SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) Marketing

Written by: Courtney Brown, Account Executive

SoLoMo is the not-so-new-anymore world of marketing. Today’s consumers are faced with more information than ever before and use technology to help make decisions. In an earlier blog post on content marketing, we shared the example of Suzy & Jim – a young couple looking for a new restaurant to try. By generating relevant content one restaurant was able to stand out above the rest. In this blog post we are going to take a closer look at how strategies on social, local and mobile can also affect consumer-buying decisions.


Forecasts show that in 2013 and beyond website traffic is going to decline as social sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn continue to be populated with the relevant and engaging content searchers are looking to find. Additionally, the Facebook generation (or young folks) saw a decline in email usage in 2012 and is predicted to continue on that path in the future. Social sites, cloud-based document sharing solutions, chat clients, and text messages are slowly replacing traditional email use. In fact, the only demographic that saw an increase in email usage during 2012 were aged 45 and above.


The emerging workforce and Millennial Generation (1980-2000) wanted it yesterday. They search for convenience, location and ease of use. Their iPhone location services are always turned on, and apps like OpenTable, Yelp and Foursquare are utilized because it tracks the users exact location, so no time is wasted on searches outside their hypothetical backyard.


Nowadays, when you are running late to work and need a cup of coffee, chances are there is a local coffee shop with an app that will allow you to order in advance so its ready when you get there. I mean, why wait when you don’t have to?

Developing your Social, Local and Mobile marketing platforms helps you reach customers on an entirely new level – that is easy and convenient for THEM. Take a look at who your target market is, and how they get their information. Do you show up in the search?


The Importance of Understanding Social Media Algorithms

Written by: Courtney Brown, Account Executive

Algorithms are defined as a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, as for finding the greatest common divisor. Translated into English, and for the purpose of understanding their role in social media, algorithms are:

The set of rules or circumstances that define usage in a social platform. The patterns we can identify that help our brand’s existence on social media platforms.

Why are social media algorithms so important for marketers to understand?

Simply put, not understanding an algorithm is like opening your car door, getting into the driver’s seat and wondering why the car isn’t moving yet. To drive, you must have basic knowledge of how and why a car functions in order to get the result you desire (the ability to move it). Putting the key in the ignition and turning it, will spark the engine and allow you to drive your car.

Similarly, setting up a profile on Facebook or Twitter without understanding the basic algorithms will get you nowhere (and no followers). While Facebook and Twitter both keep their algorithms private, we do know a few things about how each one works.

Facebook = EdgeRank

EdgeRank defines which stories appear in a users newsfeed. There are three ways to measure EdgeRank:

  • Affinity Score – how connected your brand and/or message is to the user. For example, my brother and I are frequently writing on each others Facebook Walls and we have 123 mutual friends so my Affinity Score with my brother is very high. Affinity scores are one-way; I have a different affinity score to my brother than my brother does to me.
  • Edge Weight – how valuable the action is, a comment has more edge weight to a post than a like does, same goes with a share.
  • Time Decay – how old the story is, the older it is the lower the EdgeRank.

Every time a user logs into Facebook, they see the stories with the highest EdgeRank in their newsfeed.

As a marketer, what can we do increase EdgeRank?

  • Encourage users to write on your wall and visit your page frequently. Give them reasons to do so. Ultimately, we want people to read and view our posts, because that is where we share the relevant content about our brand, but the only way they will continue to see our posts are if they view our wall.
  • Encourage sharing and commenting on posts. Tip; don’t focus on likes because it doesn’t help your Affinity Score as much as sharing and commenting does.
  • Keep a regular schedule of posts. Your audience is not always on Facebook at the same time as you. By keeping a regular schedule, you are giving them multiple opportunities to interact with your brand.

Twitter = Trends

The algorithm that defines what is “trending”on Twitter. It identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for an extended period of time (one day is an extended period of time on Twitter). Trending topics are found on the home, discover and search pages of the site. The foundation for trending is based on two simple factors:

  • Location – topics are localized to other users (individuals or brands) in their geographic region, based on 150 worldwide locations Twitter has defined.
  • Followers – how many times the people they are following have interacted with the message.

As a marketer, what can we do to create trending topics?

  • Posts should require action. Reading an article or clicking on a link are considered interactions with a post. The more people I follow or follow me that take action with a post, the more likely that it will become a trending topic for me.
  • Encourage retweets. A user retweeting your post is like a personal endorsement of your brand. Not only will all of their followers (some of whom may not be a follower of your brand) see your post, it is a strong action. Again, the more people take action with your brand the more likely it is to trend. Developing campaigns to encourage retweeting will drive action.

