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Why you need to start integrating social media into all your marketing now!
In my last post I shared ways you can capitalise from storytelling in marketing. Following on from that blog, I wanted to talk about why it’s so important to integrate social media storytelling into your everyday movements.
But there’s a problem with storytelling for some people. The main reason they struggle with it isn’t because their story isn’t worth telling – it’s because they don’t know how to integrate it into social media.
Rubik’s cubes, guest speaking and YouTube videos
If you follow me on Twitter you’ll be aware that lately I’ve had a slight fascination with the humble Rubik’s cube. It’s not really got anything to do with our business but it has everything to do with me so I’ve shared the odd update about my progress with learning different versions of the cube.
The reason I mention the Rubik’s cube is because it made me realise a few things about social media and people. You may be sharing some amazing content and networking the hell out of Twitter and Facebook but did you stop to think about the common ground angle?
I’ve always stood up for people who share pictures of food on social media. It’s a common ground that we can all relate to. We all eat food and we all have a fascination about it. No, it’s not the only thing you should do on social (that means you Facebook/Instagram food spammer) but it does help start the conversation.
The Rubik’s cube is an iconic symbol and most of my audience have either owned one or have tried to solve one. By pure accident I found a common ground subject and it’s encouraged many people to RT and mention me in other conversations purely because they have me as ‘the Rubik’s cube guy’ in their timeline.
People have paid attention to my Rubik’s cube story… even though I only shared a few pictures (OK, well more than a few) online while I was playing with them.
Think about that… I just shared images and talked about it and shared the journey from buying my first one to sharing the completed image when I cracked it.
People followed a journey I shared, and just last night I spotted someone in my timeline had bought one too.
On the 40th Birthday lots of people told me about the Google Doodle (which I just had to solve) and I’ve created a little mini following on a simple subject.
Takeaway: I integrated something that I enjoyed doing into my social media sharing. Can you integrate something about your business in this way?
This worked for my YouTube channel too!
On my YouTube I share social media and marketing advice. The views have been OK but nothing to write home about.
The thing that has come out of it though is the attention.
I now have a great link with a local recording studio because they watched a few of my videos and I’ve been approached by a magazine with a worldwide audience to record some bespoke material.
I’ve also had some more public speaking jobs from people who’ve watched me in action and I even secured a client the other day by sending a link to one in an email.
I’ve also taken to sharing replies to tweets on occasion and then tweeting the link to the video as a reply. It gives a real-time activity stream from me.
Takeaway: Think how you could integrate video into your business and share your journey.
You need to tell your story
In our business we’re a large part of the product and we’re very aware that we need to market ourselves more than our services and products. But that doesn’t mean that if you’re not the product then you don’t have to market this way.
In every business there are people, and those people have stories. People will do business with your company but of course people will really do business with the people in that company.
Think about that last person you met that you’d found on social media or had heard something about prior to the meeting. You had something to start with, you had something to fall back on when the conversation dried up. You had a little spark to your fire, a warmer lead and ultimately a better launch point.
Telling your story gives people a drip feed of information about you and your values, and that helps people decide whether they want to work with you. Telling your story allows you to be in their minds when they (or someone they know) needs your service.
We all learn from stories. We probably all learnt maths with the help of a story about a shopkeeper and how many apples we could get and what change we would get back from our fictional money.
Takeaway: How could people learn more about the people in your business through storytelling?
No one else will tell your story as well as you
Unless you’re Kanye West and his new wife, no one is going to follow you around and put you on Mashable. The fact is you’re not that interesting compared to the famous people in magazines and on the box.
The reason people are obsessed with celebs is partly down to the glamour and the glitz but it’s also due to the great story that we’re following.
I don’t even like Kim Kardashian but I know who she is and I know that she recently married a rapper. The story has educated me so I’m aware of their brand.
But you’re not Kim and I’m not Kanye! You need to tell your story and you need to create the buzz and the intrigue as well as the following. It’s not going to be easy but no one will tell it as well as you.
Takeaway: How could your business write the script to a great story?
It’s storytelling not story-selling
A word of caution. When I say storytelling I mean just that. Don’t get caught up in trying to story-sell as that’s a completely different thing altogether.
We all know (or I hope you do) that selling on social media doesn’t work. Telling your story works and that creates the leads that you can sell to. Don’t skip to the end as you won’t have nearly as much success.
Takeaway: It’s a story, not an ad break
Teaching and marketing
I recently listened to a great podcast about the benefits of teaching and how that can lead to sales. I was really engrossed and I realised that I’ve actually been doing this accidentally for a while! I’ve been teaching and then gaining sales from it.
I often give talks on social media, on my YouTube channel, and here on our blog.
This is the teaching: I tell you what I know for free and you read it, then you could go away and do it yourself. That’s OK because you were never going to be my customer anyway and I want to help.
But there are people out there who do hire JCF after reading our posts and hearing us at a talk. They just wanted to hear that I knew how to do it.
People want to know that I can do what I say I can on our website.
Think about that for a second. You could create a website that said you could give the gift of eternal life… but would people hire you?
OK, maybe your service is a bit more believable but it’s easy to put something on a website, yet not so easy to prove it.
Showing you know what you’re doing in your storytelling will.
By blogging about a recent talk or publishing the slides on Slideshare, by sharing the video on YouTube or inviting people to that talk you are teaching but proving you know how to do it.
No, not everyone will hire you but more often than not a potential customer will hear you and they will be interested. Tell your story and it will get told to people who need you.
Takeaway: People want to know that you can do what you say you can on your website. Can you tell your story in an informational way?
Humanising your brand
I’m a ‘human’ person. I don’t like corporate crap and boring faceless companies and I’m not alone. The way we sell to people has changed and often we need to build a relationship first before people buy from us.
By sharing your journey and telling your story you will start those relationships. By showing that you know what you’re doing you will convince people to work with you. And by helping others to achieve things you will build a network of people who will share your story with others.
Takeaway: Be human and share your story (even the mishaps at times). It shows you’re real and people want that.
Be aware (and this brings me back to the Rubik’s cube) that people will read your story but they won’t tell you… then one day they will send you a link to something really interesting!
Trust me when I tell you that people will follow your story but you won’t always be aware that they are. Why is this a bad thing? Well how do you know if your storytelling is successful if you don’t know if anyone is following it? How do you know if you need to improve on it? How do you keep the faith in your new-found storytelling direction?
I track everything that I send out and I use some neat tools like Google Analytics to tell me how many people read my posts, watch my videos and how long they did it for. I recently blogged about my favourite social media tools, which give me great analytics too.
Takeaway: Knowledge is power but stats are learning points. If people really aren’t following your journey then tell the story differently. Track. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Warning: Don’t forget to be social too
Try to engage your readers to comment on your story. Try not to just broadcast your story – get people involved in it! This is especially true now if you’re on Facebook and you’re a brand. Facebook have changed so much recently (it’s bad news for Facebook marketing) and now if people don’t interact you’ll lose them (or they will lose you from their feed!).
Takeaway: Ask questions, seek opinions and make it fun. You need them on board with your journey for it to work for your marketing.
In conclusion (for the skimmers)
It may sound a bit drastic to ‘integrate your social media into everything that you do’, but I firmly believe that if you can you will win more interest.
People, customers, potential client and fans like a good story. If you’re an emerging business you can be David vs. Goliath. If you’re an established business you can be ‘doing it for the UK businesses’.
There’s a story in every business. Make it something that will interest and engage people and they will read and follow it. Invite them to write it with you and they will stay with you and become a business advocate. Tell your story… be social and engage with your audience.
Now tell us about your story…
What do you do on social media that sells and tells?
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