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using phone by coffeeMore and more people are not only using smartphones and tablets, but are using them to search for information…especially local information. From this trend arises a new buzzword – SoLoMo – or SoLoWhat? if you’ve never heard of it.

SoLoMo stands for Social-Local-Mobile. It allows a mobile app to go beyond the normal search engine approach and incorporate GPS technology to provide more localized, geo results. Sounds great, but what does that actually mean?

Let’s use Urbanspoon as an example. You’re out of town and it’s lunchtime. You grab your smartphone and open in your browser. First you need to change your location to the city where you are. Urbanspoon opens to show the most popular restaurants in your location. Or you can search by types of food. You’ve been craving a barbecue sandwich, so you search for Barbecue. Urbanspoon shows you a list of BBQ joints, complete with addresses. But which one is closest to you? After a little digging, you can probably find one that is fairly close, but now you’ve spent 15 minutes of your lunch hour just searching online.

OK…let’s take a different approach. This time when you grab your smartphone, you open the Urbanspoon app (which you’ve previously downloaded). The GPS locator determines where you are and displays a list of restaurants, based on your current location. Near the top of the screen is the word Nearby. Select this option and you get a list of nearby restaurants, including the address, mileage, and a Google map. At the bottom of this screen is a Cuisine button. Touch this button and select Barbecue. Suddenly, the listing of BBQ joints appears, showing the closest one first. The map indicates the location of all barbecue restaurants in the area using red pins (your current location is shown as a blue dot). Touch any pin to reveal the name of the restaurant. This is an example of SoLoMo at its finest.

Another example is when you use Facebook to Check In at a location. Not only can you show where you are, but you can add a photo and tag who is there with you. If you want to see where your friends checked in, just go to the menu and select Nearby. As a business owner, this mobile word-of-mouth advertising is invaluable…and it’s free! Now we know what SoLoMo is and its importance in marketing. If you’re interested in additional information on mobile marketing, check out this blog post – Content Marketing for Mobile Devices.


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