You have become what you deem as a master of Social Media – you have a nice number of followers, your prose is pithy and engaging, but yet something is still missing… that continued “engagement” with your audiences.
Well, don’t fret you are not alone! Studies show that while nearly 2 billion people are connected via smart phones, there is still a very interesting conundrum; how can you compete with so much noise out there? How could you be effective with your message and be heard through the massive trees in the overgrown forest that is Social connectivity? Sometimes it’s as simple as tempering the message to hit that right customer, at the right time.
One thing that you should consider is identifying free or low cost tools to increase your Social Media effectiveness. One example that I use is TweetDeck. This gives insight into who is following our accounts, if and when we need to jump on a response, real-time conversations, and best of all its free!
Savvy social media folks will tell you that it’s constantly changing, it’s iterative and that topics
constantly evolve. We’ve experienced it with the Marketing Velocity Program, but alas there is seemingly one concept that continues to reign true with brilliant Social topics – Storytelling! We are all human! It’s so much more effective to offer something relatable that could blossom into a sharable similar experience or a cautionary tale to social circles.
Here is a very simple example. Imagine a high tech company wants to introduce, “A new collaboration product that will help you be more effective doing stuff…” Well what if that introduction was changed to, “To see the look on my parents face when I told them I went skydiving — would have been priceless! Don’t miss those moments again with the Collabor-8-Shun.” Then keep that conversation going with a series of “stories” focused on missed moments. See where storytelling can take you as an adjunct to your typical and hopefully effective marketing programs. Once you have that idea hatched, use the Social Media tools to understand when your audiences are most active. Then test the waters by engaging with your social circle.
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Tags: #mktgvelocity, Bryan Sherlock, Cisco Partners, digital marketing, Marketing Velocity, social, social media tips, storytelling
Over the past year we’ve been (quietly) working on a video documentary that has nothing to do with Cisco products, solutions, launches or events. Our goal was to use storytelling and video imagery to showcase the amazing impact that the telecom network is having on the socio-economic status of communities around the world. Through the work of local service providers, community leaders, and dedicated volunteers the changes are phenomenal to witness.
We enlisted the help of Dr. Steven Shepard of USC’s Institute for Communications Technology Management program to narrate the videos. Dr. Shepard shared some wisdom from his 25 years of experience as a veteran of the telecommunications industry, networking and education. He traveled with us and interviewed telecom executives from various businesses, as well as many interesting characters he happened upon during the journey. Six videos were created for the series.
- Network Effect
- Pioneers of the Network
- A Network Built for Mom
- Reaching the Unreachable
- Phone Company In a Box
- Looking Forward
We invite you to watch this documentary during its television broadcast debut exclusively on ShortsTV. (This channel is currently only available to subscribers of AT&T U-verse and DirectTV.) Once the promotion is completed (at the end of July), the documentary will be available on YouTube. As a sneak peak, here is one of the episodes.
A Catalyst for Social Change
The stories told are great examples of an aspect of social media that is often missing – social impact, changing lives, empowering people to be their best. These stories go beyond individual products, or solutions but dive into the power of being connected. A stone mason whose neighbors skip meals one day a week to pay for a satellite dish to promote his business. Delivering reading lessons via SMS to teach young women to read thereby enabling them to get better jobs. Thousands of micro-businesses increased sales over 30 percent while reducing costs because of access to telephony services housed in shipping containers. Hearing the impact and creativeness of those who use the telecom network is what drove our mission.
As these videos evolved we used our Connected Life Exchange (CLE) blog to promote the series. We started CLE for the purpose of experimenting with the then new transmedia multi-platform storytelling approach to communication. In March, CLE was selected as the runner-up finalist for Best Corporate Blog by B2B magazine.
Clearly this type of multimedia storytelling, editorial essays, and the ability to make human connections, without a self-promotional agenda, is the best example of authentic social marketing in action. BtoB Magazine remarked:
“The whole package is refreshingly non-promotional and often fascinating. Cisco continues to innovate in the suddenly red-hot field of content marketing with an approach to thought leadership that emphasizes actual thinking”
What examples of inspirational story telling have you seen? Do you think a more subtle approach is better at reaching your target audience? When is it best used, and why?
Tags: CLE, DirectTV, documentary, Dr. Steven Shepard, Network Effect, ShortsTV, storytelling, transmedia, U-verse, USC, video
We launched our Connected Life Exchange blog yesterday that’s focused on sharing interesting stories. I’ve anticipated this day for three years. I’m eager to work on this project, along with a talented group of creative people.
I remember the very first time that I saw the original Cisco “Human Network” television commercial. Why? It marked the beginning of a journey that ultimately brought me here — as a member of the Cisco family.
On Monday, April 30, 2007. I was a self-employed, independent industry analyst and marketing consultant. I needed a topic to write about that day, for my own blog.
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Tags: collaboration, Connected Life, crowdsourcing, discovery, learning, storytelling