Why social media loves personal stories
Personal brands are popular on social media platforms—especially Twitter and LinkedIn—because of the power of stories. The more fascinating the stories, the more likable the storytellers.
Why is it that we don't remember the stats that brands throw at us, but we can regale ancient childhood stories in rich detail? It's because evolution has primed us to sit around a bonfire and share fascinating fables along with loaves of smoked rabbit meat.
A few years ago, I heard Dr. A J Minai lay this out really beautifully in a podcast interview:
The old Gillette TV ads used to show a super-imposed rendition of its cutting-edge blades and their flawless precision. But Gillette doesn’t harp on that anymore.
One of its recent ads shows a kid who grows up seeing his dad shave. Years later, the son takes on the duty to help his dad shave because the old man has now grown frail. It’s a sublime reminder that Gillette is "the best a man can get."
Storytelling is even more important in today's desensitized world when everything around us is one-touch, machine-driven, and automated. We are sentient beings. We sign-up for triathlons, meditation camps, and digital detox because we crave strong emotions.
We don’t want to know about a machine's steely powers or a software's AI prowess. We want to hear stories that reinforce our humanity.