It is possible to dismiss SoLoMo as just another fad, a cute acronym at best. Critics may counter with: Isn’t it just social, mobile and local marketing; we are on Facebook and we like Linked In. And, our site is mobile ready, I visit there often from my smart phone, so what’s the big deal?
While social, mobile and local are all elements of SoLoMo it’s where the three components intersect on the customer’s path to purchase that allows Marketers real opportunity, as I explained in SoLoMo and the Value of Connection: You Can’t Afford the Missing Pieces.
Sadly, many companies make futile attempts to incorporate bits and pieces of social or mobile; and maybe they’ll take a stab at local marketing tactics but often with little to show for their efforts. I am noticing some common mistakes, in fact, I find 12 occur most often in some form or another.
12 Common SoLoMo Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
1. Creating separate social, mobile, local strategies—Focusing on only one e.g. mobile to the exclusion of the others—is likely the most common of the mistakes. SoLoMo Marketing is a relatively new phenomenon and organizations sometimes get in a rut of thinking tactically, rather than adopting a more holistic strategic approach. There are many reasons for this, the most common one is organizational. Companies tend to organize tasks and budgets around functions and expertise.
2. Designing strategies for SoLoMo without a customer-focused approach–Don’t lose sight of the fact that customers now expect a seamless experience; they don’t distinguish online vs. offline or promotion vs. sales. They simply want to secure whatever offer you are making when they are ready to act, and they expect everyone in your organization to be on the same page.
Today’s consumer is overloaded with noise and messages. Effectively engaging them requires that we recognize the what, where, why and how of their path to purchase journey. This understanding helps us look for ways to add value to them by removing barriers, solving problems, ultimately bringing utility.
3. Exploring SoLoMo tactically without setting goals or understanding how to measure success–Too often brands enter the social arena simply because they see others, maybe even their competition, on a certain platform and feel they too need to be there. Without a strategy and identification of success metrics, the experience is mixed or misguided.
4. Assigning social media responsibility to a junior staffer–Nothing against junior staffers, it’s just the message sent here is social media is an afterthought not worth senior management attention. With a “We don’t really need a strategy, just try some things” attitude toward social media, the result will be a fragmented, often inappropriate effort that can create headaches that reflect poorly on the brand.
5. Failing to make provisions for internal alignment–Limited or no internal collaboration within an organization is a mistake of grandiose proportion. Not only does it contribute to the poor health of a fragmented business, but it also sadly misses incredible opportunity for empowering employees and amplifying your brand exponentially.
Lack of collaboration within the organization allows functional silos to prevent sharing of information; which creates a scenario where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. The end result? Possible unsatisfactory customer experience–Customers often encounter bewildered staff who aren’t aware of an offering.
6. Not bothering to coordinate promotions—spells missed opportunity!
- Example:When a brand is willing to put an offer in the Sunday paper, or a coupon mailer, but fails to think about placing the offers online i.e. creating special offers for online or in-store presence, e.g. Foursquare. Results in lost opportunites to tailor offers/incentives based on customer experience/location.
7. Inactive or Inattentive social media presence–A social media presence sets customer expectations for listening and responding. Inattention reflects poorly on the brand often reason enough for consumers to try your competition.
8. Failing to mention or refer to other digital assets—A potential scenario might be a magazine ad without a QR code or a pamphlet without a website URL. The assets already exist, failure to connect them results in lost opportunity. The outcome is consumers unnecessarily risk missing content because they are unaware of it; which could translate to lost revenue.
9. Broadcasting messages “all about me” (self talk/self-promotion)–Social business in general and SoLoMo in particular are all about helping customers by providing relevant content and experiences based on their preferences. The result of self-promotion is the polar opposite of a helpful experience and often alienates a consumer, especially an empowered one.
10. Lack of social media guidelines–Neglecting social media guidelines creates a vacuum so colleagues aren’t sure what to do with your brand’s social media presence. The result can be disastrous. Without guidelines to know what you expect, employees are left to figure out what they should and shouldn’t do. This can lead to inconsistent, even inappropriate customer interactions.
11. Limiting access; not trusting employees or stake holders to do or say the right thing–Often brands restrict social media access at work for any number of reasons. Some do this to limit risk, others see it as a threat to productivity. Typically issues that surface regarding risky social media behavior have more to do with hiring practices. The result is often poor productivity, or wasted potential because colleagues are not encouraged to add value to the customer experience.
12. Not asking for customer feedback–Culture is key; for SoLoMo to be effective, alignment requires genuine (not automated!) collaboration with customers. Organizations may have a system in place to garner feedback, but neglect to pay attention and really listen. Just as bad: Responding defensively; organizations more concerned about justification rather than listening are not fostering a collaborative environment. The result of this kind of culture is conformity, little or no effort to adapt to situations or surroundings. Organizations can lose their way as customers seek other more relevant options.
SoLoMo Marketing Excellence Equals Opportunity
Whether your focus is B2C or B2B marketing, these SoLoMo marketing mistakes can be fatal to your marketing strategy.
The power of SoLoMo is the intersection where these three elements (social, mobile and local) overlap. This bright spot presents a land of opportunity for brands. Mining this new opportunity is quite a challenge. It requires cultural alignment and customer-focused discipline. Brands that have the courage to think differently and adapt to rapidly changing customer expectations will create a competitive advantage for themselves.