SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS HAVE POLARISED/ UNITED OUR WORLD

While in the midst of a worsening pandemic in India I am seeing the worst side and the best side of social media.

In our school alumni group I found there is very strong polarisation for and against political points of views.

This is true globally we saw the same recently in the US . We see different flavours of the same across the world.

The problem gets bad when positions are so strongly held that each is not able to see the other side of the story that the situation reaches a breaking point in long relationships.

And it gets worse with manufactured truth to fit ones world view . The fallout is violence as we saw at the Capitol Hill , it could sow distrust in communities and groups with opposing view points.

Every hour the trends on Twitter change based on the two view points , further adding to bitterness and division.

The hate created is so deep that it has forced platforms to ban certain handles from using their platforms for good.

Is social media responsible for dividing our world?

I remember a time in our early childhood when there was no social media there was lesser polarisation , friendships were not so bitter.

Then again I have not seen any better example of how social media is being used in the worst time during the current pandemic where ordinary people are seeking help and are getting helped by strangers .

Twitter , WhatsApp, Facebook have become a way to reach out and ask for help real time , people who need oxygen or a bed in a hospital or medicines turn to social media.

And they get helped by complete strangers !

Few celebrities have leveraged their social presence to amplify the message of those in need.

Many are using social media to raise funds for oxygen cylinders and concentrator. So many lives have been saved because of social media.

Social media is a double edged sword on the one hand it can divide us as a society on the other hand it can unite the world for good.

Unfortunately politics plays a role , fake news can be easily spread to divide for motives. Those on the edge can be converted with constant visual content.

Interestingly platform algorithms show you more of what you want to see . That is how AI and ML gets smarter. The ultimate objective is to hook you to the platform , to get you spend more time on the platform.

How can we stop hate being spread through social media platforms ? Is there a way out ?

Has social media become a Frankenstein monster that is now difficult to control?

There are no easy answers , there are powerful vested interests.

I would yet say there is enough good about social media which is why it needs to exist . It brings people together, it connects people and hearts .

It is the one thing that has kept us sane in prolonged periods of lockdown.

It is for us the users of social media to keep the balance on the side of good , on the side of humanity and guard against hate and spread love and compassion.

WHEN THERE IS GLOOM, CAN A STORY SPARK HOPE

It was this very question that got me to start Heroes of India YouTube channel.

Global pandemic had been announced.

The world was locked down.

There was uncertainty, gloom.

The storyteller in me wanted to change the narrative.

With stories of hope , of real heroes.

Those who did not walk away.

Those who chose to make a real difference in our world.

I wanted to tell these stories through short films.

Even if I could inspire a few or get a few to support their work.

I would be happy.

But I had no budgets , no experience, no team and it was lockdown.

Excuses.

I used the Nike slogan ‘Just do it’.

I wrote a few mails , support poured in.

The team happened.

The team took on the challenge.

Today we have made 12 short films on YouTube.

Do you believe that the narratives we tell define our life ?

Do you believe the world needs stories of hope?

Do you want to be part of this movement?

If yes, Join me in spreading the stories of good.

Can you help us cross the one thousand subscribers milestone?

Subscribe to https://lnkd.in/dhvZuxP

Are you a content writer, video editor, digital marketeer ?

You can join as volunteer.

Drop me a mail at sanjay@crowtales.in

WHEN EVERYONE IS SELLING , TELL A STORY

We get on any social media platform and we find it filled with Advertising.

Everyone seems to be selling something.

We are identified by various data points stored on us by the platform, maybe thousands , some even we may not be aware of.

The trail we leave behind on the digital world is monitored.

Algorithms try figure out what we are most likely to buy.

And the advertisements show up on our feeds.

This is interruption . We switch off.

We don’t come to social media to buy. We come because of our reasons.

It gets irritating, annoying at times .

Like a street Bazar with many stalls each of them tries to grab our attention.

Except we did not plan to come to a Bazar.

Grabbing Attention is critical , there are so many advertisements that throw up .

The algorithms and machine learning are always learning to read our minds.

“What are we most likely to buy” is the key question being asked by the platform.

This is their monetisation model . Nothing comes for free .

The term digital marketeers use is performance marketing. Digital Marketing that drives business and can be measured.

Interruption marketing has now moved from physical to digital world.

The conflict is consumers have a different reason to visit social media platforms .

They visit social media platforms to learn , to get entertained , to get information , to participate in connected communities , to build and be part of tribes.

With the smartphone in hand consumers set the agenda .

