Social Media Magic

A sign that reads Abracadabra
©RG Sherman

There is a revolution going on in marketing and public relations. The theater of engagement is social media. The star of the show is Storytelling, whose magic is worked via the various platforms, facebook, youtube, twitter, instagram, ad infinitum.

Coca cola, with 86 million followers and fans, is an example of successful storytelling across multiple social media platforms. They recently revamped their website, changing it from a business oriented site to a more personalized magazine format that engages viewers in the story of all things Coke. They use different tactics depending on the platform in use. Branding message is kept consistent across all media.

There are some basics to creating engaging storytelling:

  • Know your story (and tell it!), and make it local.
  • Personalize, show you are human.
  • Pay attention to story structure.
  • Is your story in alignment with your audience’s values?
  • Is your content useful? Does it convey what is unique or valuable about you?
  • Create sequential stories.
  • Use visuals.
  • Have direct engagement by responding to feedback.

I am a photographer primarily. My photos are taken locally. My dog Sam is always with me when I travel. Not only are my stories about our travels, with my photos providing the visuals, but also my experience with the process in general. I can convey useful information about the area, dog friendly places, photography and tie it back to my portfolio. All the while from my first hand personal point of view.

At the same time, there is a story going on specifically engaged in by Sam. His adventure of becoming, and then being, a therapy dog. This is from his POV and is chronicled on his facebook page.

With so many different platforms, how do you know which one to use for what purpose? I found this great infographic that spelled it out for me clearly and simply, created for Lennar, a leading American homebuilder:

Substitute your own venture and you can instantly understand the usefulness of each platform.

The purpose of these marketing strategies isn’t to cynically manipulate. A word I see over and over again from bloggers in creative fields is ‘value’. What kind of value are you giving your viewers or consumers? You can’t fake connection or engagement. People recognize authenticity. If you sincerely share with people things you are passionate about, they will respond. By using their feedback you can improve the experience they engage in with you.

As Joseph Campbell so famously said, “Follow your bliss!” And as you do, use the magic of social media to share the journey.

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