Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Supercharging social media with storytelling techniques: #9 The Cliff Hanger

Everyone who reads popular fiction and watches TV knows what a cliff hanger is. It's literally cutting away from the story as the hero hangs from a cliff. The reader is hooked into reading on, fast, to find out what happens. Every genre uses the cliff hanger, so don't think it's just a pulp fiction technique either. Some are just more subtle about it than others.

But can the cliff hanger be used for social media posts? I suggest yes. In fact I recommend it as a way to keep people involved and coming back.

So how can you use it? Well, it will take a little thought, but with a dash of openness I am sure you can come up with some real cliff hangers about what you do. For instance try talking about:

1. The uncertainty about how many chocolate cakes will sell every day, when you need to sell 10 a day to do well.

2. The uncertainty about the features of a new product.

3. The uncertainty about your annual results.

4. The uncertainty about how many people will come to your exhibition.

5. The uncertainty about how a performer will perform at your club next Saturday.

6. Are you going to sell five million or ten million copies of your new book?

7. Are you going to become number 1 in your industry, at last?

With a little ingenuity I am sure you can come up with some real uncertainties, which aren't about any lack of confidence, but are playful, and which are honest too. Good luck and let me know if you have managed to create any.

You may not want to literally hang from a cliff, but a little uncertainty is good in life. For instance, what will this blog cover next? I hope you come back to find out.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Supercharging social media with storytelling techniques: #8 Using your senses

Sight, taste, sound, smell and touch are the 5 senses that connect us to the world. When you read about them the written world comes alive, and engagement increases.

But can you use senses in social media?

Here are five short post examples to whet your appetite:

1. The electric blue of our new logo was chosen to illustrate our speedy delivery.

2. You can taste success, champagne and lobster, if you choose our early bird special.

3. The silence in our service office is not just because of the few calls we get, it's also because our dedicated staff are focusing on helping clients.

4. The smell of coffee in our new staff canteen is wonderful!

5. When you touch our new shoes you will understand the pleasure our high quality leather brings.

I know you won't be able to use each of your senses every day, or anything like that, but thinking about incorporating sensory information in your posts, either small or as a jump off point for a larger post, will expand the range of things you talk about and increase engagement with readers by connecting you with their senses.

Think senses when you are looking around for something else to post about.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

7 interesting social media stats for 2012

1. The number of blogs globally in April 2010 was 135 million. The number of blogs globally in April 2012 was estimated at 198 million (BlogPulse.com).

2. 80% of 18-29 year olds are using social media in the United States in 2012.

3. 50%+ of the UK population have a Facebook presence in 2012. 25-34 year olds are the largest group.

4. 58% of Fortune 500 companies have Facebook pages in 2012.

5. The number of Twitter users more than doubled in the UK from 2011 (12 million) to 2012 (26 million).

6. 62% of Fortune 500 companies have active Twitter accounts in 2012.

7. 81% of B2B marketeers found online marketing moderately or extremely challenging in early 2012.

Social media is not going away, if anything it is embedding deeper into our social and economic lives.

And it's challenging too.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

3 Big Social Media Mistakes Many Businesses are Making

The social media industry is as new as the automobile industry was a hundred years ago. We don't have rules of the social-media road, a social-media tax or rear view social-media mirrors yet.

But they are all coming.

While we wait for them here are 3 big mistakes many business people are making in relation to social media.

1.  Ignoring it. All this means is that intrepid individuals will start doing it without permission. Do you even know how many of your staff are doing semi-official tweeting or blogging or Facebooking for you? Social media is coming and you can't stop it.

2. Not aligning your social media goals with the goals of your business. The goal of social media is not to get more followers. This is similar to people who think the business goal of having a car is the ability to drive around. Sure there are people who want to do that, but a business needs to align social media to its business goals.

3. Thinking it's just a marketing and PR thing. Human resources, purchasing, the canteen, investment analysts and R&D can all benefit from the research, communications and feedback service that social media is. Don't leave it all to marketeers. Every division can use social media.

It is likely that many business people, (the Ostriches) when confronted with the Tsunami of change that social media represents will simply opt for ignoring it in the hope that it will pass them by.

The are wrong. Better firms will achieve competitive advantage by using social media. This is already happening. And when the rest understand what they might lose they will follow. After the Ostriches are removed.