Tell to Win: Purposeful storytelling for social media success

Social media is easily mistaken as an end in itself rather than yet another tool in our arsenal to connect emotionally around shared values through powerful storytelling. When it comes to effective storytelling, there is probably no better expert than Peter Guber.

Peter has written a book called Tell to Win that lays out the critical first principles of purposeful storytelling that are too often overlooked in social media strategies and commentaries today. I had the opportunity to sit down with Peter and ask him for some key insights on how to communicate persuasively, whether it’s through an Oscar-winning film, international brand, or revolutionary product.

Here are some of the thoughts that Peter shared which he expands on in Tell to Win:

▪   Brands are in the emotional transportation business. The goal is to transport your mission, cause, purpose and value proposition. That’s when the magic happens because your community pays it forward.

▪   The role of purposeful storytelling is to unlock people’s emotions so they can connect to your story and brand.

▪   The focus of emotional transportation is the hearts of your audience, not their heads.

▪   Few people remember facts, figures and data. Research on memory shows that you can remember details of things much more effectively when they are embedded in a story.

▪   When you bond information with emotion, which is the catalyst in every story well told, the information is then experienced, ingested, emotionalized, and thus recalled and acted upon more effectively.

▪   Purposeful stories have a goal, a call to action that tellers want their listeners to do.

▪   Purposeful storytellers must engage the listener(s) in a dialog. Telling purposeful stories is interactive. It’s not a monologue. Ultimately, purposeful tellers must surrender control of their stories, creating a gap for the listener(s) to willingly cross in order to take ownership. Only when the listener(s) own the tellers’ story and make it theirs, will they market it for you.

▪   It is not the digital 0’s and 1’s of state of the art technology that move your listener(s) to action, but connecting the teller and listener through the ooh’s and aah’s of your story, your state of the heart technology. State of the art technology will always be in service to state of the heart technology.

▪   Without purpose a message is like an empty calorie. It doesn’t have any inherent value.

▪   The true power of purposeful storytelling is to unlock the full potential of you as an individual and your business.

▪   The power in telling a purposeful story makes the purpose – the object of the story – emotional rather intellectual, and aspirational rather than inspirational.

With my background in traditional advertising I cannot tell you how important these insights are to creating emotional connection to brands and between customers through purposeful storytelling. I highly recommend buying Peter’s book as an actionable distillation of the insights that allow social media strategies and tools to be used to their greatest effect. In doing so, you can unlock the full potential of an individual, career, cause or brand.

How important has storytelling been in your social media strategy? Do you agree that its importance is too often overlooked?