Too many business professionals fixate on social media and its everchanging forms and channels for business growth. However, the successfully savvy marketer emphasizes stories more than ever! Of course, the ability to communicate with your audience with text, audio and video at all times is a seductive tool. Regardless, the ability to tell a story worth hearing, and then sharing, is immensely more impactful to business success. What good is having the world’s attention without anything significant to say?
On the other hand, “what good is it to have something to say and no way for anyone to hear it?”, is a logical responsible. Unfortunately, logic does not always carry the day. Business history is littered with brilliant thinkers who failed epically in executing successful ventures. Business depends on results! Ordinary people performing extraordinary acts regularly satisfy that requirement. Results are what is rewarded.
Attention is plentiful, but is very difficult to hoard. Stories are desirable because they impact people emotionally. Stirring emotions through communication provides a direct path to activity. From a business perspective, professionals routinely make purchases based on their individual desires, then justify it with corporate priorities. Impulse purchases happen regularly in corporations to varying degrees. Was that incredible steak house really the most healthy and cost effective solution to convince that prospect to become a client? Who cares? Experience the story of the firm’s culture of success and prestige over steaks and martinis. Close the deal. Post the celebration on Instagram later.
But, definitely post it! The story is the priority. That does not mean it is the singular attribute. Stories have to map directly to business goals to maximize their effectiveness. Social media is a powerful and convenient way to tell the story. Blogs, tweets, and snaps broadcast images and text quickly across the marketplace. And, with carefully crafted strategies to recirculate these messages, customer communities and entire industries can experience the story of recent successes.
Good stories have heroes, villains, and conflict. Great stories have complexity to make it hard to figure out who the good guys and bad guys are. The connection becomes important because complex stories can easily reach broad audiences through social media channels. Marketing efforts provide the storytelling. The challenge is that all style and no substance is not a sustainable business model. Communicating the story is empty without proper execution to deliver on promises. Communicating what the marketplace can expect in a way that it wants to receive it, then delivering on the expectation is essential to marketing success.
Ultimately, content and connections are necessary to cultivate relationships that result in commerce. Story drives the content. Whether written, audio, or visual content, striking an emotional chord through imagery facilitates human connection. People do business with people. The connection simply communicates, then validates the transaction. Hashtags and closed groups corral valuable connectivity when messaging needs to be controlled. Nevertheless, ultimately a person will be held responsible when an execution problem arises. Regardless of the communication vehicle, butts will be kicked. And, no one wants to be part of that story.
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter and Beyond