Saying it again: It’s the story

It’s the story that matters.

A great New York Times article again reinforces the same idea: that just being “on” social media does next to NOTHING for sales conversions. Story

A lot of people who failed at multi-level marketing and chinchilla farming turned to pumping social media for small business – and sold a lot of them the proverbial pig-in-a-poke. “Likes” and canned posts are useless. They lack authenticity. They say nothing about the target’s needs or wants. They say nothing about the service provider and the experience you can expect when you engage.

Only a compelling STORY can do that. You have to let them see who you are, what your customers say about you, and what kind of experience they can expect.

Like any other advertising channel, brand building over time through occupying mind-space in a particular product category is the key to success.

The cable companies sold municipalities on a shiny new object, their own channel, when writing desperately one-sided franchise agreements back in the day. The bad news was only revealed later, that just having the channel means NOTHING. It has to be programmed with relevant and engaging content.

Same for social media. Your usual “just buy from me” attitude that you bring to networking events doesn’t work on social media than it does in the real world. There has to be something behind it.

I’ve been thumping on this theme for YEARS – and I still stand by it today – it’s only through compelling storytelling that any of your advertising channels are going to work – especially social media where people are absolutely sick-and-tired of being “sold” to.

Authentic, brand-related, reputation and credibility storytelling – over time – is the key to success here. My thing is video production and visual storytelling – but there are several paths.

It sucks that it’s hard and expensive. It’s too bad the snake-oil-salespeople promise of an easy ROI on social media wasn’t true.

But it doesn’t mean you’re dead in the water. With relevant, good, authentic stories – your story CAN be told in such a way that over time – when a need arises – there will be an “a-ha” moment when your social media friends and contacts will think of you.