Market Place

Use storytelling in social media to engage your voters

Engagements must focus on the customer and fit snugly with his needs. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Engagements must focus on the customer and fit snugly with his needs. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Word-of- mouth marketing is changing because it is now not about face-to- face conversations or the spoken word; it is now more about social media posts, videos and photos.

If your brand advertising is meant to generate relevant and positive conversations among your target audience then ensuring that you have content that is shareable on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat is key.

Keep in mind that the engagement must focus on the customer and fit snugly with his needs and state of mind because chest-thumping and ‘‘we are the best’’ statements don’t give you any mileage in this space.

So when we spent time reviewing the state of social media among the political contestants we found it wanting and underutilised, especially since we are in what Jeff Koinange calls the ‘silly season’.

It may be the early stages of the campaigns but I’m surprised that with only 49 days to go, we haven’t yet seen much new and traditional media advertising.

When we searched for YouTube channels of politicians we found very few and even those were lackluster at best. We found one video that was obviously shot by the candidate’s grandson who must have convinced grandpa that he had extensive experience in filming through several hours cutting his teeth with Facebook live.

The result is a collection of mind numbing videos that are just as fun watching as having a root canal done.

Politicians may tend to have a huge sense of self-importance, but this is incredibly magnified on social media when the content they generate is all me, me, me!

These megalomaniacs seem to forget who they are talking to because the evidence points to a lack of insight with absolutely no consideration for their target audiences.

Is it because they think that we like watching videos of suited middle-aged men dancing and giving high-fives?

There is a lesson in storytelling that can be used here, where a plot is played out with drama and suspense leading to a climax that drills the point home.

Add interesting characters who are relevant to your theme and personify specific elements in society, and others who represent your voters’ aspirations, so as to avoid the unnerving soliloquy.

Your social media time line cannot be all about your visitations; today I went here, and yesterday I went there, and now I’m here preaching to the choir. Leave that to the socialites.

Instead, tell your social media team, if you have one, to develop two story lines that will play out over the next 49 days.

The first story line will be positive, demonstrating that you have your voters at heart and that you have the will and ability to bring about positive change. This story will be aimed at stirring the hearts and minds of your audience through improvisation, theatrics and embellishment.

The second story will be negative, decrying the sad state of affairs that will propagate should your opponents win the seat, and this story is meant to generate fear.

Once these plots have been conceptualized, ask your grandson to put the camera down and then call in the professionals to create high quality content.