It’s not a secret that a lot of social media is an emulation of others, and it’s usually shoving down the same information. However, there are ways to make your content unique and attract the right attention.
Since we’re in Nashville, we’ll say the same thing that the experts say about songwriting: People love a story. A story has substance and emotion, and the ability to make a real human connection. So it’s no wonder that the storytelling approach in marketing is guaranteed to etch your brand in your audiences’ minds as well.
Hands down, storytelling is one of the most captivating ways to convey your messages and information. If you’re wondering how to tell a story on social media, you should know that it’s going to take some work. It will take creating engaging pieces of content that make people loyal followers.
But we’re guessing that you don’t shy from hard work, right? Great, because neither do we. Alright, so without further ado, let’s talk about…
How to Tell a Story on Social Media
Are you a book lover? Well, if you are, then you’re probably continually on the search for new books. Maybe you comb through the aisles of the book stores (yes, they still exist) or you simply go off of the current best sellers list.
But then there’s always the favorite authors who you’re faithful to, and never hesitate to buy from. These are the authors who have already captiaved your interest and attention. There may be several reasons as to why they’ve earned your loyalty, but when it comes down to it, it’s simply that they tell you good stories.
By now you may be wondering, what defines storytelling? Contrary to what you may think, it’s more than just the act of telling a story through words. In fact, that’s just one side of it.
The way that we like to think of storytelling is the process of using narratives and facts to communicate and convey messages to the audience. Stories are revealed through many techniques, including words and actions… maybe even a little bit of embellishment.
Our favorite side of this? Stories encourage the audience’s imagination and involve a two-way interaction! Down the road, this will be huge for your social media marketing and engagement efforts – which leads us to our next point.
What Exactly is Social Media Storytelling?
These days, stories come in forms far beyond what you see in books or movies. Now it’s online, and in a big way. We’re not kidding when we say that some diehard social media consumers could probably cancel their television subscriptions and easily be entertained by the constant flow of social content alone.
Take for example someone who posts status on Facebook about how he became a successful entrepreneur. Or a singer/songwriter unfolds the story behind their latest song in a video Youtube. These are both cases of great, compelling storytelling. To be exact, they’re social media storytelling.
In short, social media storytelling is the process of using social media platforms to tell stories about your business, brand, products, music or whatever it is to captivate your audience.
Let us be perfectly clear when we say that storytelling on social media is just another tactic to sell products or services. Instead, it actually enables you to expose your brand to your audience, and allows you to tell them what it’s all about.
Social Media Storytelling Is Not Superficial
As we learned in school, stories have a beginning, middle, and an end with typically some kind of climax or conflict. On top of this, a story will typically convey some sort of lesson, belief, thought, or philosophy. Believe it or not, storytelling in social media marketing is not an exception.
It’s been said that social media should be 30% sell, and 70% everything else. The reason being is if you tell stories only to sell something, they will be more likely to be pushy promotions and come off as slick sales messages. These are just boring hacks that usually don’t strike a chord with the audience, and they fail to engrave any special impression on their minds.
Why Is Social Media Storytelling Important?
A true and meaningful connection with other people is one of the highest forms of communication, and good storytelling is the key to doing it. Think about it. When you tell a story and the person is engaged in it, you two are in total sync with each other. It’s pretty cool, right?
You could say that storytelling is the trigger of communication- that’s why it’s so powerful. Storytelling truly has psychological superpowers, which is what makes it such a powerful marketing tool.
So how do you tell a story on social media, anyway?
We’ve rambled on long enough, and by now you’re probably wondering how you can create good stories on social media that are the biggest playground for trendspotters? We’ve got you.
Here are just some of the key ways to become a real storyteller on the four leading social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Storytelling on Facebook
One beautiful thing with Facebook is that it doesn’t limit the number of words on a post. You can write an in-depth story if you want to.
This works well if you want to captivate audiences with incredible stories instead of just promoting a new product or driving traffic to another site.
Storytelling on Instagram
If you’re anything like me, you learn visually. This is where Instagram comes into play. You can Be a visual storyteller by making a visually appealing Instagram profile, and portraying an exciting story simultaneously.
Storytelling on Twitter
It’s always a smart idea to have your own hashtag that spreads your businesses or brand’s story. Doing this will enable you to collect other people’s stories in your community.
Just make sure that your audience understands the purpose of the hashtags you’re using. Your hashtag doesn’t have to be always trending as long as you use hashtags effectively with proper planning in your social media marketing efforts.
Storytelling on YouTube
It’s reported that at least 85% of internet users in the US watch video content monthly. It’s no wonder that video is the future of marketing. Video easily captures people’s attention more than text content.
You can simply start with a series of videos about your company, customers, employees- or whatever content that you think will be interesting enough for viewers.
Remember that your videos don’t need to be too long- in fact, shorter videos perform better (blame short attention spans). Just be sure to keep them high-quality.
How to Optimize Your Social Media Storytelling
Okay, now that you understand the importance of social media storytelling and how to pull it off, let’s talk about some of the best storytelling tips and practices you should adopt for a campaign.
Know Your Audience
Hey, do you know who your audience actually is? We’re serious. If you don’t, that’s okay, but you’re going to want to figure out. You’ll want to know who you’re engaging with so you can create a compelling story. You can figure this out with a simple manual or online automated audit.
Write as a Writer
It’s okay if you have little or no background or experience in writing- you can still create a storyline that everyone would want to read.
If you would rather not work with a professional copywriter, all you really need to do is write creative, intriguing and unique stories to simply arouse a sense of curiosity in your audience.
One Tip: In an effort to keep your audience engaged, try hadding an exciting headline or cliffhanger to your title. We’re not talking about clickbait – that’s a cheap trick. All we’re suggesting is that you ensure your audience will want to read the story, and keep coming back for me.
Make Your Story Meaningful
An interesting story is nice and it might be enough for audiences to hit the “like” button, but what makes them more inclined to engage and take action? The answer is that it’s a meaningful story.
You see, when you tell a story that is deeply meaningful to the audience, it will provoke their emotions and build a stronger connection with you and your brand.
So, before even begin to develop your story, figure out what is meaningful to YOU and YOUR audience.
Besides keeping your social media content engaging and entertaining, you also want to add value to your audience- this is how they recognize your worth.
Be Relatable and Approachable
You want to make the audience feel involved and connected with your stories, and palpably see them as a part of it. That said, you should create content that they can relate to. You should also communicate with them on social media, update regularly, and share THEIR stories- not only yours.
Utilize the Stories Option on Social Media
On social media, you shouldn’t shy away from the stories option to show sneak peeks of your everyday life hustle – people actually want to know, and it’s a quick and easy way for them to get a sneak peak!
If they like the content you’re posting up in your stories, they’re more likely to engage in your regular, longer posts and stick around for the long haul.
And Your Social Media Lived Happily Ever After
Storytelling has always been and will always be an art. It goes far beyond that piece of paper with a beginning, middle, and end. There’s so much more. The world is truly your oyster, wso many innovative platforms, and mediums for you to create unforgettable stories.
So, get to storytelling so your social media can live happily ever after.