Brian Fanzo on the importance of story
Brian Fanzo, a self-described social media geek and technology evangelist, says that your story is everything. “If you want your content to be shared out, people need to know your story,” he said. Fanzo was the keynote speaker at the annual MarkeTech Conference in Kearney last week. MarkeTech was co-sponsored by AIM and GROW Nebraska and…
Brian Fanzo, a self-described social media geek and technology evangelist, says that your story is everything.
“If you want your content to be shared out, people need to know your story,” he said.
Fanzo was the keynote speaker at the annual MarkeTech Conference in Kearney last week. MarkeTech was co-sponsored by AIM and GROW Nebraska and attended by about 175 small business owners and organizations that support them.
Fanzo’s web site is called iSocialFanz.com. “You have to think like a fan,” he said.
“Every business, every brand has fans,” he said. “And every brand has a story to tell. The story is what we care about.”
Quality story content is not so much about the what, but more about the how and especially the why.
“Sharing sales content is fine, but tell me the story,” he said. “If you’re only posting about the what, try to refocus on the how and why. That’s the game changer.”
Fanzo said the future of businesses large and small is community. And startups have a leg up on larger companies in building community.
“The distance between the CEO and the community is so much smaller in a startup than in a large enterprise,” he said. “It’s easier for them to relate to their customers’ pain points.”
Fanzo said that social media, particularly streaming video, is central to engaging and building that community.
“Engagement is the social proof that you care,” he said. “People want to know they’ve been heard.”
Fanzo was asked what is up and coming in social media.
“Video across the board,” he said. “Video is the great equalizer.”
Fanzo walks the talk. He hosts around 2,000 live video events a year across multiple channels, and set up a live Periscope stream of his keynote at MarkeTech.
“Nearly two-thirds of consumers are likely to buy a product after watching a video about it,” Fanzo said. “That number will go way higher with a live stream allowing customer interaction.”
This doesn’t mean you need to jump on every available social media channel right away.
“You have to crawl before you walk,” he said. “You don’t have to be on every channel, but you need to listen on all channels. That helps you understand where your customers will be tomorrow, while you market and sell for today.”
Fanzo also recommends repurposing a single video across multiple platforms, keeping in mind that no two social media video apps are the same.
“One of my team members will take the Periscope video of this presentation and scrub it for YouTube,” he said. “Then we’ll edit some 60-second clips for Instagram.”
With all the free social media channels available, there is a temptation to just jump in and go. But Fanzo cautions that you need a strategy.
“Real time video doesn’t mean that you don’t need a strategy,” he said. “My live streaming playbook has five steps.”
- Welcome people to the stream
- Introduce yourself to the audience
- Provide value
- Engage the community
“And then get off,” he said. “You need to be mindful of people’s time.”
Some other nuggets from Fanzo’s presentation:
- Authenticity is important. Create authenticity by not being afraid to say that you don’t know something. This adds validity to what you do
- Give your community a peek behind the scenes. What can you give them access to that they’d never be able to find?
- Perfection is impossible and nobody believes it, so why are we giving ourselves the expectation that we must create perfect content?
The bottom line is that access to people and places is greater than ever before, and it’s tempting to try and build a huge following.
“It’s not about the number of viewers or followers, it’s about conveying your message,” Fanzo said. “If you impact one person, that’s a win.”
Rod Armstrong is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for AIM in Lincoln, Nebraska. He is a regular contributor to Silicon Prairie News.
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