What’s the number one mistake most brands do in social media? They just want to talk about themselves and topics they care about. That turns out to not be the best way to create a community around your brand.

Brit Stakston took the stage this morning at the third annual Social Media Days in Oslo, Norway. She takes us through the Scandinavian evolution of social media, and passionately talks about all the challenges and possibilities this brings a brand in 2014.

One of the stories Brit shares is about Dawit Isaak, a Swedish journalist and writer who is imprisoned without a trial since 2001. She tells us that this strong and important story has been ignored for far too many years – but after a social media campaign in 2012 they finally got some traction and attention.

At one of the biggest political events in Sweden they created a to scale cell one could sit in for 15 minutes to reflect over what they spent their last 12 years on (the same amount of years Dawit had been imprisoned). They discretely also told everyone who did this about the hashtag #sittmeddawit (sit with Dawit). As more and more people started doing this, famous and powerful politicians also started participating. Usually when famous and powerful people join campaigns like this the ones behind it start getting too eager to spread their cause. They start yelling about all the people visiting, and start making noise instead of creating engagement.

Well, this is where the Dawit campaign did things right. They did no such thing, they did not tweet out – take pictures of and create spam and noise. They let their audience be the storyteller.

When brands let their audience tell their story instead of themselves – something powerful happens. It creates a stronger, more authentic and more viral story.

So always try to inspire your audience to tell the story for you. Choose topics, hashtags and platforms that people are passionate about – that they already talk about and use daily.

The story is about your audience, not your brand. That’s how you’ll be successful on social media.

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