Storytelling for Group Discussion

Storytelling for Group Discussion
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As far as headline-type statements go, ‘Great Stories Move People to Talk’ doesn’t necessarily jump off the page. But it’s one that we should all keep top of mind as we create content.

Content marketers tend to impart to clients the importance of crafting a good story, packaging it in a way that appeals to their audience and to publish with consistency. But what’s often left on the table is the value of ensuring that stories create chatter amongst the audience.

Content creation is an action. And if your desired result of content creation is to influence a community, you most certainly need to be tapping into the power of group discussion.

Coming from the magazine publishing world, I can tell you that reader feedback was one of the most valuable forms of content generation we leveraged on a consistent basis. And the tactic wasn’t simply waiting back for a ‘letter to the editor’ to arrive; we prompted feedback from the community and found that many were eager to be brought into the discussion.

A few ways to try it with your content include:

Tweet with Intent. You wrote a great article or blog. But you used your headline as the tweet. In essence, you wasted a tweet. Instead you should:

1)   Pick out a few interesting nuggets from your piece and phrase as a tweet (using hashtags where appropriate).  If possible, try and pose a question or thought-provoking statement.

2)    Now tap your followers. Tweet at a few of them. Do this multiple times to different followers. Chances of response will increase when people feel they are being addressed directly. For example: @carrozzomike how are you seeing customers tap into #bigdata and #cloud? (ARTICLE LINK)

Nudge the Group. You’ve tried posting a group discussion on channels like LinkedIn, but have had minimal response. Maybe it’s your choice of ‘discussion’ that isn’t moving your members. Keep a few rules in mind:

1)   Don’t treat your LinkedIn group as press release archive. People can get that information from your website—chances are they joined your group with the intent of gaining exclusive insight into broader discussions.

2)   Test out a few posts tied to relevant news articles related topics you are addressing, posting high-level thoughts on the subject (linking to the article in your post). End with a statement that asks members their thoughts on the subject.

3)   Building off of #2, follow up often. It may take a bit for that first person to come out of the woodwork—persistence is essential. Once the dialogue is rolling you can start to sprinkle in pieces of your content on the subject.

Good communicators are actively building a community. Chances are you already have a community on your social media channels that actively wants to be part of the discussion. It’s time you bring them into the conversation. This will make your future content that much better.

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