That Time I Kicked Sting’s Dog & Other Stories
The key to making a connection with others is to share our stories and experiences. But how do we decide which ones to share? What’s too much information? What’s not enough?
Different situations require a different level of conversation. Things we share in the pub with our mates may not be appropriate stories for our work presentations. It is these personal insights, however, that help us to win a reaction – and create a connection. In a small group of friends, the reaction may be uniformly positive; on Twitter, on the other hand, a global reaction could be varied. Are you ready to defend your actions?
Online we are at an even greater risk of embellishing our stories. However it is so important not to compromise trust in our community and damage our brand. So make that commitment to authenticity and stick with it.
Different social media platforms have very different functionality and thus a very different tone. It is crucial for your personal brand that you share the right information, and set the conversation at an appropriate level for each platform. Think about what you want your visitors to do and what your message is to them. If someone has taken the time to like your personal brand on Facebook, for example, they are inviting your content to their newsfeed. They have trust in your brand and an expectation of the content they will receive from you. If I follow a Board on Pinterest named ‘Vegan Recipes’ I wouldn’t expect to find a pork rib marinade Pin.
It’s like that time I kicked Sting’s dog. I was on holiday with my parents in Tuscany, soaking up some sunshine at a beautiful villa. I was sitting by the pool, applying sun cream. A large, rather friendly dog decided to join me. He was licking my sun cream and his long fur was sticking to me so I attempted to shoo him off. He would not leave me alone, so I gave him a VERY gentle nudge with my foot* and sent him on his way. I looked up towards the bar and the owner was calling the dog. Walking towards me with a tray of drinks was my Mum, mouthing with no sound ‘OMG I just saw Sting, he is at the bar with his dog’.
So … what is the point of the story? There isn’t one! Whilst it was a funny anecdote from my holiday, it does not have a message or incite any call to action.
Sharing a personal experience can have a powerful impact on what it is we are trying to achieve – if it’s relevant to your message and brand. Whether it is to headline an event, introduce a new idea, campaign for change, or simply drive traffic to a website, create a community on twitter or sell a product, personal experiences create connection. But in order to create trust your online messages must be authentic and align with your brand. Think about your own digital content and any online content you endorse to make sure it is relevant and consistent. If you are going to tell a story or share someone else’s story how will it resonate with your community and reinforce your message?
*No animals were hurt in this story!