SoLoMo, a new buzzword or a real trend?
SoLoMo would be the new post-web 2.0 Internet trend, a tidal wave that will once again change everything. After just about everyone has taken to the social web, is this the next step, or yet another concept that only exists in the minds of digital marketing prophets?
Loïc Le Meur announced that SoLoMo would be the main theme of the conference LeWeb 11. But for those who are not yet in the know, it is high time to explain the meaning of this strange acronym: Social, Local, Mobile. The future would be in these three words.
These three words could be used to define Foursquare, one of the pioneers in this area, and this is what all the giants are trying to integrate in one area or another: Google is already present in all three areas, Groupon and the deal sites are local, social and mobile, Facebook itself has tried it with its “places” and its “deals”.
Social, Local, Mobile, three trends not really equal
Do we really still have to explain the importance of the social web? When on the mobile, he should ahead of desktops in 2013 as the number one internet access tool.
And the local in all this? It is undoubtedly a less mature trend than the other two, but it looks set to see good growth. After the “global village” of globalization, the geolocation capabilities of the mobile phone allow the notion of geography to be reinserted into the Internet.
Foursquare is certainly one of the pioneers in terms of integrating SoLoMo, but the idea behind this concept is that the SoLoMo combo can be applied to practically any marketing strategy; from Apple, which is launching “Find My Friends” with the iPhone 4S at RATP and its new application “I love my line”,
A look at this Nielsen infographic on the SoLoMo figures reveals, however, that the local is the weak link in the chain: services are multiplying, but uses are still far from being massive. Could the “SoLoMo” concept therefore be an attempt to start the wagon from the “local” by hooking it up to two locomotives already launched at full speed?
The “local” lagging behind?
The “local” knows many disappointments: first there is Google which abandons its applications of “deals” and “Places”. The action Groupon which falls even before its official listing on the stock market. Facebook has abandoned its “places” and its “deals”.
Foursquare, even, is struggling to shift into high gear and engage the general public (the average Foursquare user in France has been here for over a year already!) and a study showed that 72% of French people are afraid to share their geolocation in real time.
The trend is however there, even if the uses have not yet reached maturity: we have talked a lot about the fact that Facebook had abandoned its Places, but in doing so they added the possibility of indicating its position at each publication of status, like Twitter and Google+ already did.
And if Groupon is experiencing some setbacks, Yelp and Living Social are offering deals that are no less SoLoMo and seem to be doing very well. Foursquare for its part is launching a new “Radar” feature to become more social and less “gamified”, and applications that integrate SoLoMo such as Weddar are still launching every week.
The market is not yet ripe, but that is precisely why it is still full of opportunities.
Who benefits from SoLoMo?
SoLoMo is a trend with wide ramifications, which will affect all market players. Obviously application developers and innovative startups are already there. The big brands are already seizing these new targeting tools by offering Foursquare treasure hunts like Nike or Jimmy Choo. But the SoLoMo is also, and perhaps above all, an opportunity for local SMEs to carry out real targeted online campaigns.
Increasing your visibility by creating your “Google address” to appear in the Google Maps application for smartphones, building customer loyalty by rewarding checkins on Foursquare or launching a Facebook campaign targeted on a single neighborhood, these are all new ways of generating revenue. business that SoLoMo brings.
More than gamification, the semantic web or any other emerging trend, SoLoMo, beyond the buzz, represents a small economic revolution.