I’m addicted to TED Talks. When I first started watching them I was actually looking for examples of effective public speakers. But then the ideas drew me in, not to mention the brilliant people making complex topics like microbiology and metaphysics accessible. TED is all about spreading ideas to better understand the world and talks run the gamut from science to business to global issues. While there are a few talks that address social media directly (here’s one on reputation management, one on online crowds, and one on how social media can make history), I wanted to share a few of my personal favorites that don’t actually mention it, but rather contain ideas we can incorporate to make our strategies more effective.
Talk 1: The Technology of Storytelling by Joe Sabia
What I learned: If you take a look at brands succeeding in social media, it becomes abundantly clear that we as content marketers can no longer expect to simply push our messages out to the masses and hope they stick. We must pull. And we must do so with useful, engaging content. Joe Sabia’s talk about the technology of storytelling reminds us that although the tools have changed – from cave walls to printed books to radio to film to Twitter – the art of telling a good story has remained unchanged. This talk serves as a great reminder that the latest and greatest social technologies are nothing more than the delivery method. Rather than focusing on tools, brands must master the art of telling great stories and then create social strategies to deliver them.
Talk 2: How to build your creative confidence by David Kelley
What I learned: In social media, as in business, it’s generally more comfortable to follow the beaten path. After all, it’s pretty terrifying to stick your neck out and try something new, hairy and audacious when it could fail. David Kelley’s talk is all about shedding fear – fear of being judged and fear of not being creative – to build creative confidence. Success in social media comes from experimenting to understand what resonates. Brands that aren’t afraid to step outside the box will have more opportunity to test strategies, learn from experiences and connect more robustly with their social communities..
Talk 3: The tribes we lead by Seth Godin
What I learned: In this talk, Seth Godin says that anyone – or any brand – can start a movement by identifying a common rallying point and offering a way to connect around it. It’s all about finding true fans and advocates, thengetting them to spread an idea. Godin explains how Zappos applies this mentality: they’ve built a community for people who love shoes to find each other, talk about shoes and purchase them from a company that values customer service. Apply this philosophy to your social media strategy immediately. Worry less about follower counts and engagement rates and more about connecting people. Instead of using social media to push messages when it’s convenient, make a commitment to find and lead your tribe. The results will speak for themselves.
Talk to me: Any fellow TED Talk addicts out there? What’s your favorite?