If you have a product or service that makes a meaningful impact on individual consumers who use it, a powerful way to spread awareness for your company is to personalize your product by using social media to tell stories about that impact. Real stories about real people. The best are authentic and visual. Think pictures and videos, along with words that help others see pictures in their own heads.
In the video, a woman who has been unable to walk for 18 years takes first steps. The video is powerful. Watching it, it’s easy not to worry about how the product works or how much the product costs. We care instead that it works at all and how it makes the woman feel to stand tall in her body again. Very effective.
One of the reasons the video resonated with me is that the woman in the video is around my age. Ekso has other videos and its my hope that they will be adding more and more. As long as they cast different consumers, each will likely resonate a little differently with viewers based on the demographics of the viewer. Collectively, though, those stories will help the company reach the goal of seeing their innovative product as a potential solution for all with limited mobility — one person, one step, one story at a time.
How can you and your company share stories like Ekso? Likely, you can’t — it’s hard to get more personal than helping someone who is paralyzed to walk again.
Good news: You don’t have to be like Ekso. Your product or service doesn’t need to make such an aggressive impact on a consumer to be able to share effective stories about it. What’s important is that the stories you tell resonate with the people you’re trying to reach.
More often than not, this means real stories about real people, not white-boarded imagined scenarios from a conference brain storm.
How do you find such people and stories? Look, listen and ask. Look beyond what people buy to why they buy it — and whether they keep buying it or not.
If you come up empty, think creatively about the people who might hold the clues. Likely they’re the ones interfacing most with your customers. If this isn’t you, it might be your sales staff, front desk receptionist or even repair personnel. People your customers talk directly with, either to buy, to explain or to get technical help.
Luck can also play a part, if you’re listening for it.
Not too long ago, I was in Art and Science of Eyewear in Walnut Creek, CA, when I overheard a young couple as they stood in front of a large display of children’s designer eyeglass frames.
The wife sighed as she said to her husband, “Well, if he really does have to wear them, they have to be cool.”
Problem. Solution. The beginnings of a good story worth telling.