Let me start by making this as clear as possible. When it comes to your online marketing, don't sell, tell your story!
Blogging, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, it's all there to help us tell our story. We might not realise it, but we all have a story to tell. From the passionate baker who starts a small bakery to the financial advisor who finally decides to set up shop for herself. Each and everyone one of us has a story to tell. Yet for some reason, too many of us are using social media in the wrong way. We see it as a sales tool, rather than what it is. It's simply the new "book" format for us to tell our story.
If you think I'm talking crazy, let's look at it together, platform by platform, from our personal perspective.
As a professional, no matter what industry you are in, you are probably on LinkedIn. On your profile, you've detailed everything you think is relevant. Where you went to school, university, your first job, your next job, your current job. You've even added in your skill set, any awards you may have had, proud moments and projects you've been involved in. You're pea-cocking, but it's ok, it's what we're supposed to do.
But let's look at the information in a different light. So 15 years ago (or however long it's been for you), you went to university. After uni, you then went on and found your first job. From there you did well, as your next job was a step up. Then you were in charge of a big project, which looks like it went well, because after that you move jobs again, for an even better job. We're telling the story about YOU!
This is a professional story about who you are, what you've achieved and where you want to go next. It's just specifically for your professional life and that's fine.
So as we waste endless hours throughout the week going through our Facebook News Feed, we see that our friends all met up to go and do something fun this weekend. They grabbed some pizza, hit up some bars after, and the next morning we see the updates to tell us how hung over they are.
We're back to storytelling, only this time it's not about our professional lives. We're documenting what we get up to, stuff we found interesting or funny on the internet. It's a powerful story as we bring characters in from all over the world. Any friends we have, are tagged, memories shared and ultimately, we can relive those stories for many years to come.
But it's still just telling us a story. Go to your Facebook profile. Have a look on the right-hand side, you'll see a list of years, going back as far as you have been a member on Facebook. Go take a look at when your story began and have a look at what your first post was. It will remind you of how far you've come on this platform.
Instagram is a little different. I like to think of it as the best parts highlight storytelling. It's a bit like watching Match of the Day rather than watching all of the Football games on at the weekend. We pretty much only show our best bits on Instagram. The cool locations, the awesome food, the beautiful beaches.
We tend not to show that we fell over a branch whilst hiking, that our flip flops are slowly but surely cutting holes in our feet and we definitely don't show the crappy room the hotel gave us, which looks nothing like the website. But that's ok.
It's just another angle of OUR STORY, that we are constantly telling, across all of these platforms on a daily basis.
Let's get down to business
So when you've broken down all the networks like this and we can clearly see that it's all about telling a story, why on earth do we treat our business social media accounts so differently.
These aren't door-to-door sales platforms. They're not outbound call centres. Don't confuse them with the second-hand car salesman cliche.
I'm begging you, when it comes to your company social media, don't sell, tell your story!
9 Years in the making
Recently, LinkedIn sent me a notification. People were congratulating or liking my anniversary for work. It's been 9 years since I started Social INK (when it first opened in 2008, it was called Just Consulting).
It hit me as if it was a ton of bricks. I don't think it couldn't have been clearer.
Since I started my company, it's just ONE big story. As I look back over the years on Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Instagram, I can see the story.
I can point to specific moments in my business, when things were going well and when they weren't. Times when you felt on top of the world, or where we launched new projects. You can see the sad times when projects failed, or times when clients decided they didn't want to work with us anymore.
Without doing it on purpose, we created our company's story. Over time we wrote blogs, it's because something happened to make us think we needed to share that specific content.
Anytime we posted on Facebook, we wanted to share something that we thought was of value.
Don't sell, tell your story
We've been guilty of doing this in the past. Focusing on services, or products, rather than content and helping. But overall, we're happy that we've written hundreds of pieces of content over the years. That we've run webinars for more than 5,000 viewers. Printed thousands of magazines. Created an online TV channel in Gibraltar, that in 4 years made more than 500 videos, all on YouTube.
That's the story I want to focus on. It's the story what I want to continue to tell. If you want your business to succeed on Social Media, maybe it's time you told your story.
Whether it's for Social INK, or for myself personally, you can see my stories anytime you want. Including my website - www.chrisbruno.co - let me know what you think.
I'm here to help if you need it. In fact, I'd love to hear your story and help you to build up your branding and marketing using that very story. Get in touch today and let's have a chat, nothing more. Email me and tell me your story! firstname.lastname@example.org