The Power of The Screen Shot & The Hash Tag: How Marketers Can Connect with Customers & Amplify their Reach

Screen-shots and hash-tags are an invaluable tool for marketers to reach and sell products to their audience. The old adage is that a picture is worth a 1000 words. As the fields of Marketing and Advertising shift to digital and mobile formats, the power of the image to tell stories and get your message across are the new tools of the 21st Century.

Hash-tags are also valuable tools because they allow marketers and everyday people to share their content with people who are out of their network. Hash-tags allow users on social networks to index their content. For example, if I share a blog post or an image with the tag #marketing, I can reach everyone who searches for that tag on a social network. My reach expands exponentially as a result. This is very powerful. Hash-tags started on Twitter then spread to other networks much like the like button on Facebook. Think of a hash-tag as a social network search engine like Google.

The screen shot is a great way for marketers to reach their audience and beyond. As the number of computers and mobile devices multiply worldwide, more people will capture everyday images of their lives and share them via Social Networks such as Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc…

Screen shots can be taken with both computers and mobile devices. This allows individuals, and small brands alike to market and reach potential customers via storytelling through screen shots. Fortune 500 brands have tapped into this marketing goldmine by soliciting everyday people to take pictures of themselves using the products that they love. Think of this as a picture version of a LinkedIn recommendation. It’s social proof.

Screen shots can also be used to share accomplishments and to advocate your love for your favorite brands. I have used screen shots in all of the ways that I have mentioned above. Recently, I was featured on Twitter’s Ads Blog for my endorsement of Verizon wireless.

When screen-shots are used with hash-tags, this is a marketing goldmine because marketers can share their story with billions of people worldwide and go beyond their regular followers. As a result, brands have potential to sell more and connect with people worldwide.

How have you used screen shots and hash-tags to sell and market your products?

Selling to Sociopaths: What to do when you can’t Walk Away

Have you ever had a prospect and/or customer from hell? I am talking about a customer that seemed charming when everything in the transaction was going well and did a 180 degree turn when they didn’t get when they want. I have had several experiences like this during my time in outside sales. What about those prospects that smile to your face and then actively try to undermine you behind your back? I have dealt with these kind of prospects and customers as well. Behavior like this is clearly the work of a sociopath. For our purposes here, a sociopath has two definitions: 1 A person who has no conscience and is incapable of feeling emotions of any kind. 2 A person who gets pleasure from making other people miserable.

In a previous article, I discussed how to deal with difficult customers. The customers/prospects I described above, are extremely difficult to deal with. People who are sociopaths are in places of power and authority. In sales, I have had to deal with sociopaths from time to time. From the customer who demands what they are not entitled to and abusive customers who got pleasure from seeing me sweat.

Now you are asking how to deal with these people? Well the first thing that I would suggest is to avoid them like the plague if possible. What do you do if you need their business? Too often people like this hold the purse strings to that big commission, a promotion and make the difference between a big income and a very small one. Think of Don Drapers new boss Lou the Creative Director from Mad Men. He is a true sociopath.

How do you deal with such people? To deal with such people, you need to make a judgment call it see if it is worth it for you. If you decide that it is, you need to turn off your emotions and protect your health, put your head down and do what they want. You can justify this as a temporary situation or as a means to an end. Visualize yourself getting what you want as a result of servicing this sociopath. If you could do this, you could effectively deal with these sociopaths. Give them what they want so you could get what you want. This is not easy to do.

How have you dealt with Sociopaths in your business career?

Customer Service Rules in the Digital Age

Originally posted on Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today:

In my post Building the Brands of Tomorrow, I stated that one of the things that companies needed to do to build the brand of the future is to listen to their customers. This means handling customer complaints promptly. We are in the digital age. In this age, social networks are the wave of the future. Today’s consumer is an empowered consumer. A customer can quickly share their thoughts about a product or an experience on Facebook, Twitter, Google and many other networks. Brands need to be present on social networks to interact and engage with the empowered consumer. More and more consumers are consulting their social networks for product recommendations.

Many companies are not fielding the empowered consumers’ complaints on social networks. In other words they are not providing customer service on social networks. Whenever we have an issue with a product, we have to call an 800 number which…

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The Basic Principles of Marketing have changed or have they?

Originally posted on Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today:

Marketing in the digital age has shifted from content to context. Up until recently, many brands created the content that was used to market their products. Consumers were expected to like their products just because they looked cool or were hip. With the rise of social networking with sites such as Facebook and Twitter, this started to change. People began to express themselves online more and more. Ultimately, this led to sharing their experiences online. Noticing this trend, many brands immediately launched Facebook pages, this lead to the shift from content to context marketing. Instead of creating content, many brands Like Coke and Pepsi had their consumers create content for their marketing campaigns. Customers would upload videos of the products and they would like the brands Facebook pages. Consumers have access to more information about products and services than ever before so brands have to have a compelling message.

Last…

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How to Develop and Market a Product

Originally posted on Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today:

Developing and marketing a product, requires a lot of planning. You need a vision for your product. Whether you are a start-up company or a product manager launching a new product, there is a lot of research that has to take place. Your budget will dictate the size of your marketing campaign. However, you are in control on how to allocate that budget. I touched on some of the questions that should be asked in a previous post.  I will focus on them in more detail. The research should focus on the following:

  • What is the product designed to do?

You will need to be able to answer this question in writing (product literature) through creating and implementing product demonstrations that tell a story. This story should demonstrate a need that is not currently being met. Once this need is identified, it is your job to show how people…

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How to Get Customers to Pay On Time While Keeping their Business

Originally posted on Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today:

When we deal with customers, it is important to get them to pay their invoices in a timely manner. What a timely manner means is dependent on your company’s payment policy. Are these customers C.O.D or are they net 30, net 60, net 90 or longer? This payment structure is based on the length of the sales cycle.

What can we do to make sure that customers pay their invoices on time?

Develop and nurture the relationship with your customer.

Do the following:

1 When you complete the sale, put all details in writing. Agree on a method of payment with your customer.

2 Follow through with the implementation of the sale and check in with your customer to make sure they a happy with their purchase.

3 If the customer voices concerns or has an issue with your product, address it immediately.

4 Make sure that you honor the warranty…

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Building your Personal & Corporate Brand using LinkedIn

Originally posted on Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today:

Use of social media is essential in personal and corporate branding.  The networks that brands should be on are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+. Writing blogs and having websites are also essential for building a brand.  Today I am going to discuss how to build your brand using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows people to search for jobs and connect with people they know. You can also make new connections on the site. Right now, 135 million people around the world are using LinkedIn.

The Basics

LinkedIn allows users to sign up for free. To get started you need to do the following.

1 Click on the join today tab.

2 Enter a first and last name.

3 Enter a valid email address.

4 Create a password.

Creating a profile

Once you have created a password you, will need to identify your geographic location and provide information…

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