Storytelling on Social – Why and How To

Storytelling on Social – Why and How To

By Liam Foy

So let’s start at the why…

Why should you be story telling through your social channels?

As you’re probably aware (some of you might not be), the game has changed over the last few months. The focus on social media has shifted massively towards ‘story telling’ due to the way people consume media. No longer are sales being constantly pushed down their throat through ‘traditional’ media (TV, newspapers etc.), instead they have the chance to interact with their beloved brands and share why they love them. Essentially we no longer control the customer, they control us. The customer dictates what they want to see, what they share and how they see it. So we need to be at the forefront of the customer’s mind and start tapping away to see what they really want from “us” as brands.

Why do people share?

There’s 7 main factors why people are sharing.

Seven reasons why people share content - mycleveragency

So if you’re thinking of a content refresh or even just your every day posts for your brand, ask yourself this; Does this add value? Do you think it’ll entertain your audience? Is it sharable? If your answer to these three questions is YES, then get posting. However, if it’s not take a step back and think about how you can change the “no” to a “yes”. So I’ve taken a brief look into why you need to story tell, not for the implementation.

How To Tell Your Brand’s Story:

1. Visual Story Telling

Nicholas Cage & mycleveragency GIF

This caught your attention right? Probably because of Nicholas Cage….

Well the obvious old classic statement of “a picture tells a thousand words” seems a good starting point. Clichés are usually clichés for a reason. Think about scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, tumblr…what catches your attention? Yeah, that’s right – the awesome visual be it a static image, video or GIF. However, what does visual storytelling actually mean? What is it? R. Kanten explains it in a clear fashion, visual storytelling is the visualisation of  “information in the most elegant, entertaining and informative ways”

2. Your History

Disney Pixar - Marketing - mycleveragency

You may not have 30, 40, 50, 100 years of history but your brand has its own version of history. Why not showcase it, show people how you’ve got to where you are and the people behind the brand that they love so much. Positive nostalgia fosters a true emotional connection between your fans and yourself. Reflecting on your brand’s history brings a whole new dimension to your story.

Optimise your history for the platforms that you use. Using tumblr, well make your history short and sweet (even GIF form).

Or use the Pixar Pitch by Emma Coast, story artist at Pixar, which looks like this:

“Once upon a time there was…… . Every day……. . One day…… . Because of that…… . Because of that…… .Until finally…… .”

Using this little step-by-step guide can help you to form a storyline and tell the story of your business.

3. Keep it simple

Okay, I know it’s a little bit of a buzzword at the moment but your fans are snapping away on Twitter, Instagram and Vine…go find those golden nuggets that you think are worth sharing and grab your followers’ attention, jump on the bandwagon and start filming! Oh, wait, don’t just film for the sake of filming, make sure you have a good idea and that it fits in with your brand message, resulting in 6 or 15 seconds of quality content!

4. Appeal to positive emotions 3016874-inline-elf-smile Try to keep your fans’ spirits up – make them laugh, inspire them, or offer something original they can think about and share with their friends (online and offline). According to research, we are the happiest in the mornings, yeah, I know… weird, but it makes sense when you think about it. You just got up, even though you might be tired, it’s a fresh start and nothing (in general) has happened that could have dampened your mood…yet. Therefore, if you keep this in mind when planning and scheduling your posts, you might be able to keep your consumers’ spirits high (or “high-ish”) throughout the day – and what is better than a happy customer?!

5. Focus on the consumer, not your brand

Always ask yourself who your target audience is and re-remind yourself of it, because let’s face it, we are only human, we do forget things. Furthermore, your audience and their incentive might vary from platform to platform, so keep that in mind too.

Pinterest for example, has a stronger female following and it reaches its peak in the evening, once everyone has finished work and is relaxing on the sofa in front of the TV. Here, they often spend hours scrolling and pinning ideas for their next purchase or D.I.Y. project to their boards. Whereas on Facebook, the same individuals are looking for something different all together. Here, their main goal is to connect and interact with friends or brands and keep up to date with what’s going on (often whilst being on the move or when they have a few minutes to spare).

Don’t bombard your fans with hundreds of ads and fill up their feed with your posts that only say ‘how great your brand is’. This will just annoy them, which will consequently harm your brand image and the way your business is being perceived.

I am not suggesting that you don’t promote your business and what you have to offer, not at all, more the opposite in fact, it’s very important that you do, because what’s the point in investing all that time otherwise. Just try to be creative with your posts and make them relevant. You might want to sit back and observe for a little bit and then, once your audience has given you a direction of their current state of mind, jump in with a targeted post and grab their attention.

As an ending note, I think this is the greatest story ever told….(nope it’s not the Bible). What’s yours???

This post was written by Liam Foy

As a Senior Engagement Manager, Liam co-ordinates with our clients to develop strategy, build brand awareness, manage communities and implement social media campaigns to a high specification.