The Art of Storytelling on Social Media
A common theme I heard when I was in college studying marketing and public relations was to include storytelling in marketing strategy. They would explain different ways a story can increase the effectiveness of a brand’s story.
It makes it easier to recall the message and it creates a connection with your audience. It’s the key to resonating with your ideal clients and to growing a dedicated following.
Here is what most newbie marketers are wondering: How can I include storytelling in my social media strategy?
That is the question, my friend.
I divided this blog post into three sections, which are the main places I hang out online. Facebook, Instagram, and my email list!
Here are some ways I bring the art of storytelling to my social media platforms.
Storytelling on Facebook
Facebook has many avenues for storytelling, including text, pictures, and live videostreams (my favorite). There is ample opportunity to share detailed stories and prompts.
For instance, you can post in a descriptive narrative of a successful (and maybe stressful) moment in your professional journey. Content like this will increase your visibility; it will also help make your audience empathize with your experience.
The more content you share, the more your audience will recognize you as a credible source. They will return, and engage. Note: The more engagement you have, the more likely you will overcome those pesky algorithms.
Another great feature on Facebook is photo albums. This is an awesome feature that can be maintained with little effort by creating a specific album dedicated to a theme within your business.
By making sure to add a photo to the album once a week, you will increase the number of times your followers see your album. Each time you add a photo to an album, that album is raised higher in your followers’ News Feed.
Pre-recorded or live video is my favorite feature on Facebook. This is because it creates a truly personal experience with your audience where they can see you unfiltered.
Plus it will connect with your audience that may not like reading posts or looking at still images. When planning a video post, it’s important to pre-plan the structure of what you film. This will help you keep the video on track with the story you want to tell.
Storytelling on Instagram
My love for Instagram is strong. I spend most of my time on this platform. In my opinion, it's the best form of social media to use for your marketing and storytelling efforts. Here's why.
Pictures, picture, pictures.
Instagram is all about imagery and with good reason. Statistics consistently show that posts that include photos perform much better than posts without photos. It’s important to use pictures that engage your audience and the best way to do that is by creating a story.
One way to tell a narrative through a photo is to pay attention to the objects used within your pictures. People associate certain concepts with specific objects. Think of it this way: a smartphone has the association of being modern while a standard flip phone has an association of being old school.
Instagram Stories can even be used as a creative outlet to share your story. Don't overthink it; Not every story has to be a novel. Sharing your morning routine in a series of photos and videos can be effective too because your audience has the chance to get to know you on a personal level.
Hashtags can also help you in storytelling. They give you another avenue to connect your message to a bigger audience and to a trending story.
#FridayIntroductions is popular on Instagram because you have the opportunity to introduce yourself to your following as well as the other business owners using that hashtag (there’s quite a few too - 100,000 posts and counting).
Storytelling and Email Marketing
While this isn't technically social media, growing an email list and sharing content with your subscribers is still a way to virtually socialize.
Let's get personal
Words are your most important tool in storytelling when engaging with your email subscribers. I’ve found the best way to tell a story through email marketing is to be personal. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable. By being personal, my audience can relate to me on a deeper level.
Visual media can give your email message an extra splash of detail to your storytelling. Pictures and illustrations can help enhance the message of your story. They can help establish who is telling the story by having a picture of the author or it can help give a visual image of a future you want to manifest for your audience.
Another important piece of storytelling is simplicity. It’s best to avoid complex sentences that could create confusion and misunderstanding. Avoid complicated sentences by limiting commons. Another guideline to follow is to limit the number of topics written within your emails. This will keep the focus on the main message by not overloading your audience with too much information.
Need more tips on writing content for your email list? Here is a post I wrote on improving your copywriting skills.
With so many people fighting for our attention, it’s really important to make yourself stand out. Adding storytelling to your social media strategy can really step up your game and help you create engaging content.
Which social media platform do you enjoy the most? How do you think you can improve your storytelling efforts?