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February 19, 2014 @ 12:00 am
If you talk to Laura Gallagher or connect with her online, be prepared to be entertained. Laura is a story teller. In person, online, it doesn’t matter. When Laura communicates, she tells stories.
And that, she will share, is the key to successful social media: Be human. Tell great stories.
“I am here today to share with you the power of a great story,” she told participants Wednesday (February 19, 2014) at the Social Media Breakfast at CUNA Mutual Insurance Group facility on the West Side of Madison. “I am a writer and I understand the power of putting story elements into what you are writing.”
Laura knows. She founded The Creative Company in 1989 as a senior in college. At first it was a simple public relations firm but over the years it evolved.
“Five years ago I had an epiphany,” she said. “I grew the business but I wasn’t very happy because I am a writer. So I rewrote the business plan and jumped on social media very strong.” Today, The Creative Company also provides email marketing, website design, social media and events, all while focusing on “building community” around brands.
No matter the medium, she said, “We are all about user engagement.”
“I always try to think of a person when I am posting.”
So what are the key elements to a great story? Laura was not only willing but anxious to share:
- A strong theme
- A fascinating plot
- Unforgettable characters
- A well-chosen setting
- An appealing style.
Before you post, she said, ask yourself, Will what I am about to post:
- Create engagement?
- Make the audience smarter?
- Look out for the interests of my audience?
- Be convenient and easy to access?
- Give readers something to talk about?
Laura shared insight into a variety of individuals and businesses that are meeting those standards, ranging from Madison businessman Tim Metcalfe to Tom’s Shoes to Moosejaw Mountaineering, to LawnBott, and more. In each case, she said, they connect with people, tell stories, show their human side, and incorporate humor into their social media interactions.
Telling stories is fun, but it’s important to keep it fresh, she said. “I think the best stories are always changing. Rework it every once in a while. Make sure it’s not getting stale.”