Thomas Power has been a major influence in the digital space for decades. He sits on the board of dozens of businesses large and small. I had the opportunity to speak with him recently and asked him how businesses can optimize their activity on social media platforms, and really get their enterprise to the next level in engagement and real business.
Thomas Power: So Gary, one of the things I find fascinating about social platforms is they are actually giant computer games. Whether you look at Linked In, Twitter, or Facebook, or Snapchat, or Instagram, they are games. Whereas a lot of people see them as sales channels or marketing channels they are actually storytelling channels. And you’ve got to figure out how you want to reveal your story through your words, through your videos, through your photos, and which parts of your life you reveal to say who you are and the companies you work for.
Thomas Power: I sit on many boards as a board member and there’s bits of information I can release and bit that are confidential that I can’t release, and I have to get the right balance there. But when you start to use LinkedIn and Twitter, and Instagram and Facebook, and YouTube, and then you have conversations through WhatsApp groups. I’ve got 100 WhatsApp groups, I’ve got 100 Telegram groups. When you take the conversation down from the top into these little chat groups within WhatsApp and Telegram you realize the vast amount of conversations you have to have in order to get outcomes.
Thomas Power: Now as a result of the scale of the volume I post, which is huge. What I’ve discovered is the conversations filter from posting on multiple social platforms leads effectively what you might call offline into WhatsApp or Telegram or in a backroom in Twitter, which then leads to an outcome which affects all of the boards I sit on or all of the people I serve or teach. Learning how to do that has probably taken me about 20 years, and it is actually a game, but I never sell, I never market, I never push. I create environments where conversations create transactions, and you can only do that by telling stories, and I don’t think people know how to do storytelling on social media at board level, at a board member level yet, and the marketing people who serve them don’t know how to teach their executives how to do that. And it’s a transition and I would say I’ve only learned to be an expert at it over like 15 or 20 years.
Thomas Power: So don’t expect to get good instantly, but make sure you give the time to the storytelling, not the sales and the marketing content, which is the traditional approach, which I don’t think works at all.
Follow Thomas Power on Twitter to keep up with news and trends. He is very active in the Blockchain space at the moment, also sharing prolifically on the world of social media and digital storytelling.