Storytelling using social media has the unique ability to market ideas and products in a simple and effective way. Storytelling has always had a place in our digital marketing world, but especially so in our day of age. There are five main principles in storytelling on social media when attempting to reach global audiences in this digital era.
- Make it real
- Show us the possibilites
- Engage our senes
- Seek our participation
- Make the story timely
1. Make it real
This principle relates to the concept of telling stories about real people for a personal connection. Ask yourself, “who would my audience relate to?” Maybe they are local figures, celebrities, volunteers, etc.
2. Show us the possibilities
This principle is significant as it relates to creating stories that show the audience how they can improve their lives. When creating your story, consider what kind of benefits do people experience through using your product and/or service? How do these services make you smarter, save you money, or enrich your life?
3. Engage our senses
Vivid representations are effective in creating memorable stories for the audience. Some types of imagery used in storytelling on social media are visual, auditory, and organic.
4. Seek our participation
It is crucial to tell stories that allow your audience to contribute to the overall discussion and share their thoughts and opinions, as well as creating additional content. Participation can be encouraged through providing an easily usable platform for sharing and disucssion, creating contests and interactive games, and enable personalization and customization for the audience within the platform.
5. Make the story timely
The last principle but certainly not the least important – creating stories that are current, relevant and timely is key to attracting, entertaining and maintaining your audience. Stories can be made relevant by connecting them to specific moments in time, including a specific day, season, holiday or a current event.
Storytelling on Facebook
In 2006, Facebook was available to anyone over the age of 13 and almost immediately became the social network site of choice at the time, quickly shadowing MySpace. Facebook has since been a go-to place for sharing, including personal sharing for friends and family, as well as businesses and companies for marketing purposes. Companies utilize Facebook for significant aspects of marketing such as builiding meaningful relationships and trust with users and/or customers.
This massive social network is known and used all around the world, and this makes for an ideal place for brand exposure. It allows a business to become more connected with customers, discoverable to current and potential users/customers, timely with frequent messages and posts, and provides the company with insightful data with the use of analytics regarding customers and marketing strategies.
Visual Storytelling on Instagram
Similar to Facebook, Instagram resides as one of most used social media networks in the world.
The image below shows an example of a few accounts on Instagram who have edited their entire feed of photos so that they are in sync and in line with the brand’s personality. Acknowledging and adhering to the overall aesthetic of your brand is critical in how you present your stories to your audience.
Storytelling on Snapchat
Each social media platform has their own individual way of storytelling. For the app Snapchat, their way of allowing user to share stories is significantly unique. On Snapchat, you are not only able to tell your story with a photo or video, but you can add an endless amount of effects on the stories. These effects encourage a creative mindset for the user, acting as an inspiring element for storytelling within the app. The image provided below shows multiple examples of businesses and companies using the ability the create their own Snapchat filter, so users are able to post, share, and communicate their intended message and persona.
User-Centered Social Strategies
Today, social media and digital platforms are a key part of many organizations’ marketing strategies and places to share their stories. To be effective on a digital platform, these companies must undertstand their audience, and each user’s individual wants, needs, and expectations when engaging on their website as well as their social media page(s). In order to identify a user’s goals, their are 6 types of interactions that users have with social media that are important to look into.
- Discover: Can I find something interesting?
- Research: What is this? How does it work for me? How could I use it?
- Engage: Am I interested in the content the company posts on social media?
- Purchase: How can I buy it?
- Support: Can you help me solve a problem?
- Promote: How can I share my experience with others?
- Facebook shares how storytelling is key to their ability to scale | InVision (invisionapp.com)
- How to Use Storytelling to Connect With Your Audience on Instagram | Social Media Today
- How to Master the Art of Storytelling on Snapchat – Business 2 Community
- Social Media UX: User-Centered Social Strategies (nngroup.com)
- How to Use Digital Storytelling as your Social Media “Secret Sauce” (postplanner.com)
- Digital Marketing – Facebook (tutorialspoint.com)
- Companies on Social Media: 6 Types of User Interactions with Business (nngroup.com)