The control has moved from the advertisers and sellers to consumers.

Stories are consumed because they are entertaining, they inspire .

Humans are naturally wired to listen to stories, share stories.

Good stories are shared.

Video content is 80% of the traffic on digital.

Visual stories stand out .

Brands need to learn , stop selling and tell stories. Stop interrupting and focus on entertaining .

Because the control has shifted and consumers switch off from interruption.

Real stories well told , inspire, build trust, touch the heart.

Most important, when data is forgotten in minutes, stories are remembered over the years.

Future of marketing is Storytelling in the Digital world.

Every Brand has a story,

Every Organisation has a story ,

Every Cause has a story,

Every Startup has a story,

Every Leader has a story,

Every Employee has a story ,

Every Client has a story ,

Every Beneficiary has a story,

Every Tribe has a story,

Every culture has a story.

Dig deep an you will find each one of us has a story and our stories are common.

As humans our desires and fears are similar.

From ‘Here’ to ‘There’ is the most powerful story ever told.

Stories well told can inspire action , build tribes.

Stop selling, start storytelling.

In the Digital world we are the stories we tell.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder at http://www.CrowTales.in

Brand Storytellers

EVERY ORGANISATION HAS MANY STORIES , TELL YOUR STORIES

Organisation cultures are built around stories,
founders have stories,
organisations have stories,
employees have stories,
clients have stories
communities you work in have stories,
there are stories around work you do , impact you make in the world.

Tell your stories , because stories cut through communication clutter , stories touch hearts , stories are remembered and stories are passed on .

Stories mean business.
Organisations don’t buy , people buy and people buy stories they connect with .

Leaders tell stories, stories that inspire change , start a movement.

In the digital world, you control the stories you tell , no intermediaries ,no barriers ,you can reach your stories without filters to your tribes across the world .

You can build , engage and convert your tribes with stories you tell .

In a world that has just witnessed a once in a century event of the pandemic. There is a nervous uncertainty. Brands have a role to play in healing , comforting and being responsible.

It is time for organisations and brands to tell stories of a better future, for the people , for the community, for our planet.

Let us tell stories of hope , stories of love , stories of compassion, stories that inspire change , stories that make a difference.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Storyteller , #passionproject

Founder , Crow Tales , Heroes of India

http://www.CrowTales.in

BUILD YOUR TRIBE

One man or a woman can change the world , begin a movement , build a tribe . Begin Now !

You have an ‘idea’ , ‘product’ or a ’cause’ you are passionate about , ask the next question who is your tribe ? In the 1980’s Beatles created a different kind of counterculture music rooted in skiffle , beat and 1950’s rock and roll , their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop. The group revolutionised many aspects of music industry and were often publicised leaders of the era’s youth and sociocultural movement .

They changed the game and built their tribe , rather the tribe already existed , the youth who believed in counterculture , they provided the leadership to connect the tribe with different kind of music.

Facebook recently launched its Facebook shop to help small businesses to set up their digital stores and get found on social media . I had an idea on similar lines a few years back ,as a Co-Founder of a digital payments startup I built a social commerce platform on top of the digital payments solution , it was an end-to end solution from setting up a digital store to checkouts and digital payments . The idea was as simple as click-share-sell .

One of the first customers to the platform was Nainital Bikers , who as the name suggests was into bike rental business in Nainital a scenic tourist location . He had a big challenge of getting travellers to book his bikes and make the payment before they travelled , many times they would call and book the bike but then if they did not travel , he would end up making a loss of day in and rental revenue . He came to know of our service through a story we had shared on Facebook. Nainital Bikers was the representative of our tribe , small business owners across small towns of India who wanted to expand beyond their geography and were looking for an end to end solution to quickly put up their online store and get bookings and payments online . The tribe for the solution we were building was out there we had to reach them .

Know the persona of your tribe

One of my clients is in healthcare , I spent a lot of time initially meeting the existing customers , listening to their stories , understanding their pain point and more importantly observing things they said and also did not say . This is one of the qualities I learnt early in my career as a marketeer and it ‘Empathy’ , I would get into the shoes of my clients and feel their pain .I have been told I am highly anecdotal , I gather stories . I feel this is an important trait for anyone in marketing or for that matter in business , one needs to have the ability of keen observation and story listening.

Even if you are leading a cause you have your tribe , those that believe in your cause . PAWS is a small charity organisation run by Nilesh Bange, he runs his NGO with volunteers from campuses , he does this by reaching out to those who have soft corner for animals , similarly he has managed to get celebrities who care for animals associate with his cause . He does not have big budgets but he is very smart with identifying his tribe and connecting them with his cause.

