The need to tell stories is something that has been part of human nature forever. We like telling stories. We like explaining to someone what we did yesterday, we love telling someone about that guy or girl on we met on holiday and we love making up stories about others that may not seem as innocent after all. We see it everywhere: in Middle English literature such as The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer, which is a story about people telling stories (from fables to gossip), and we see it in the world we, as community managers, are part of: the world of Social Media.
Good storytelling is an art. It is one of the best ways to bring a message to someone, but the most challenging part of it all is captivating an audience. How can you captivate an audience?
Here is Marco Tempest, a man who knows how to captivate an audience: https://www.ted.com/talks/marco_tempest_the_magic_of_truth_and_lies_on_ipods
Well, that is what Community Management is all about. They need to captivate our audience. They want their community to want to read the content and interact with it, because once an audience is captivated, it will come back for more. (Did you look up some more videos of Marco Tempest after that first one? OR are you planning to?)
Now, obviously, as community managers are not expected to be able to do this with their iPhones (although I would be really impressed if some of you could give it a go 😉 ) but they are expected to create magic on social media. Storytelling magic.
Here’s some social media storytelling magic:
Did they captivate you? Did they make you laugh? Did you link the cats with the caption and say “Hey, that goes quite well together!” or “that cat totally looks like it really dislikes humans” (If not, then maybe I chose the wrong content for this audience 😉 ) If so, you will also realize that this type of magic can be just as deceiving as real magic. That cat did not actually say “My fist… bump it”. They did not really “want” the pancakes. There’s the rub. The cat doesn’t care, we all knew that, right? Or did I just burst your storytelling-magic bubble? If so, I do apologise.
All successful stories (including lolcats) have one great thing in common. They provoke human emotion. Whether it is anger, sadness, happiness or even surprise, human emotion is the key to a really good story. Think about your favourite film. Is it a good story? Does it captivate you? Did you want more at the end of it and is that why you can watch it over and over again?
That is what community managers cannot forget when trying to create magic on our social platforms. Captivate your audience, make them believe they are in the wonderful world of your brand and make them feel the emotion that will make them come back for more.
And that, everyone, is the story I wanted to share with you all. So tell me, what story will you be telling your audience today?
*Of course lolcats are not a fit for everything or every brand 😉