Thursday, 3 November 2011

Twitter and the Art of Storytelling

I recently had the pleasure of meeting John Sadowsky again at an event run by the DMA and Emailvision.

For those of you who don't know John, he is a great exponent of the importance of Stories and Storytelling for both Leaders and Brands.

At the recent event, he highlighted how the Hero of the Story is often the key difference between a Brand Story that is successful and one that is not. He cited the Facebook pages of Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. The former having fewer fans than Starbucks but more highly engaged ones.

And the main difference was Hero of the stories being told. In Starbucks' case it was the brand, while with Dunkin Donuts it was the Customer. This makes sense doesn't it? I am more likely to share a story that has me at the centre of it than a Brand.

So this brings me to Twitter. Now you might say that a story can't be told in 140 characters or less. True But what Twitter have done very cleverly by launching Twitter Stories, is to talk about the Stories behind the Tweets.

Here's how Aaron Durand saved his mom's bookstore with a Tweet.

Aaron Durand’s mother was in trouble. She had run an independent bookstore for nearly two decades when an economic downturn hit that threatened to close the shop. Aaron wanted to help his mom, but wasn’t sure what he could do. He wrote about his mom’s plight on his blog then tweeted it out, adding at the last second an offer to buy a burrito for anyone who bought $50 worth of books during the holidays at his mom’s shop.
The story took hold. The Tweet was passed along from person to person across Portland’s art and design community. It was retweeted and retweeted until hundreds of people had read the story.
Overnight, new customers started to arrive and business began to pick up. The story continued to snowball on Twitter. The bookstore went on to have its best holiday season ever, and has continued to thrive each season since.

 Twitter is not the story. Brands are not the story. People are the story

What's your Twitter Story?

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