Know who is not your tribe

One of the biggest mistakes businesses do is include everyone into their definition of tribe . Coming back to the example of the healthcare client it was clear that our tribe needed to be well educated as some of the concepts covered in the program that needed to be followed required deeper understanding of the principles, so we dropped those who did not meet the qualifier as our tribe. We would have wasted marketing effort on someone who would finally not pick up the service and if they did , would not be a satisfied clients.

For Nilesh who runs PAWS it would be wasted effort to try and enrol those who are passionate about the cause of environment or children education , he would rather focus on engaging his crowd of animal lovers.

Focus

Your business cannot be everything to everybody , it is highly inefficient , yet initially it seems difficult to say no and this can be one big mistake that gets you off track in building your tribe . Yet this is the most important thing to do , stay focused. The healthcare client I worked with did this thing brilliant right, they focused on the diabetes segment and worked on constant innovation and improvements in supporting lifestyle changes and medical support to patients , though the end result was also weight loss for many and that too is a big segment , the focus was never lost , it stayed sharply focused on diabetes. This allowed the team to master a narrow niche and carve out brand reputation as being experts .

Also the client had multiple programs aimed for the same segment this too was streamlined . What do you stand for and what you offer has to be a narrow focus. This also allows for sharper communication and targeting on social media.

There is a temptation to keep adding the list of services , this defuses the idea of a tribe. Also it does not help build sharp mastery of the subject.

Add value

In the passion economy your passion is the value you add and you need to be good at your game . If you are not adding value , you are not valuable. Your passion must add value to your tribe for you to build your tribe. The Doctor I work with in healthcare is passionate for getting patients off medicines by following a healthy lifestyle and he puts out a lot of valuable educational content free on his YouTube channel. Few of my friends are passionate life coaches who freely share knowledge that would help their tribe and they have been doing this for years . One of them has built a strong following on Linkedin, one of them who is in fitness has built good number of fans on Instagram.

From a sales perspective this could be seen as a funnel , starting with free offer , leading to small paid trial and then subscription or purchase .

How would this work for a cause ? There seems an imbalance between the giver an receiver as if the giver is on a higher pedestal , but if you connect with those who identify with your cause the engagement adds value to their soul. they want to be associated with the cause as it nurtures them . I have also found that volunteering for a cause develops leadership skills in people . If you ever face depression or anxiety one of the best ways to find perspective is to engage with those that are going through challenge , the experience can change you.

1000 Raving fans

There is another model one can work on and that is of 1000 raving fans. If you have been regularly adding value you could build 1000 raving fans , this is not an exact number but it gives you a order of magnitude . You don’t need millions of followers to succeed at what you do, it is fine to build a tribe of 1000 raving fans . This is a different way to build business , you need to work more deeply and add value to 1000 individuals. It is these 1000 fans who could subscribe to your service paying a substantial fees worth your time or become your core volunteers to spread your idea . But be sure these are fans who you engage and add deeper value.

Spiritual tribes understand this well , there is an inner circle , those that are close to the Guru , the students who believe it is their duty to spread the word .I had seen some employees in organisations I worked in give up their comfortable jobs and careers to support such spiritual tribes , they were completely convinced about the work and became champions for the teachings and adding tribe members.

Be Authentic

Your differentiator is you , if you are in a crowded market place where there are hundreds who offer the service you offer , you need to be authentic and find your niche . Don’t try to copy , build your style , do something that is different , that is you , that comes from your passion , find your unique niche . Don’t chase money , chase your passion , add value , be authentic , build your niche, money will follow.

One Man can change the world

So can a woman , a tribe is a movement , the movement could be getting people live a healthier lifestyle , listen to a different kind of music , run marathons after 60 , live an abundant life , drop materialism and simplify life with minimalism, become financially free with value investing , make everyday giving an habit , volunteer to teach , live their passion .

Don’t chase money add value to your tribe every day. You need to be persistent, tribes are not built overnight , you need to be out there consistently adding value , learning , improving , making a difference to your tribe.

Yes , one man or a woman can change the world , begin a movement , build a tribe . Begin Now !

#passionproject

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject is an idea to share my over three decades of marketing experience and work with some of the most passionate business and social sector leaders to help ignite and passion in individuals , businesses , and causes. I believe in the idea that “you are the creator and creation is within you”.