Each platform is different, but understanding the basic social media algorithms will go a long way in developing your online brand and attracting the right audience.

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Identifying Your Target Market

Written by: Courtney Brown, Account Executive

Identifying your target market is the first step in building a successful marketing plan. No one can afford to target everyone. Focusing your marketing dollars on reaching the audience that is most likely to buy from you is a much more affordable and efficient way to get your message out. To identify your target market, look at your current customer base, see what your competitors are doing, perform outside research, and define specific demographics.

Case Study

In 2011, Wannemaker’s Home & Garden needed their brand repositioned in the market to reflect its 40 years of success as a family-owned and operated small business in Downers Grove, Illinois – with a reputation for variety and unusual selection. Wannemaker’s was known for freshness, vibrancy and customer service—and needed to get that message across to a targeted group of people.

How did they do it?

Look at your Current Customer Base

Look at your customers shopping in your store; identify what types of businesses tend to buy your product or service. For Wannemaker’s Home & Garden taking a look at their current customer base meant identifying who came through their checkout lines, who had signed up for their email list, and who was ordering products. They found that their typical customer lived within 15 miles, owned their own homes, and were aged 35-65.

See what your Competitors are Doing

Not only is this the best way to spark creative ideas, but often times competitors are a mirror of ourselves. Don’t just look to your direct competitor down the street – look at like businesses that geographically can’t compete with you. For Wannemaker’s, we looked for locally owned garden centers nationwide known for the same differentiators as them – family-owned, quality and unique products. Identifying your competitors target market helps provide you with a comparison and benchmark in identifying your own.

Perform Outside Research

Doing market research doesn’t always mean spending large amounts of money hiring experts, conducting focus groups, or performing large-scale surveys. For Wannemaker’s, we stopped 50 customers that came into the store and asked them to spend a few minutes telling us why they shop there. Not only did this help us understand their differentiators, but it also helped identify whom we should be targeting. Wannemaker’s high-quality products are one reason why people prefer to shop there, but not everyone can afford that kind of an investment. Therefore, we needed to reach an audience with an above-average household income.

Define Specific Demographics

Now that you have a lot of insight into who your customer base is or should be, you need put that information in quantifiable demographics. Some of the basic demographics that segment markets are; Gender, Age, Profession, Household Income, Geographic Location, and Renters v. Owners. Based on the information we had from Wannemaker’s we established their key demographics to be; People who owned a home within 15 miles, were aged 35-65, and had a household income of at least $100,000.

By establishing your target market, you can begin to look for marketing channels that are likely to reach that audience. Direct Mail can be segmented to lists that match a variety of demographics. Magazines and newspapers have endless information on their readership. Look for matching demographics and spend your marketing dollars there. Just because you are trying to reach a specific demographic doesn’t mean that you are excluding another – you are just hedging your money on the group most likely to buy from you.

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Content is King

Written by: Courtney Brown, Account Executive

What is Content Marketing Anyways?

Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and products without selling. Instead of pitching your products and services, you are delivering information that makes the buyer more intelligent. Defined by the Content Marketing Institution, it is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience with the directive of driving profitable consumer action. Here is an example:

Suzy & Jim are a young, married couple in their late twenties with no children living in Warrenville, Illinois. They tend to dine out a lot and tonight, are looking for a restaurant they haven’t been to yet. Suzy loves seafood, but Jim is more of a steak guy. Suzy pulls out her iPhone and searches “restaurants seafood steak”. Local restaurant, CityGate Grille in Naperville comes up on the first page of her search and catches Suzy eye with their catchy and relevant description of their dishes. She then pulls up her OpenTable application to see what others have to say and after reading a few positive reviews makes a reservation from her phone.

This sale was closed without Suzy ever seeing what consumers typically view as paid advertisements.

  • SEO was used to put CityGate Grille into a favorable position within the search engine.
  • Content Marketing was used to create relative and enticing information that Suzy was looking for in order to make a decision.
  • Online Profile Management was used to empower Suzy to make an intelligent decision; her peers favorably reviewed the restaurant so Suzy felt good about her choice to dine there.

In May 2012 Nielsen reported that over 50% of mobile owners use smart phones, and that number will continue to climb.

Number of smartphones users in the U.S. from 2010 to 2016 (in millions)

What does this mean for businesses?

Content is King. Content is King. Content is King. Content is King.

Gone are the days of lengthy and boring product descriptions that mean nothing to consumers. When developing content, consider the following:

  • Understand your target audience. This goes beyond defining them.
  • Know how your audience wants to reach you.
  • Every consumer wants one of two things: To get the information they want, right now, in the easiest possible way or; To be amused or engaged in your message.

So, give the people what they want. Develop your content around both of those.

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