Quiet On the Set! Telling a Sustainable Social Media Story

We’ve all enjoyed a great movie or TV show. The best ones have a solid story, character development and a climax that offers payoff for all that the audience has learned along the way. Before that climax dialogue, background stories and a look into the minds of the characters put all the pieces into place. A movie that’s all action with no context is empty, easy to forget and, simply put, bad. The audience needs the “boring” stuff to draw them in, set the stage and link everything together.

Write the Script.

Successful and sustainable social media strategies follow the same formula. It starts with planning in the background before things even get started. Aligning on your audience, what you want to communicate, how you should communicate it and how to get people to continue to interact on an ongoing basis and stay engaged is all necessary when filming and when engaging through social media.

Set the Stage and Tell a Story with Substance.

Ongoing engagement ebbs and flows with increases and decreases in excitement. Sometimes there are high levels of activity, but most of the time is spent producing content and interacting with consumers. They come back to you because you offer an experience no other medium can produce—real, genuine interaction. There isn’t a start or an end. It’s ongoing interaction with intermittent actions to turn heads. Movies follow the same formula. A movie that is just climax means nothing because there’s no context for that climax.

Contrary to popular belief (and wishes), social media isn’t about building buzz. It’s about gaining connections, building relationships and leveraging those relationships to achieve business objectives. This means starting with the basics. Start by establishing yourself and creating an experience around what you stand for. What you need to do to gain more attention and to get others to join the conversation will flow naturally from there.

Focus to Make a Movie, Not a Fireworks Show.

Social media doesn’t come with an on/off switch. Start strategically with the goal to keep those engaging with you now, engaging with you with tomorrow. The moments of excitement will come, and they’ll feel natural.

Working to create “buzz” and “go viral” isn’t sustainable, and a plan for sustainability is key in this space. The sooner brands realize this, the sooner strategically driven efforts will take the place of one-offs that fade.