Before I get too deep into this, I want to give you a little background on myself. I was an Art major in college, but if I’d had the time I could have had two other majors: Sociology, and Philosophy. What I’m about to share with you is a perspective based on those two disciplines.
People assemble themselves into groups. We know this.
Humans do it for two reasons, broadly speaking. They share an intangible connection, like feelings, beliefs, or states of mind. Alternately, they share an external connection, like work, location, or some sort of activity. Hold this thought.
From a philosophical standpoint, there’s another behavior that human beings share (thank you Joseph Campbell): we are storytellers. We have been creating stories and sharing them since we were painting on the walls of caves. The modern business world knows it, too. This is how advertising works. Hold that thought.
Social media is nothing new. Why? Because we’ve been doing it since we were painting on cave walls.
Human beings group together and share information, stories, regardless of time and place. I don’t believe anyone will argue with me on that point.
Social media is a powerful one-two punch in our primal behavior patterns. It gives people a place to gather for internal and external (Sociology) reasons, and it offers us the opportunity to share and tell stories (Philosophy, Joseph Campbell). We can’t ignore these connection points, because they’re part of our essential human experience.
Now take a look at what messages primitive people sent one another through their social networks. Cave paintings, we believe, were instructions, entertainment, or a form of reporting. Stories they told one another around the fire pit were news, heroic tales or theories about why the world works like it does (we’d call these myths), and instructions for how to live.
The best social media experiences, in the modern world, use the same topics to reach the audience: news, stories, and instructions.
Consider how you connect with your audience. Are you talking to the primitive human in everyone, or are you using a hard pitch that can easily be ignored?
Remember, social media is nothing new. Modern technology merely increases the speed and reach of human interactions. Our hearts still resonate to the same things our ancestors’ did.