Telling Stories

Eco“You’re a storyteller.”

Over the years, I’ve heard variations of that line from bosses and colleagues, from friends and dates. As a child, my little sister would ask for stories to pass the time on road trips.

And really, that’s my favorite part of my job as a content strategist at IBM: listening to customers, analysts, partners or colleagues talk about their successes and challenges – and translating them into a story that compels or inspires someone to action.

Social media has grown from “that Twitter thing” to something much larger. Today’s social media includes dashboards and platforms to measure engagement, influence, reach and more KPIs that we haven’t yet identified or agree upon. Nearly five years ago, when I started tweeting as part of my job, it was just a small sliver of my work. Now I’m part of a much larger social media team that works daily to insert itself into existing marketing processes and practices – and help innovate them.

But at the core of everything we do, the story remains key. Evidence – both from well-paid analysts and a pile of anecdotes – confirms that the most compelling, most shared social assets are those that tell a story that tugs at something in the reader. That “something” varies, especially in the business-to-business world I work in, but the goal remains the same: telling a story that is relatable.

I’ve written since I was very young, and blogged on and off since 2003. I blog semi-regularly on travel, home improvement and civic engagement on the Elginista blog I’ve maintained since 2007. However, I’ve wished I had a place to write about the business of social media and how it fits into the larger world of Integrated Marketing Communications.

So here I am. I plan to blog at least once per week on various social media or marketing topics, likely sharing books or articles that inspire me and examples of why stories remain the core of how we communicate.
I’d love your feedback. Share your stories below and follow me on Twitter @CrystaAnderson.

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