Whether presenting to an a live audience, or via the power of a digital medium, a well-told story matters. A well-crafted story builds connections, and begins the process of trust.
It has been said, to the point of cliche, that we are being bombarded with information, and even if it is a cliche it is also true. Everyone, particularly every business, wants our attention. And yet, conversely, despite the flood tide of information and marketing that the digital age has brought about, it has also been said that that it can bring businesses and customers closer together.
This is particularly true for local businesses, with a target market of their hometown, and the surrounding areas. The local business that makes effective use of social media is able to have a better feel for their clients, and the clients feel that they have a say.
So how do stories factor in?
In order to create a environment for client loyalty the business, and its owner, need to present a powerful tale about that business. What was the spark for the beginning? Who are the people that have made it grow? What is the driving focus and belief? And equally important, how have the company, and their staff, supported the community?
The key to the story's power is that the presenter needs to be honest in their tale. The message has to be authentic, because the audience, the clients, know in their gut when the tale is a sham. They know when they are just being given what the teller thinks they want to hear.
It has also been said that good storyteller, or a good writer, needs to "show - not tell" when creating their story.
Businesses can do this by alerting their clients to stories about how they are part of the community, or about how they went beyond for a customer. The businesses also need to be consistent in telling their tale - it cannot be only once in a while.
For a company's social media strategy this is not one short tale, but must be considered like an epic - a powerful tale told over many, many days. A tale told with variety and creativity.
Cathy Mosley brings her 26 years of storytelling and writing experience to the realm of Social Media. To help small businesses.