In online communities it is the content that matters most. People talk to and with each other not because they know each other or are already connected. Rather, because they share a similar interest, question, concern, ambition, query, challenge or other issue. People engage with each other on content and not on connections. You can meet and share ideas with strangers because you are both interested in the subject.
I love stories and storytelling, and in this environment they are all important. From the short stories on Twitter and other micro blogs, to the stories you share with people on message boards or the longer stories you might post on a blog or in a discussion. Social media is about stories that people share with each other.
This great presentation from Jenni Lloyd at NixonMcInnes highlights the importance of storytelling and of the storyteller in social media. Showing the role that stories play in the discussions that happen in social media and why they are critical to any brand to understand and to harness if they want to make the most of what social media has to offer them.
Image via Shutterstock
Social Media is all about conversations. It’s people connecting, interacting and sharing content. And whether it’s online or in the real world, the most engaging conversations involve other people’s stories.
Storytelling is the most powerful driver of engagement in social media. Just as good stories provide the momentum for great books and great speeches, they’re also the impetus for the best in social media.
Storytelling as a tool has been well understood and consciously used by salespeople for decades. What I find surprising is that whilst it’s also been used by marketeers for a long time, it really only hit mainstream marketing theory in the last naughties. I assume the sudden rise comes from it’s ties to social media and conversational marketing made famous by The Cluetrain Manifesto. – I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
Anyway, the real reason why I wrote this post was to share the following with you. This morning I recieved an unsolicited email pitch from an Indian IT Outsourcing firm, ValueLabs. I get a lot of these and I rarely open their attachments. However on this occasion I clicked on the attached PowerPoint. After skimming the first nine pages of text, charts and diagrams, I reached page ten and couldn’t help but take notice.
This was the only page with a photo rather than a chart and it had far less text on it – perhaps it was a combination of these two things that drew me in. But what really turned me on was the story behind the image. Thanks to the story, this slide is more powerful than any other I’ve been sent by outsourcers. It has a clear message and on top of that provides a clear reason to believe.
Here’s the slide…
Storytelling by ValueLabs