The Anna Karenina Guide to Social Media Success

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

 Is that really true?

Although Tolstoy is talking about families, we are taking some literary license and applying it to companies.  So the question we ask is: Are companies that are successful with their Social Media efforts, more or less following the same path?  At the same time, are those companies screwing it up are doing so in unique and creative ways?

With limited exceptions, yes and yes.

Most in the Social Media space can cite at least a few of the true industry leaders like Dell, Comcast and KLM.   They just seem to have their act together and have created an end-to-end social media experience that excites and energizes their customers.

So what is it they are doing so right? Keep Reading…

Why your Company Story Should Drive your Social Media

Humans love good stories.  We love to be caught up in the ebb and flow of the emotion of the tale.  When is the last time you were enthralled by a story like this: Boy meets girl; they fall in love; they get married; they live happily ever after?

No, we like stories that go something like this: Boy meets girl; they fall in love; her family dislikes boy; girl still loves boy; boy gets sick/has an accident/goes to war (put your favorite obstacle here); girl hangs on; boy returns; they get married; they live happily ever after.  These are the stories that people want to read.  These are the stories that grab and hold our attention.

Now, contrast that with the typical company story: look at us; we have an amazing product/service; you should buy it (like other people have); like us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter;  we promise you’ll  love it.  Not very exciting.

Great stories have great plots.  Company stories are no different.  They need great plots.  First, it makes your branding consistent when everyone from the CEO to the newest team member understands the story in the 30-second elevator pitch.  Second, a great story will help you define what the company does.  Equally importantly, it will help you define what the company does not do.  A great story will also drive great Social Media efforts.

There are 5 key elements to a great Company Story: Keep Reading…

A Response to Cathryn Sloane

Dear Cathryn,

I suspect it’s been a rough couple of days for you.

While it is tempting to pile on, let me step back and offer a couple of observations and some advice.  First the observations:

1. You made some excellent points in your message.

  • The idea that your generation has much to offer as it relates to the use of social media tools, is a valid one.
  • Youth and creativity and energy have always gone together.
  • This time is similar to the Internet explosion in the 90′s.  Back then, the “kids” who had grown up with a variety of programming talents were hired for their skill, expertise and energy (albeit not as CIO on day one).
  • The concept of new blood with new ideas is NOT a new one, but is still a good one.

Keep Reading…