This comic displays pretty clearly the variety in sales tactics. You’ve got the drastic desperate and pushy salesman who makes you want to run away. And then on the other end of the spectrum you’ve got the super helpful and informative guy who tells it like it is. The super helpful guy is great and all, but he’s lacking something; engaging information that relates to how to solve the customer’s problem with their super original product.

With the use of social media, marketers have had to change their strategy from company-centric (what are WE doing) to customer-centric (here’s what you’re up to and why we relate). People no longer care what your company is up to. There are so many companies out there offering the same products and solutions that you can’t just tell people why you’re number 1 and that they need to buy your product. You need to relate to your customer and make it about them.

Any time I even think about marketing tactics I turn to my trusted and favorite marketing resource blog, HubSpot. They offer so much useful information, and in the Information Age culture we live in when things change so rapidly it can be hard to keep up. That’s why when it came to researching social media best practices, I immediately turned to HubSpot for the quick and dirty details!

Of course the initial success of any social media campaign is to create multiple buyer persona profiles. You need to research in depth who your customers are. Finding out where they are online isn’t good enough anymore. You’ve got to read what they read. If they’re into a certain blog or publication, that means that blog is your new favorite source of information! Getting to know who your customers are on a daily level is so important to finding out what drives them and what problems they have. When you know what problems they have, you can creatively communicate why your problem is the perfect solution to their every day problems.

One of the important things they highlight in creating a successful Twitter campaign, is not to talk about yourself directly. That means, if you’re a company trying to sell oatmeal, don’t talk about the oatmeal itself. Instead relate it to something people care about. Like for instance if you’re an athlete, you care about staying full and fueled with a nutritious low-fat breakfast. That’s exactly what Gatorade did with the Be Like Mike campaign. They didn’t sell Gatorade, they sold the idea of being like Michael Jordan, an athletic icon. Had Gatorade tried to sell Gatorade, no one would have bought it, but they sure bought into Michael.

Another suggestion HubSpot makes is that you need to give people a reason to participate. Why do people care about re-tweeting your tweets or uploading a video to your Facebook page? There has to be a worm of the fish won’t bite. The best example of this is the Queensland Australia, Best Job in the World campaign contest. They launched a world wide contest for the “Best Job in the World” and asked applicants to publish videos to their You Tube account. They not only found an amazing applicant for the job but in the process generated so much buzz about their business in relation to the contest that media sources around the world were showcasing their business and essentially providing free advertising. This is the perfect example of a business who knows how to generate buzz, use the power of the media and get people talking about their product. All they had to do was lay the brick for a beautiful campaign and let the world do the rest!

Social media has allowed businesses to reach so many new clients and create meaningful interactions with followers, but the trick is keeping people interested. In order to keep people interested you’ve got to continually publish meaningful content related to your customers in a way that gets them talking back. It’s all about reciprocity baby!

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