The Story Economy Blog

If Social Media Still Freaks You Out, You Might Just Need a New Lens

Social media.

Deep breath.

I love it. I hate. I’m scared of it. I think it’s fantastic. All at the same time.

So I felt super excited and a teeny bit sick about attending and presenting at PodCamp Cincinnati this past Saturday at NKU. Was I seriously going to present about social media? Until recently, I only used Facebook to share cute pictures of my kids. But I’ve embraced social media full-on this year, not because I want to be cutting edge or because I think I have to. Rather, it's because I found the right lens for it.

You need a lens for everything you do that requires any sort of effort, thinking, or change-making. For example, a few months ago, I decided to lose the last of my baby weight—not because I have ideas about having the perfect body, but because I am a healthy person and I intend to always be a healthy person. Being a healthy person is my lens.

Do You Have the Right Lens?
There are a lot of social media lenses out there, but when I hold them up, they don’t fit. I’m not an early adapter, I’m not a technology geekess, and I’m not obsessed with always knowing what’s going on and being the first to know. None of those lenses work for me.

But storytelling does, and that’s why it’s become my lens for social media. Every social media interaction is a chance to tell a story, which means that it’s a chance to connect. So that’s what I decided to present about at PodCamp. You can see my slides for “Using Story to Connect in a Social Media Landscape” here. I apologize that you don’t have much context for them (you can probably figure out that I drew the picture of the tree on the “My Story” page).

I offer six tips in the presentation (thanks to my women’s magazine heritage, I’ll never stop thinking in “tips”). Instead of rehashing all of the tips now, I’m just going to pull out what I think is the most important tip about how to bridge story with social media. Are you ready?

Have a voice.

Have a voice!

Your voice is what creates the story, establishes context, and gets someone interested in you (it’s probably what makes you interested in yourself). Your social media voice might be slightly more casual than your regular marketing voice, but it should still be from the same family. And, it should mirror the voice you use to talk to your clients.

Erase whatever you think about the numbers associated with social media, and replace it with the idea of voice. If you only focus on how many Tweets you can do in one day, you’ll just have a number. But if you focus on developing your voice as a writer and as a marketer, you’ll always have something to say.


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