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Embracing the Rise of ”SoLoMo” and “Gamification”

Posted @ 11:33 am by Owen Frivold | Category: Community & Social Media, Digital Marketing, Technology | 0 Comments

If you’ve never heard of “SoLoMo” before, get used to hearing it because it’s a trend that is just getting started, and clearly here to stay. You may be asking yourself, what’s SoLoMo? Simply put, it’s the term used to describe the convergence of Social-Local-Mobile media, and is also used interchangeably with the term “geo-marketing”. We experience it on a daily basis, and typically don’t even think twice about it because it’s become second nature to so many mobile users.

Still not too sure what SoLoMo is? Here are a couple quick examples of SoLoMo:

If you’ve ever found yourself checking your Facebook account while waiting in line at the grocery store and see in your newsfeed that the guy who lived in your freshman dorm is at a pizza place across town, and could very well have benefited from a check-in deal, that’s SoLoMo in action.


Ex.: Check-in deal for local pizzeria leveraging both Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter.

If you’ve downloaded ShopKick’s mobile app and are walking around the mall with friends and get prompted to walk into Best Buy and you walk around the store together to earn “kickbucks”,  that’s SoLoMo in action.

Ex.: Shopkick app

There are many ways to apply SoLoMo to your marketing strategy. When the proper SoLoMo media strategy is put in place, customer conversion is often immediate because location-based (geo) functionality is frequently leveraged when users want to take immediate action. Mobile is having a tremendous impact on in-store customers — a recent study performed by Google and Ipsos OTX MediaCT found that 79% of smartphone users will look to their phone for help when shopping and 74 % of them will make a purchase as a result of using their smartphone. Mobile device usage is growing at an alarming rate, therefore it’s important that your digital/mobile marketing strategy keep up with changes in consumer behavior. KPCB’s Top 10 Mobile Trends report shows that there’s a shift in purchases from traditional desktop computers and PCs to mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) as well as the overall increase in usage of mobile for new social/collaborative activities.

Though these figures are encouraging, a big challenge that companies face is keeping their consumers active and engaged. As a general rule, social media users are passive and consume rather than create content, since social media marketing campaigns are most effective when users generate content, companies struggle to find creative ways to shift that trend. We do know that keeping users engaged and active requires several key components. It should take little to no effort to engage with your brand (leveraging social network login, “Like”, share buttons, Re-Tweets) and it provide appropriate incentives to users who want to participate, publish, or share their content or updates.

Forrester’s Social Technographics Ladder—the most active user types slipped 2% points or more from 2009 to 2010

Companies are finding that to an effective way to engage their users more is to apply game mechanics to their social media marketing campaigns with incorporated geo/mobile capabilities. This approach, also known as “gamification”, is often used as a tactic to establish recurring engagement with a brand, product or service by maintaining a level of participation that requires minimal effort, but keeps users coming back for rewards. These rewards can come by way of points, status, levels, privileges, or any number of other forms of social currency. Though this is not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination, it has proven to be extremely effective via mobile devices because users tend to fill small slots of idle time with brief, discrete activities.

Some notable platforms that have built their entire business around game mechanics are Foursquare, SCVNGR, and Gamify, the aptly named “gamification” platform.

SCVNGR Challenges for Starbucks Coffee: Any SCVNGR user can earn points for completing standard challenges as well as create their own.

If you have already covered the social media and mobile basics:  Facebook page, Twitter accounts, check-ins (when applicable), mobile app/site, location-based store finders, etc., your business is on the right track.
If your business hasn’t yet applied gamification to your social media strategy, now is the time to start considering it. Treat it like any other any other campaign, and develop a short and long term strategy with appropriate KPIs and goals. Identifying the right platforms to leverage, implementing the proper campaign tracking and analyzing the results will be crucial for capturing insights about your consumers.

To find out more about how SolutionSet can help develop the appropriate SoLoMo media strategy for your business please contact us.

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