied. Social and mobile has been important to the local businesses since their optimization are essential to engaging successfully with the customers. For local businesses, monitoring and maintaining consistence in the market across a variety of channels is overwhelming especially for the businesses that have been strapped for time. To remain relevant and enhance a good competition in this attention economy, connecting with customers through social media and mobile is very critical. Maintaining a competitive social presence perches your business viability and presence in the market.
Social: Consumers are Social.
By social, it does not mean talking a lot, it denotes that with the dominance of social technology, customers are connected well. Technology has enabled the consumers to attain and transmit information more easily and promptly than it has been any time before. This has changed the way customers secure products and services. Today, Consumers do not consider the brand as the main source of information, they tend to consult a third party resources and others who are present in the social media. seeking advice, reading about products and writing reviews together with involvement in experience sharing within social networks are some of the most common social activities. Most users of social media, will seek advice from friends and families on products when they are in a store before purchasing. This shows how important social media has influence on the purchasing decisions of the customers.
Mobility define and influence the todays consumers. The way customers move, together with their ability to do shopping through their smartphones and tablets presents the experience of the modern market as mobile in nature. Some years ago, the act of shopping was a different experience. Most of the families used to set a day a side to do shopping. This is outdated now, shopping has ceased to be an activity in and of itself, shopping has been transformed to an afterthought, which can be done from the comfort of your home, from bed or from a car while travelling. The influence that mobile devices has brought to the behaviour of consumers could not be anticipated some years ago. The mobility of consumers also has been a great aspect of integrating social and mobile. Utilization of social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter which have some specific benefits to mobile users is one of the ways of ensuring that the business remains relevant on the business curve.
Consumers always get social with respect to where they are. According to Madden (2010), of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 65 million of American citizen use location based services. In less than a year the number of citizens who own smartphones and apply the location-based services has increased from approximately 35% to a whopping 74%.
Promotion offers drive the platforms for location-based. In these promotional offers, the company gives an opportunity for consumers to interact through commenting, rating the company and sharing their experiences with the business. According to Roach, (2009) who wrote the Consumer Perception of Mobile Marketing for Strong mail, 38% of people who own smart phones are accessible through messages of promotion through SMS when these messages are based to where they are located. Through this statistics, it is evident that the local market has a big opportunity. The relevance of the local business raises the interests of the consumer in receiving of these messages right in their locations. This is a good antithesis towards the common reactions of the consumers towards unwanted emails and junk-mail promotions.
The Scope of Social, Mobile and Local Marketing
The social, mobile and local marketing creates an opportunity when a dynamic and relevant customer experience is created. When these three aspects are brought together, the consumers are engaged at the intersection of these three. It is crucial for social, mobile and local business to align its internal resources, mainly those that are in direct contact with the consumer. This is very important for the success of SoMoLo. In case a promotion is running successfully, but with an untrained and unware front-line staff, it is most likely to miss an opportunity.
Hoffman & Novak, (2011) asserts that marketers should have an integrated strategy to trap the seamless movements of consumers within different platforms and channels. Using location based apps like foursquare and Redeem an offer can facilitate the marketer to check-in to a store, share a comment through the platform and subsequently post an update either on the customers wall with reference to retailer’s page. Knowledge of other location applications like SCVNGR, Yelp and Around Me which allows the consumer to put a ratting and make a comment of their experience with the company is very important for the company. The strategy of social, mobile and local marketing puts the needs and experiences of their customers at the center of their business. Consumers are also striving very hard to be part of this process.
Improvements in the Social, Mobile and Local marketing.
It is the culture of most marketers to just sell but the traditional marketing is involved with determining the benefits of a product and service in regard to its features, packaging and its presentation in the market. A new mindset of helping the consumer to understand and providing them with pertinent content that will allow them to find, buy and make use of the products and services that you offer. This will be concerned with paying a greater focus on the consumer. Scott (2015), says that marketers should put themselves in the shoes of the customers so that they can be able to identify where the experience of the customer does not match what they offer. This will enhance a mindset of growth, being inquisitive, asking of relevance questions and considering each buying step in the cycle. Putting yourself, as a marketer, in the purchase path of the consumer and diligently pursuing effective solutions will enhance contentment in a number of ways to the customers in the place of your business.