How Franchising Embraces SoLoMo
If you’re reading this from a mobile device, kudos! If not, that’s OK too, but recent research shows you will be soon.
SoLoMo, the acronym used for the convergence of social, local, mobile marketing is quickly gaining momentum and importance for many Franchise organizations.
What Is SoLoMo?
At every turn Franchise brands are seeing the convergence of SoLoMo, whether it’s their customers consulting their smartphone and social media to help influence their buying decision, or simply watching their mobile traffic increase at dramatic rates.
And it’s not going to slow down because customers now demand a location aware, real-time experience, while consulting their social networks, on the go!
Is This Just Another Fad?
SoLoMo began with a notable movement to ‘get local’ several years back. Most Franchise systems have recognized that movement and have done a great job of localizing their online presence for each of their Franchisees. This was a huge shift for Franchises, having historically focused on projecting their large national presence. However, Google has made it inescapable and imperative for the world to get Local.
From there, social media became an important factor of online marketing for businesses. It experienced a slower start because similar to how some doubted the value of business websites in the 90’s, many businesses sat on the sidelines with social media. But eventually it has become obvious that social media was an imperative as well.
So when mobile came along, businesses listened much more closely to the predictions from experts about how it would change the digital landscape.
Today, SoLoMo is spreading like wildfire because the fuel of social and local are being ignited by the explosion of mobile traffic, which is on the rise at a pace two to three times of the local and social movements.
The bottom line is that your Franchise system needs to 1) be local 2) engaged in social media and 3) thinking about how to mobilize everything.
Customers are thinking, acting and doing things while on the go, with access to their social networks as well as location apps that take advantage of proximity.
Where Does a Franchise Start?
A Franchise system should start thinking of SoLoMo by breaking it down into its respective components. By looking at each component individually, you can amplify
the opportunities you may introduce from that one component. And once all three components are addressed you will then have the proper infrastructure and culture to take full advantage of SoLoMo. Some things to think about regarding each:
- Local… is your web presence optimized for local search and are you showing up locally If the answer to this is no, then you should consider starting here.
- Social… are you actively engaged in social media? Is your organization embracing social media and are you fostering a culture of transparency and engagement? If not, there are tremendous tools available now to embrace and engage with social media. Tools that provide centralized control as well as automation and brand management so you can properly introduce social media across your Franchise system.
- Mobile… did you know some Franchises have seen their mobile traffic go from 0% to 30% and 40% of their total traffic this year? How much of your web traffic is coming from mobile devices?
Where these three components converge, is where SoLoMo lives. Once you have a handle on all three individually, you’ll start thinking about the consumer experience and how dynamic the opportunities are where social, mobile and local converge. You’ll begin asking about the customer experience and whether it’s meaningful, is there a reason for someone to return, is there a way to engage them and get them to share their experience with their friends?
You’ll begin to see the growing sophistication of location-based communications all working together to give customers a real time, socially engaged, mobile experience.
Ultimately, the question to think about is whether there’s a gap that exists between your customers expectations and their experiences when it comes to your social, local and mobile presence?