In my recent blog post “Personal Branding 101: Whats Your Story” I discussed the importance of story telling and understanding what your story is before you worry about building a personal brand. To my surprise many brands and leaders when asked how they can share their stories with their community believe they must give a keynote speech, write a blog post, write a book or produce a video or commercial. Social Media is the perfect platform for storytelling but to do it correctly it’s more than just telling your story with words it’s a compilation of all your digital actions.
Just like relationships on social media there is no easy button and to do storytelling the right way you have to have a strategy and play the long game. With that being said that doesn’t mean you have to wait to give a “Ted Talk” to share your story but you also don’t want to be that person that comes across as salesy or forced.
With so much noise on social media you must find ways to reach new audiences and capture their attention long enough to share your story. Having a consistent story is vital but equally as important is sharing your story in multiple different formats, on different social networks ideally targeted towards new and unique audiences.
Storytelling humanizes the message, is memorable and inspires action!
Here are 9 ways to share your story on social media.
Blogging – Blogging for many including myself can be an overwhelming task as we associate blogging with being an author or professional writer requiring perfect grammar and 900 in writing on the SAT’s. If the idea of blogging wasn’t overwhelming enough creating a website or finding a place to share your blog where it will be actually viewed is no easy task. Thankfully for as many people who seek perfect content that is data backed and filled with mind blowing facts, there are equally as many people that want to hear compelling, authentic real stories that allow them to connect with the writer. Thanks to tools like Medium, Blogger, WordPress, Shareist and Linkedin Publisher you can write your story, your way and get views with little knowledge of SEO, websites or blog promotion.
Content Curation – As much as blogging can be overwhelming the idea of content curation sounds easy as you’retaking great content that someone else wrote and adding your opinion. Great content creation is very time consuming as you must find and read lots of content selecting the content that you can add value to while also being content that your community cares about. Thanks to tools like Scoop.it, Meddle and Flipboard you can create a curation home filled with the content that you’ve curated, not only showing that you’re connected and consuming great content but also the content as a whole shows your philosophy and helps tells your story.
Own a Hashtag – Hashtags or Philosophies are like nicknames in highschool, for them to stick and make sense you not only have to embrace it but others have to buy into it as well. For this to happen you not only have to live that hashtag but it has to be something you’re committed too. Some great examples are Ted Rubin with Return on Relationships #RonR or Jay Baer #YouTility or Chris Brogan #ProudFreak.
Social Actions with a Strategy– The content you share tells your community as much about your philosophy as the content you create from scratch. “Every Social Action you take is a brick in your digital footprint platform” Therefore the content you like on Linkedin, Pin to Pinterest or RT on Twitter becomes an element of your social story. Therefore like, pin and RT people and content you agree or align with, therefore telling your story with your social actions.
Personal Brand Footprint – No matter if its your username, your social network profile, your website or your blog description it’s important to not only be consistent so that you’re easy to be found but also so that the more interactions someone has with you across multiple networks the more they’ll remember and relate to your story.
Video Blog – Video content is only growing and thanks to apps like Instagram and Vine you no longer have to be a professional or have the best equipment to utilize the power of video. It’s not about becoming the next YouTube star or creating a viral Vimeo video rather it’s another format that your audience consumes where they can relate to your story. So maybe it’s broadcasting a company training event with Ustream or creating a personal video blog where you talk into the camera either way you are connecting and sharing your story and passion with a new audience or enhancing that message to your current audience!
Podcast – If blogging or being on video isn’t your thing but you love to talk, the idea of having your own radio show or podcast is something anyone can do. Thanks to tools like BlogTalkRadio, SoundCloud and Podcast trainers like John Lee Dumas creating an audio outlet to share your story can be as easy as having a microphone and a smartphone.
Create Visual Content – Creating great content that tells your story requires a lot of work so it’s important to find new ways to share this content or what I call “UpCycle” this content into new consumable pieces of media. Take quotes from your most popular blog post to create a slideshare or maybe creating a Meme or infographic using tools like Canva and sharing them on Pinterest allowing for your story to be told in unique formats hopefully attracting new audiences.
Community Digital Events – “Social is the great Collaborator” but you must take the action and engage to truly find value on social media. This can be as simple as joining a twitter chat or posting with a popular hashtag, or as exciting as creating your own G+ Hangout or starting your own group on facebook. The more ways you engage and collaborate with others on social the more opportunities you’ll have to share your story.
These 9 methods can seem overwhelming at first but you don’t have to do all 9 at once, ideally one of these methods jumped out at you as something you already love to do but never thought of it as a way of telling your story. Embrace your story and test out new methods and ways to connect your story with your community. Storytelling is a powerful weapon but YOU must be the one that owns that story and embraces these new methods being the producer, marketer and director that makes you memorable to your community!