Social Media Breakfast Madison

neelsonsDavid Neelsen and Michael Neelsen from the Madison-based StoryFirst Media have a very clear vision of how brands can best connect with their audiences: Tell a Story.

It sounds simple, and in many ways it is. But in the daily world of business we sometimes overlook the obvious: People want to hear stories, and they want to feel the emotion of personal stories.

Stories give meaning to facts and create relationships between audiences and brands – whether the brand is a company, an event or a cause. Stories can be told through social media, in books, in person, or in video, which is the specialty of StoryFirst Media, producers of “Last Day at Lambeau.”

In telling compelling stories, being factual and authentic is of utmost importance. You can’t just say you’re authentic, “you have to back it up.” The stories you tell must build a personal connection and a trust with your audience, and that leads to relationships. And storytelling is not just a one-way stream; listening to and acknowledging and interacting with your audience is just as important.

Here are some of the key points that David and Michael Neelsen made:

“It’s not about what you want to say, it’s about listening to and acknowledging your audience.”

Quoting author, speaker and consultant Annette Simmons, “Your stories will not influence others unless they see you living the stories you tell.

“Storytelling can be contained in a two-minute web video or the lifespan of a 100-year-old business.”

“What storytelling does best is give meaning to facts, events, emotions, tasks, relationships, causes … everything.”

“Storytelling gives meaning to life.”

The Neelsens covered three basic types of brand stories: the Timeline, the Gift and the Soul. In all of them, they stressed that while storytelling helps forge relationships, it is your actions as a brand that will determine whether that story connects with your audience, and whether you successfully build a relationship of trust.

“We are not ‘businesses’ connecting with ‘consumers,’ Michael Neelsen said. “We are people connecting with people.”

Couldn’t Attend? Check out the YouTube video recording by geekazine.

Make sure to show your appreciation to our sponsors who keep this a quality event with fantastic food at terrific venues (and did we mention for no charge to you?!):

Location:  Madison Marriott West Hotel and Conference Center

Sponsors:  American Family Insurance  Charter Business,  smart imagegeekazinepc/nametagSuttle-StrausDiditDirectMelissa Carlson CreativeReinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

Written by Bill Hurley, (@billhurleymedia / billhurleymedia.com / beachmaniac.com) editor, writer, social media strategist, digital publisher. BillHurleyMail@gmail.com.