Sticky Stories and Social Media

Humans are drawn to stories. We listen more intensely when we’re told them, and we remember them much longer. Yet every day I get on my Facebook feed, and I see the same predictable post from my musician friends: check out my page! Like it! GO AHEAD, LIKE IT!! PLEASE!!!!!!! 


(Editor’s note: perhaps the caps lock is a bit of hyperbole).


Why do they think this is going to work? We’ll sit there, calmly sipping our lattes, and scroll on to something interesting. If my musician friends embraced stories, it would completely change their online reach. 


This last week I ran a little social experiment: I posted three very similar pictures of the gear I was using at a show. I put the caption of one them as “another night of recording” and the second one I wrote a short blurb about how my piano broke in the studio, and we had to rewire a keyboard to my laptop to cover the session. Big surprise: the picture with the story got 4 times the number of likes. 


We’ve got to flip the way we post. We’ve got to become the story tellers, the water-cooler blurbers that can weave a tale worth listening to and engage an audience in a few seconds. In a world of staggering information overload, the only thing that you ultimately have that is uniquely you is your story.