What are some of your most cherished childhood memories?
…your most loved activities as a child you have grown up with and continued to love as an adult?
Most of the activities and pleasures we love as children change as we mature and become immersed in adulthood and all the trappings of maturity – career, travel, marriage and families of our own to start the cycle over again.
There does however seem to be one aspect of our childhood that never loses it’s appeal – and that is storytelling.
Just think about it for a minute, at any given time you are either listening to a story being told, you are regaling one to a friend or audience, you are reading someone a story or reading one yourself.
Some smart educators and trainers use storytelling to teach new programmes, managers use them in resolving conflicts, addressing issues and facing challenges and many games are based around stories often in an outrageous form with hyperbole gaining the highest points!
Even your best kept secrets destined only for the most private ears – are stories!
Our existence is one big story made up of thousands of tales that weave together the fabric of our lives, chapters that inspire, sadden, excite, rejuvenate, sparkle, enthuse, bring a delightful end to a long day, evoke buried memories and bring joy and laughter into our lives.
Stories can also frighten, agitate, cause discomfort, scare to death, unnerve, disappoint and make you sad.
You will at some time have come across brilliant raconteurs who can recount their anecdotes and experiences with a talent that leaves you feeling the pain or pleasure of their tale, as if it were your own!
You are probably wondering how this relates to the title of this article: ‘The Social Media Benefits Of Telling Tall Tales’ but before I get to this point I want to indulge you just a little bit more.
The thing is – everyone loves stories!
There are no barriers – all ages, colours, cultures and languages have their unique history of storytelling.
Cast your mind back to when you were a child and see if you can remember the extreme pleasure and delight when a parent or friend read from a book before you went to sleep (I still love being read to in bed before I turn out the light, something my husband does on an occasional basis). For me there is something magical, totally indulgent and absolutely delicious in being read to – curled up under the covers getting lost in the story is indeed a pure luxury.
But back to my point…
When you tell stories things happen!
People listen initially because they are nosey and curious by nature and a good story will engage. This makes it easy to remember and share with others and before you know it, that one story has been passed around and enjoyed by many people (some people even steal your stories and blogposts and pretend they are their own – but that’s another story!)
In the social media networking world when you want to be noticed and have others share your information and add you to their social media circles, try using stories to gain their interest and acceptance…
When you use the biggest social media platforms in the world you only get a small space to capture your audience and everyone knows the timespan for attention online can be mere seconds, so if you don’t engage your audience quickly and grab their interest they will move on very quickly to listen to other more compelling stories!
The social media benefits gained from storytelling are many and will have people coming back to hear more.
One of the best opportunities to showcase your storytelling is with your blog.
This is your golden opportunity to build a relationship with your readers.
The more you craft your post and create a unique experience for your readers the more you will strike a chord with your audience.
Telling Tall Tales on Twitter
As you may know Twitter was originally a service that operated over mobile texting SMS services so the updates it managed were limited to 140 – this is still the case.
So you have to be very clever and think outside the square to attract someone through Twitter with a compelling ‘tweet’. Try a teaser that is too hard to resist and you just have to click through to read the whole story.
Using Stories on Facebook
The maximum number of characters you can include in the message field is approximately 2,500 (if you remove the formatting) so quite a lot of scope for detailed descriptions – so make them enticing!
Long stories on Google+
These guys are much more generous! Hard to determine the limit here – but I believe you are allowed 2,000 words in the status update.
So use all of this to tease and tantalise with the first part of your story and make the most of this great opportunity.
In the competitive world of social media you must use everything you can think of and more to stay ahead of the pack.
Stories are an intrinsic part of our societies and culture and the influence of storytelling occurs in all aspects of our lives.
A good storyteller will always be remembered and will never have to look for an audience. A story that evokes and resonates with your readers will be remembered long after other stories have been forgotten.
Reaching your readers and holding their interest is the prime objective here and applying the art of storytelling will only strengthen your connections.
Hone your storytelling skills and let them emerge strongly to grab and hold the attention of your audience.
Peter Guber speaking about Apple Founder Steve Jobs: “Jobs’ Job One is story, he knows his devotees can’t just be customers – he needs apostles for his products who tell his story as their own and move it forward. Look at the lines in front of his stores when he opens new products. After he tells his story, the reaction reminds me of folks waiting for a big movie opening.”
Midge Hand is a Co-founder and Director of High Profile Enterprises. Midge is one of only around 50 Copyblogger Media Certified Content Marketers and is the only one in New Zealand. When away from the demands of running High Profile Enterprises, Midge enjoys time with family, cooking for friends, Pilates and paddle boarding. This year her new challenge is to learn to play the melodica.