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How many ways can you tell YOUR story?

When it comes to distinguishing your business or organization, nothing is more important than telling your story. Whether you're mingling with potential donors at a cocktail hour, planted at your keyboard writing Tweets and Facebook posts, or all spiffed up for an important commercial shoot, you need to be able to tell your story.


Twenty years ago, before the Internet became what it is today, businesses competed tooth and nail for the public relations spotlight. Magazines, newspapers and television coverage were critical, as customers relied on traditional mass mediums to consume stories.


Ten years ago, having your own website was the new preqrequisite. Customers flocked to businesses' websites for the stories about the products and services they needed and wanted.


Over the last 10 years, social media has completely changed the way customers interact with businesses. Ten years ago, businesses literally could not have their own Facebook pages; today, it's difficult to imagine a business without one. Facebook recently announced that in late August, more than one billion people used Facebook in one day.


At one point, Facebook felt like the be-all, end-all of social media. Businesses with a solid Facebook presence win; businesses without one, lose.


But as a wise man once sang, "The times ... they are a changin.'"


Without a doubt, attracting television coverage is important. Without a doubt, having a good website is key. Without a doubt, you (probably) need a great Facebook page.


But your audience no longer just reads Consumer Reports. Your audience no longer just surfs the web. And your audience definitely doesn't just hang out on Facebook.


Video is not the wave of the future -- it is right now.


YouTube has long been a popular channel for long-form videos. In 2013, Instagram added video capabilities, and recently, Twitter introduced the ability to record 30-second clips right to the platform.


That's far from all. Vine is a popular platform that pushes the limits even further: every video is just 6 seconds or less. SnapChat is best known as a 1-to-1 messenger app, but the "My Story" feature lets you record infinite videos -- as long as each segment is 10 seconds or less.


And, if all that wasn't enough, 2015 has been the year of LIVE video. Meerkat and Periscope are the two juggernauts, each serving essentially the same purpose, with some different bells and whistles. (Personally, I prefer Meerkat, but there are clear advantages to each platform.)


You can, of course, preserve these live videos -- "Katch," if you will -- for future use, as I did with the clips you see embedded here.


The hottest platform right now, however, is -- a Google Hangouts-like video arena where up to four users can chat live with one another at one time. (Unfortunately, you can't yet embed a Blab, but I did record one here.)


In the summer of 2015, I went to great lengths -- literally and figuratively -- to tell my story, around the United States. Today, I shared the #HowManyWays tale ten ways on 9 platforms.


Now, I want to help your business tell YOUR story. Perhaps not all of these platforms are for you. Or perhaps there are other platforms you want to use to tell your story. (Pinterest pins? Swarm check-in rewards? Waze locations? Foursquare tips?)


No two stories are the same, but it's crucial that your brand understand the differences between each platform and carefully consider why or why not each one is right for you.


With nearly ten years of storytelling experience, I can help your brand tell its story. Contact me today.


- @ChrisStrub

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