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Marketing and Social Media Advice from Natasha Attal via Marketing by Deepak

I came across this interview on my friend Natasha's site. Actually, Natasha and I met via the internet after both attending an event during Social Media week. Isn't Social Networking grand? I thought she gave some valuable advice on marketing ones blog and using social media. I recognized when I met her that she seemed ambitious and savvy then went from just starting a blog to starting her own company in a few months. Very impressed.

Here's the interview via Deepak Gupta:
About Natasha Attal
This is an interview with Natasha Attal, social media and inbound marketing consultant with Composure Marketing. She blogs on the company website about inbound marketing strategies and ways to leverage social media networks to help businesses expand their presence online. She can be found on Twitter @NatashaAttal or you can email her directly at Natasha@composuremarketing.com.
What did you do before becoming a social media marketing consultant and how did you get into that industry?
I started working as a Marketing and Sales Associate at a commercial real estate brokerage firm after graduating from NYU and developed a strong interest in the marketing side of the position. Whether you are marketing a building for sale or a product or service, the same rules typically apply – focus on the strengths of what you are selling and constantly find creative ways to reach out to your target audience. After several years working in commercial real estate, I found myself interested in how social media could impact the businesses I worked for and assisted various companies in the integration and implementation of social networking sites. I eventually started consulting full time and starting my company, Composure Marketing, to expand my outreach to different industries.
What tools of the trade do you use throughout your typical day and how do they help?
I have used Twitter and LinkedIn significantly to grow my business and reach out to industry professionals and clients. Twitter offers a valuable resource for people and companies to connect with other like-minded individuals. LinkedIn has also been a great tool in that you can follow Groups of interest and engage in conversations either through group discussions or the Q&A feature. These sites can only be effective if you truly network with people and connect further. The most valuable relationships I have built on these social networks have been when I took the additional step and called the people I have “met” online to learn more about them and their business.
I cannot help notice how many people call themselves social media experts.  Are they just throwing the title around or are there really that many experts out there today?
I cringe when clients call me their “social media guru” or “expert” because I just don’t like the term. I am constantly learning about the social media landscape and it encompasses so many different networks – is it really possible for one to be an expert in using all these sites? I have a hard time believing that. What I do know is that when I work with a client I focus on one thing: their goal in entering social media or expanding their involvement and finding a strategy that will allow them to reach their target audience. I rather call myself a social media evangelist than a guru or expert. The term has been overused and does not carry much power anymore.
Some of our readers are up and coming social media “experts.”  What advice can you give them and how can they get that seal of approval of becoming an expert in the industry?
Follow the “right” people and companies that you can learn from – Some social media blogs to read include Jeff Bullas, Mike Volpe, Altitude Branding, Outspoken Media, and Pamorama. Other great resources are the Hubspot.com and Radian6.com. They offer a multitude of social media guides and often post interesting case studies to review. Hubspot offers a 16-hour course through their Inbound Marketing University and it covers topics ranging from SEO and blogging to social campaigns and tracking engagement.
Comment on blogs ­– This is a great way to leave comments and establish yourself as a valuable voice in the industry. Don’t leave comments that say “great post” or “good information. Thanks.” Leave comments with more valuable content that will allow people to see that you have interesting insights to share. This will allow you to connect with the blogger and his/her readers.
Read Books ­– If you want to learn about social media and inbound marketing strategies you should read books on a regular basis. There is always more to learn as social media changes daily. Three books that I have found useful include the following:

  1. The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott
  2. Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment by Jim Sterne
  3. Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs by Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah

What kind of tips do you have in writing stories for our Readers?
The biggest misconception about blogging is that you have to be a writer. The truth is that you don’t have be a journalist to blog and share your opinion. My biggest tip to your readers is to be authentic and write what they are passionate about. They should engage with their readers and post topics that ask questions and make their audience think. The title of the article or blog post is also very important – make sure it has the necessary keywords and will catch someone’s eye. People scan their social network and blog feeds quickly and will on read your post if it grabs their attention. Numbered lists and question topics are quite popular and make it easy on the reader to read in a streamlined fashion.
Posted by Deepak Gupta.