The SoLoMo Landscape

September 15, 2011
By Lisa Barone in Internet Marketing Conferences

Gooood morning! Are you ready for this? It may be the last day of SMX but we still have A LOT of great content and sessions to get through.  I’m a huge fan of these SoLoMo sessions, so I’m pretty excited for this one. I’m also excited because speakers Gib Olander, and Gregg Stewart spent a few minutes before things started blatantly sucking up to me. Who doesn’t love an ego rub? Also joining them on stage, but not part of the suck-up brigade is Siva Kumar. I won’t hold that against him.

Let’s go get smarterfied.

Greg says that SoLoMO is challenging to discuss. It’s also challenging to type. But it makes sense to group them together because more people are using their mobile devices to connect to social media sites. The most popular app for women on Android phones is Facebook. Social and mobile are connected, even if not organically so. Local is where are the transactions happen and people use mobile devices to navigate the world. The three concepts go together, even if somewhat awkwardly.

Up first is one of my fav speakers, Gregg Stewart. He always comes with the most rocking data.

The Web and mobile have gone local.

One out of every five searches has local intent.

One out of every three mobile searches has local intent.

For Bing, 53 percent of mobile queries have local intent. Mobile is taking the lead in driving local, though it still takes about 21 steps to choose a local restaurant via mobile [Later in the session, Gib says he doesn’t want to take 21 steps to the actual restaurant, let alone 21 steps to find it. Heh.]. 50 percent of people interested in receiving mobile coupons.

Consumers are increasingly using more sources to find local information and content.

  • 76 percent using search engines
  • 67 percent use a print YP or WP directory
  • 60 percent use IYP sites
  • 47 percent local search sites
  • 14 percent use mobile but that’s up 40 percent from last year
  • 9 percent use social media, but that’s a 28 percent growth from last year

Where Local Business Information is Found

  • 56 percent find it via Company Page
  • 55 percent Recommendations (from friends)
  • 48 percent Promotions
  • 43 percent Ads
  • 42 percent References
  • 35 percent Apps
  • 25 percent Consumer Reviews

Local Search Foundation is about Listing Management

  • Accuracy: Ensure that business listings contain the correct information.
  • Distribution: Disperse listings to multiple distribution channels.
  • Signal Strength: Business listing is accurate and identical across multiple channels.
  • Enrichment: Add additional information/features to listings

Claiming Listings & Content Development

Claiming and optimizing local listings leads to additional visibility

Nearly half of social network searchers select a local business based off consumer ratings and reviews. They’re driving a lot of purchase decision for social networkers.

Ratings & Reviews 

There’s been some controversy over whether citations are still considered a local search signal because Google de-emphasized third-party citations in favor of their own.  However, Gregg says they definitely still matter.  Google may have de-emphasized the CONTENT to promote its own, their importance has not changed.

Despite the importance of this information, only 23 percent of consumers have ever left a rating or a review for a business and only 6 percent are active in that behavior. People WANT the information, but only a few people are providing it.

Special offers and promotions: Consumers are actively searching for a great deal; those searchers without a specific business in mind can be captured through promotions.

Tying it all together

Your listing identify is the common thread that ties local, social and mobile together. You also have to think about all the different platforms that your information exists at. Seven out of 10 social network searchers go on to make a purchase.

How do you prove it?

  • Geo-fencing
  • Check Ins
  • Promotions
  • NFC
  • Direct Commerce

5 Takeaways

  1. Measure sure basic listing information is visible and accurate
  2.  Optimize your pages
  3. Engage and capture users through promotions
  4. Ask consumers for rating and reviews
  5. Monitor all local search sites to see what’s going on and what’s being said about you.

Next up is Gib. He already told me he’s going to talk really fast and that I’ll probably hate him.

Dude. Bring it. ;)

It’s never been more crowded and more exciting to be involved in local, social and mobile than it is right now.  People want to get started and create apps. They’re excited about it. That fragmentation is always proving some difficulty in marketing things. He’s gonna share some trends.

  • 38 percent of mobile searchers frequently look for local retailer info including phone number and address
  • 70 percent of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour
  • There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. 5.1 billion of them own a cell phone, but only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush.

Hi, um, ew.

Timing is everything. New relevancy signals for marketers, advertisers and search engines are driven by “when” a search or social check in takes place. You can spend money based on WHEN it’s relevant for you to do so.  It’s the idea of time-based offers.

Personalization is increasing at the local level. Our friends are influencing what we’re seeing at:

  • Google+
  • FourSquare
  • Gowalla
  • Yelp

Yelp is taking home-based check in history and presenting similar types of businesses in search results when you visit new destinations. As a marketer, it’s really important that you load the meta data about your business into the indexes so they can understand what’ s unique about your business and then can use it to match user profiles. It all starts with the business listing so it’s really important that you give these applications the ability to apply who you are and what you’re about.

What does personalization mean for marketers?

  • Establish your online identity – it anchors the customer experience.
  • Claim your listing or your identity won’t exist across SoLoMo
  • Avoid fragmented listings

Behind the Scenes: NAP [Name, Address, Phone]

These apps and location indexes are all starting to talk and share content. At a database level, the only thing you can do to start pulling information in is to have a unique list of everyone’s IDs or you, as a marketer, can do that by having an accurate NAP. [I would so take an accurate nap right now, if you know what I mean.]

Listing Hijackers

What is a listing hijacking? An individual that attempts to grab listing identities and repurpose for own gains.

What should a business marketer do? Ensure listing is claimed and manage your online identify.

  • Over the last 12 months there were 11,000 unauthorized attempts to claim business listings in the Localeze database.
  • 24.9 percent of unauthorized attempts came from IP addresses outside the US.
  • 85 percent of these attempts were changing category to service to home

Word of mouth is still important

  • 83 percent of online shoppers say they are interested in sharing info about their purchase with people they know.
  • 90 percent of customers trust recommendations from people they know and 70 percent trust the opinion of unknown users
  • Consumers say word of mouth is the #1 influence on Electronics and Apparel purchases
  • Many local searchers still considering multiple businesses. 45 percent of consumers say they have products in mind, but don’t conduct a local search for specific businesses.

Next up is Siva.

He works for  They’re a shopping site which helps consumers visually explore things they might like using social relevancy from Facebook, bar code scanning, catalog shopping via iPad and Facebook apps, etc.

How are they able to do all of that. Their process looks like this:

  1. Crawl of eCommerce Web site
  2. Store Product Page Identification
  3. Extraction, Automated Classification into dynamic product catalog and ontology
  4. Store product feed processing
  5. Crawl to feed mapping and data annotation

From there they bring it all together in a great experience. We’re moving from a Web of links to a Web of links and people.  They look at the relationships consumers have with friends.  They look at brands who get likes, products that get likes, etc.

Over time they’ve been showing brand and store likes, the stores that have over 100 fans see 7-8 percent higher click through rates.  They also have a 125 percent higher conversion rate. Social signals really are valuable in search and delivering search on a personal basis on your phone. Your phone has a small amount of real estate. The most personal it is, the more social signals they include.

The opportunity here is that if you don’t have a Facebook fan page yet, you should get one. Just like you should claim your listing, you should claim a Facebook fan page. Create these accounts and start accumulating followers from people who shop at your store. This will drive social relevance to you over time.

And that’s it. See? Great info!

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