Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

If you are telling other people what to post or not to post on social media: Stop!!!


February 5, 2017

Social media

Emotions run high on social media from time to time, maybe all the time. To name a few topics:

  • Politics
  • Super Bowl and other sporting events
  • Does ketchup go in the fridge or pantry?
  • Why would they say that? Fire them. Now!
  • The list goes on and people add things to it all the time. Who knew ketchup storage was worth debating?

There’s no shortage of opinions, fighting over trivial things and even fake news (aka lies) on social media. And then you have the apparent rule enforcers who tell everyone else what to post and not post. Meanwhile, for some of them, that’s all they post. Some only post to tell others what to do or when they want to digitally lynch them.

Those posts often look like this:

  • Stop posting about politics.
  • Stop posting about sports.
  • Stop posting about ketchup.
  • Stop posting about whatever.

All I can say is: Stop the telling-people-to-stop madness. Just unfollow, unfriend and sometimes block people. It’s so easy to not hear other viewpoints, it’s actually kind of scary.

For myself, I listen to many sides of many different debates. Sometimes I share my own opinions and stories. Sometimes I don’t. Bottom line is that it’s my choice. Kind of like it’s other people’s choice whether they read it, agree with it or even share it.

Related: How I decide when to block somebody on social media 

I want to keep up on so many different things, I probably have way too many notifications turned on on social media, but I want to hear what’s going on – whether I agree is irrelevant. Yes, some things are annoying to me, too. Some I wildly disagree with. But that’s life. Let’s deal with it.

As a reminder, the pillars of authentic storytelling are:

  • Live and tell your authentic stories.
  • Be accepting of other people’s stories (as long as they don’t illegally impact you, for example. Disagreement or not understanding doesn’t fit here.)

I’ve actually seen that people telling people to stop sharing discourages the advancement of people sharing their stories overall. It’s like these demanding people are putting others into their place, and some people take it. Ugh, I don’t want to deal with these naysayers all the time. You can block them, by the way, if they keep pestering. Civilly-presented opposing opinions are okay, in my opinion.

So instead of focusing on telling other people what to do or not to do, focus on our own actions and ability to share better stories. And don’t forget to consider other people’s thoughts and opinions – even if you end up disagreeing.

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Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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