Rent or own?

Rent or own?

Rent or own?

Rent or own? 366 222 Shlomi Ron

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about…

“social media?”

A quick scan of your bag of experiences is maybe bringing up memorable moments of viral posts. Or your journey building up an impressive following size — maybe even being part of those coveted “social unicorns” boasting their blue check icon.

The word may also bring up frustrations, general fatigue, and the latest wave of negative news about social media pitfalls in protecting privacy and misinformation.

Twenty years in, the fierce competition among social platforms to retain audiences, meant aggressive tactics.

Innovation is scarce. So if a hot feature sticks all networks are going to copy it.

That’s what happened with Snapchat’s Stories pasted into Instagram back in 2016. Now, TikTok’s popular videos are pasted into IG’s Reels.

Earlier, it was Clubhouse audio rooms that were later pasted into Google, Facebook and Twitter. Next, stay tuned for built-in NFT marketplace to pop up on platforms later this year.

Then there are those constant algorithm changes to squeeze more ad dollars from users’ free content.

But what happens when those emotional likes, comments and followers stopped showing up because Instagram for example decided to place more importance on Reels?

Small businesses and influencers that used to base their entire livelihoods on that sweet steady stream of engagement mana to fuel their e-commerce or brand partnerships – overnight lost their traction.

What we see today is another evidence for the steep price of putting all your eggs in a rented land where you don’t control the rules.

That’s why I keep telling my clients and students, treat social media not as your place of business but as your public piazza to drive traffic to your owned media properties: Website, newsletter, app, podcast etc.

On your controlled environments you are in full control of how you want to grow your community and what role you want to give your audience in your story.

In short, if you’re still wondering should I rent or own?

Well, you know the answer. Do both, just know the difference.

Rented land – be it speaking at events, paid media, new tech – allows you to reach new audiences with the goal of driving them to your owned land.

In the process, you get to transform strangers to members and customers.

Marketing and visual storytelling in particular is designed to capture people’s attention wherever people’s current attention is parked.

By nature, it’s a moving target.

As a result, visual storytellers are uniquely positioned to be on the forefront of all the latest business models, technologies, and trends.

That’s why once you’ve built your community, you want to keep experimenting on new stages to delight audiences on as part of audience building, nurturing and healthy value exchange.

One such new stage to tell stories on that is currently getting a lot of attention is the metaverse.

It gives you a much richer canvas to tell your stories, while empowering your audience to evolve from passive consumers and follower/likes collectors to active stakeholders in your brand success.

Wondering what’s all the fuss and how you can tell immersive stories for your brand? Watch my presentation and start your own metaverse strategy!

Shlomi Ron

Shlomi Ron is the CEO of the Visual Storytelling Institute (VSI), the primary think tank that brings the gospel of visual storytelling from the world of art into marketing. A digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience working both on the agency and brand sides for Fortune 100/500 brands such as Nokia, IBM, and American Express. He started VSI to combine his marketing expertise with his passions for visual stories stemming from interests in classic Italian cinema (cafePellicola.com) and managing the estate of video art pioneer, Buky Schwartz (BukySchwartz.com). At VSI, he helps brands rise above the communication noise through visual storytelling consulting, training, and thought leadership. Select clients include La Mer, RTI International, Cable & Wireless, Pearson Education – to name a few. He currently teaches Brand Storytelling at the University of Miami’s Business School. Thought leader and speaker at key marketing conferences. He is also the host of the Visual Storytelling Today podcast, which ranks in the top 10 best business storytelling podcasts on the Web. His book: Total Acuity: Tales with Marketing Morals to Help You Create Richer Visual Brand Stories. What makes a good story? He always says "The magic happens the moment your brand story mirrors your customer’s personal story." Outside work, he is a nascent bread baker, The Moth fan, and longtime fedora wearer likely to jive with his classic Italian cinema interest.

All stories by: Shlomi Ron

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