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Michael S Melfi
Sales and internet promotion go together like peanut butter and jelly. Since the evolution of YouTube in 2005, people have been as attached to the internet as they have to the television for a source of entertainment. Music videos are even being produced for internet distribution rather than television broadcast. So, it would only make sense for a marketing and sales plan to include email, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin and blogs to promote a company’s product or services.
Launching and achieving a successful marketing and sales campaign is a marathon, not a race. Before you launch your campaign, you should ask yourself a number of questions. First, what is your demographic? Are they tech savvy? Is your ideal fan an everyday consumer? Are they thought leaders? What are their interests? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you craft the right messaging for each social media channel.
Twitter, once an unknown quantity in the grand scheme of social networks has now solidified its place in startup history. The micro-blogging network is now host to thousands of celebrity profiles, global brands and millions of daily users.
The key with Twitter is to think of it as your own news network. With limited characters Twitter forces your posts to be short, concise and attention getting. Pictures and short videos like those created with Vine spread like wildfire. Trending topics or celebrity gossip run rampant within hours, often trending on a global level.
Understanding how to ‘tease’ or tout your product’s story in an interesting, funny or thought provoking way is the first step. Twitter is very much a brand-building tool. Viewing both your personal profile and that of your business as a marketing asset will keep your goals in line with one another.
You’ve worked hard to put a blog, website, Google+ page, Facebook page, and LinkedIn profile together for yourself and your product. Now you need to start cross sharing your story on Twitter too. Posting relevant news, exciting announcements, team wins, partnerships, and company/product milestones are just a few ways to engage and recruit new Twitter Followers.
Overall Twitter is pretty straightforward. Build your page, and start posting updates. As your activity stream grows so will your number of followers. As long as what you post is interesting, funny or valuable.
The advantage of following others on Twitter is that it helps expose you to more potential fans (potential customers), and provides you with access to content that you might want to re-tweet to your group. A re-tweet is when you recirculate a post from someone you follow to your network. This is an unspoken rule of Twitter. It is a sign of respect, flattery or admiration to favorite or retweet their post to your followers. In exchange many people will often start re-tweeting your content to their fans as well.
As your Twitter network grows so will the reach of your posts, and story. Which is where your blog, or company blog, comes in. You have to have a place where the story lives, so that you can share links (post) on Twitter, and the other networks.
Creating your own WordPress is the best way to start your personal blog. There are dozens of free blog sites where everyone and their dog have an account. Showing commitment and attention to your own WordPress shows your potential customers that you take your product sales campaign seriously, as should they. Also, a landing page is a simple way to gauge your audience and collect contact information. A landing page encourages the viewer to sign up for updates, which will eventually include your product or services offerings.
YouTube is also an interesting venue to explore with your marketing campaign. We have become a very visual culture. For inspiration, check out a few videos from Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed has a reputation of very brief videos (about two minutes or less), providing a lot of information in a fun and quirky way.
Appealing to the current trend of short attention spans and visual learning, will also help your sales promotion. Social media can seem like an overwhelming endeavor but it is worth it and very useful when used correctly. For the bare minimum, sign up for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Google Plus.
Much like a blog, social media allows the sales person to interact with their audience and build trust and rapport. The sales professional can enhance their understanding of their audience even more by using Followerwonk, Klout and Find People on Plus to find out who the most popular influencers are in your market.
However, use caution with social media. Many make the mistake of posting to their Facebook and Twitter infrequently or too frequently. There is a fine line to walk between promotion and spam. A good rule of thumb is that Google Plus, Linkedin and Facebook should be updated daily, and Twitter should be updated a couple times a day. The posts should not just say “Here is my product, buy it!” Pathos is your best friend. Telling personal anecdotes and stressing the importance of the advantages of your product or service will influence your audience to connect with you and your story.
Your voice is important. Speaking from the heart and treating your customers like people and not wallets are the key to your success. Your voice should be transparent and authentic. If it is difficult to write what you feel, try to answer a few questions, such as: Why is your product different than others on the market?, How will the use of the product or service help your customer? What should your customer know about the product that they may not know now?
All in all, be you. This product is important to you, so conveying that to your audience will make the product special to them too. Social media and internet may be intimidating at first, but with help, you can achieve your sales and marketing goals.
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