S4E3: Michael Stelzner, Social Media Examiner (#46)

Storytelling with Social Media Marketing World Founder Michael Stelzner

As we explore storytelling in social media, we get to hear from the founder of Social Media Examiner, author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers, and the man behind Social Media Marketing World–the industry’s largest conference. He’s also host of the Social Media Marketing podcast, founder of the Social Media Marketing Society, and the central character in The Journey, an episodic documentary. 

Michael Stelzner lives and breathes storytelling and social media. While we explore his story, we dig some interesting nuggets about social media and how it affects storytellers today.

“If you think about this industry of social media and how young it is, it’s just 10 years old… so what you have is a lot of people who, around 2008 when it really started blowing up, were out of work. They started realizing they could make a career out of interacting with people on the internet. That was shocking to them!” - Michael Stelzner on the career jumpstarts in social media

Using new tools to tell a story

Michael discovered something in recent years as he saw entertainment changing. He realized that the story behind Social Media Marketing World and the team that puts it together could be interesting to the public. We like the behind-the-scenes stories of teams and their struggles & successes.

Of course, some stories can’t be told just through a few tweets or Instagram posts. Michael took to the screen for this story. The team recorded their lives for a new internet show, the Journey. For Michael, it’s a new way to stretch himself and reach new people, introducing SMMW to a new audience.

“I was on stage in front of 4200 people and talked about The Journey. I asked how many people watched, and about 1/3 of them raised their hands. That’s proof that something like this actually works.” - Michael Stelzner on the power of The Journey

Social media: Good or Evil?

There’s a push in the world that social media has harmed people, democracy, the legitimacy of a free press and more. With this idea, it’s natural to ask if social media is good or evil. Michael points out a great perspective: just like any object, this tool can be used to highlight good even while some may use it for more nefarious reasons.

Michael’s example is a woman who’s become a subject matter expert in the field of dog walking. Through social media, she’s been able to build her personal brand while connecting with like-minded individuals to build a positive community.

“It’s just that it’s easier for these messages to disseminate. I don’t think they’re evil or good, but I think that … in the end, the most important part is allowing people to gather around common interests.” - Michael Stelzner on the power of community

Connect with Michael:

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