Everyone has a story to tell. The way you tell yours can motivate people, move markets, and inspire change. Corporations use storytelling to engage consumers. The best ones are memorable and engaging. The adventures surrounding J. Peterman’s horseman duster made it legendary. Apple’s coolness began with Jobs and Wozniak’s David and Goliath story. What’s your story?
Your company’s story has a phenomenal effect on your success. So, who’s telling it? Are you actively engaged in social media presenting a consistent message? Or, are you waiting to see how it works for everyone else?
If you are waiting, your story may be told by others.
And, it may not be positive. Web 2.0 gives everyone a voice that can be heard around the world. Unhappy customers and disgruntled employees have a stage to present their complaints. If you don’t have an established social media presence, your responses will seem defensive, even if you are right.
Recently, I saw an example of a dissatisfied customer telling the company’s story. He had his car repaired by a local dealer. After the repair, he had another problem and took the vehicle to a different shop. They dismantled part of the engine before telling him that the issue was related to the previous work. He had it towed back to the dealer with the expectation that they would fix it. They didn’t.
His response was to create a twitter account that looks like it belongs to the dealer. The next step was to post negative reviews and tweet the links. The dealer has been placed in a defensive position. Even if they satisfy this customer, the negative reviews remain in cyberspace.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to start telling your story now.
Establish a strong presence in one or two communities comprised of your customers and target market. This way, if someone climbs on a soapbox with disparaging remarks, you have a safety net. People know you, your philosophy and mission.
Are you telling your story? Why or why not?