Tag Archives: Business

Social Storytelling

3 Mar

Lisa Geddes, former VP of Marketing for the Rick Hansen Foundation, spoke and inspired my communications class about corporate and effective storytelling. She pointed out that storytelling has been the main communication channel since the beginning of time, referring to tribes, William Shakespeare, movies and music. Storytelling is truly the basis of everything we do. She feels that storytelling is “how we’re built to communicate,” which is why it is so effective in the corporate world. However, companies are having trouble communicating stories about their history to consumers, and are still focusing on quantitative values rather than personal values.

Lisa emphasized the fact that stories should always have a protagonist to introduce the story, a crisis or event in the middle of the story, and a moral to conclude the meaning of the story. Generic, inhumane company background stories do not capture the attention or interest of consumers. According to Lisa, good stories must be in alignment with your company, and must be authentic. They should avoid emotional dissonance by starting fresh from where the company last left off. Stories should always explain “why” and have a good reason for telling the story in the first place. The audience is only going to be engaged if they can relate to the story, so companies should know their audience’s interests and lifestyles in and out. Good stories should be emotive, informative and entertaining, and must contain a central message, while providing context.

Companies are still failing to produce authentic, engaging stories about their background and values because they feel that consumers are already doing so by using social media. Little do they know, if they have a presence online and engage consumers with their own story, consumer input may change for the better, and more positive stories could be generated by consumers on a daily basis.

Lisa then went on to explain that in order to “change your culture, change your story.” She also mentioned the theory of opening a story or message with the line “let me tell you a story.” According to Lisa, it is proven that when this phrase is mentioned before telling the story, a part of the brain opens up and prepares itself to listen carefully. Lisa’s presentation was very inspirational and highlighted the power of storytelling, especially in the corporate world.

Social Media Marketing Unplugged

30 Jan

Yesterday, I attended Social Media Marketing Unplugged, a truly inspirational seminar about social media and the tactics used to go about handling this phenomenon. The speakers that stood out the most for me were the ones who told their story, shared their knowledge (and humour) and related it to all businesses in general.

An ongoing theme that resided with me throughout the seminar is that consumers want to feel something whenever they interact on the web. They may not even know they are looking to feel anything. The truth is, social media users get a sense of pride when they have a new follower, or a mention on Twitter. They are comforted with honest reviews from users just like them on sites such as Yelp, and feel intelligent by purchasing products and services at discounted prices from online coupon sites such as Ethical Deal. Users may not understand how much emotion is involved in their decision-making process online, but if your company creates an emotional hook that somehow reels them in, your business will definitely be talked about.

New connections are made everyday, and these connections are facilitated so easily with all of the tools provided on the internet. In my eyes, the most useful tool to organize all of these valuable connections is Hootsuite, which was praised about by the beloved speaker, Dave Olson. (Gotta love the owl!)

If I were to remember one thing of value from the seminar, it is that social media alone will not provide your business with success. It is to be used as a supporting role to your ultimate business strategy. As Marty Yaskowich mentioned, “You do not need a social media strategy. Use traditional media first to start and/or supercharge your business, then turn to social media.”

Overall, wonderful experience and well worth my time! Big thanks to all of the seminar’s wonderful speakers!