Tara Hunt Interview: True Community Marketing

taraSES Toronto Keynote speaker Tara Hunt is a lovely enigma–part rock star, part trailblazing thought leader and one hell of a Twitter addict (@missrogue).

No matter what characteristics you ascribe to Tara, one thing is certain; she’s  been hailed as one of the most respected & savvy customer centric online community marketers this side of North America.

Recently in advance of her SearchEngineStrategies engagment, Tara was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding community marketing & her recent book The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business. Here’s what she had to say.

| AIMCLEAR: Thanks for chatting with us in advance of your SES keynote. What is it that drives your passion for community marketing?

My passion comes from being a customer myself and knowing how I want to interact with the companies I buy from. Plain and simple. I’ve always considered it my job as a marketer to make sure the customers have a great experience with finding, buying, using and giving feedback to the companies I’ve worked with.

As communities of people who share interests and passions formed online and people started to share their experiences more and more with one another, it was a natural progression for me to think, “Here is a great opportunity to build deeper relationships with customers.”

| AIMCLEAR: What immediate advice would  you give a company that feels the need to charge head first into every corner of social media?

Stop and think about why you are doing it in the first place. Think about what getting social -truly social- means. This isn’t a campaign. This is about building relationships and that takes time and a different approach than marketing campaigns.

| AIMCLEAR: Your book “The Whuffie Factor” has received quite a bit of buzz & review, what was your motivation behind writing this piece?

My motivation? I guess I felt that writing a book would make my ideas spread further and lend validity to them in the only writing a book can. It is something that people, struggling within organizations to shift paradigms, can now hand to their CEOs and VPs of Marketing and say, “See?” We’ve come a long way with the net democratizing ideas, but those in charge still put more weight on books. 🙂

| AIMCLEAR: A couple of years ago you moved to San Francisco, California, what do you miss most about Toronto?

I miss loads about Toronto. The great transit system, the schools, the healthcare, the great neighbourhoods with quaint shops and restaurants, my friends, my old house, etc. I think I took a great deal for granted living in Canada that I now really appreciate. Being back in Toronto recently really made me homesick. So…I’m moving back. But this time to Montreal. 🙂

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