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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

6 Tips Social Media Marketers Can Learn from Astronaut Chris Hadfield

What does a former Air Force Fighter Pilot and Canadian Astronaut know about marketing?  Well, as it turns out, a lot!  Chris Hadfield has done an outstanding job at generating interest in the current space program while also showing that astronauts are not just very smart people, but fun, clever and very much connected to community.  Take a look at this list and you will learn very quickly that @cmdr_hadfield is a model of inspiration.

1.    Know Your Community – Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for any one wishing to market themselves or a brand is to actually understand your community.  This of course is slightly complicated when your community is literally the entire planet.  Despite this significant challenge, Commander Hadfield has successfully connected with people around the globe.  He has found the common denominators that connect humans.  In this case, curiosity and the desire to learn.

2.    Use the Channels Your Community Prefers – Commander Hadfield understands the power of the moment and reach.  Twitter has been one of his most powerful communication tools and it shows.  With nearly 800,000 followers, he can share photos, thoughts and memories as he experiences them. 

3.    Show Your Personality – If there is one thing that really stands out about Command Hadfield, it is his personality.  His smile and genuine warmth leave you with one response.  You like him.  You want to listen to him and learn from him.  Of course not everyone has the same personality as this famous astronaut, but being genuine is the real take away.  You can’t fake being genuine – not over the long term.  If you care about people, people will care about you.  Remember, people on both sides of the transaction fuel brands.

Answering Questions from International Space Station on May 6, 2013

4.    Maximize Your Environment – Whether or not you are on the International Space Station in zero gravity, knowing how to leverage your environment is key.  Share photos that are interesting and unique to your audience.  Find something that the average person just doesn’t have access to.  Do pod casts, interviews and more using the tools of trade.  Show how they fit into your world and how you use them. Don’t just keep them in the background.

5.    Realize That You Can’t Do It Alone – Despite being extremely genuine and popular, Commander Hadfield has realized that he can’t connect with his community alone.  He partnered with Bare Naked Ladies front man Ed Robertson to write a song about the International Space Station.  He has reached out to schools, media personalities, science centers and more to do live appearances while in space.  While he is the center of attention, he realizes that it really isn’t all about him.  He is sharing more about others and his environment, than he is about himself.

6.    Be Consistent – Commander Hadfield is consistent in all that he does and this has reinforced all of his messaging.  As a result, people are interested in the man AND the International Space Station.  People now have a vested interested in this mission.

Note:  this is a slight variation on a blog post that I wrote for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud blog last week.  

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