Once Upon a Time on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn…
Stories are ideas that are infused with character, tension, release, plot twists, and sometimes, punchlines. You may notice that the treasured storytellers in your life know how to use stories to inspire people. This can be done with your customers by using stories to deliver messages about your business.
Stories can be a powerful way to deliver ideas. By sharing your brand promise and values with your audience, they will get a general sense of your brand. But if you want to convert them into passionate fans, you will have to try storytelling. We all notice the excellent stories in commercials and some print advertisements, but social media is also a perfect medium for this as well.
Why Social Media
Branding is both the visual presentation of your business and how people feel about your company. These feelings are developed through experiences. Without experiences, how people feel about your brand will remain vague. You can deepen their experiences with your brand through storytelling on social media.
Social media platforms are massive, with billions of daily users. These users are influenced by the content that is posted by companies and also are on social media daily.
- 3.5 billion users are on social media platforms daily (Emarsys, 2019)
- Facebook is the #1 social media platform, representing 2/3s of all US adults (Pewinternet, 2018)
- 54% of social browsers use social media to research products (GlobalWebIndex, 2018)
- 61% of consumers’ buying decisions are influenced by custom content (content created by a company, as reported by Dragon Search Marketing)
Using social media to connect with your current and potential customers is a great way to showcase your brand. Every follower has signed up for a mini-subscription to receive doses of your brand. They are open to your brand images and stories. This is not an opportunity to be wasted.
Who Goes There?!
The best way to tell a good story is to know and understand your audience. Learn more about your customers by listening to them. You can connect better and even help them when you know them. Get started on understanding your audiences better by creating customer profiles, which is something Tomo360 can help you with!
Other tools that can help you get a better sense of who your customers (as well as other audiences) include: Google Analytics, customer surveys, reviews, and even website data.
It Doesn’t have to be Complex
Right about now, you’re probably thinking: my busy team doesn’t have time to create STORIES! Well, each timeline message doesn’t have to be lengthy or complicated. Think about your new post as a snapshot of a moment in the overarching narrative of your business. Keep in mind, cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner’s research suggests that telling stories increases fact recall by 22 percent.
Stories on social media should be simple. Here is an example from one of our clients, The Megan House Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Lowell, MA. This organization improves the quality of life for young women through long-term residential substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs and Success Homes. They write articles about their success stories and post them on their website.
Next, The Megan House Foundation shares a link with a short description and a compelling photo onto social media to spread awareness. Their brand values are hope, healing, and recovery. Creating content like an article, a blog, or a guide is a great way to further your followers’ experience. It can also become a resource for your followers to keep or share again.
Here’s an example from Tomo360’s social media – a post about The Women Accelerators, an organization that our Chief Connector, Susu Wong, co-founded to help women advance their careers. This story reminds our followers that Tomo360 cares about female entrepreneurs and small businesses and that she works tirelessly to share her expertise.
The environmental firm CEA shares simple facts about their work on current projects. These updates highlight their expertise by showing their connection to local clients and their commitment to the land in nearby communities. CEA’s story also links their work to things we are all connected to — groundwater, soil, and food waste.
7 specific ideas for storytelling on social media:
- Use your brand promise and core values when telling a story.
- Create resources and share them with your story
- Share success stories
- Feature events
- Tell stories about people, like your executive team, employees and customers
- Link your business to local communities and let us know when you do something good!
- Tell it your way. Don’t copy other businesses in your market. Be unique.
Story ideas are helpful, and here is an excellent roundup of the top 2019 brand storytelling examples, put together by the Social Media Summit. Concepts from the likes of Google, Apple, The Women’s March, and Gillette all take this tactic to the next level by blending good narratives with cultural trends or the latest technical ideas:
- Capitalize on trends
- Take advantage of social media storytelling features like Highlights, Stories, and Moments
- Consider taking a stand on a cultural or social issue
- It doesn’t have to be fiction, tell a real story
- Use anniversaries to take a look back, and tell a story that matters
- Go with the basics: Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
Summary: They lived happily ever after.
Storytelling is an inherent human behavior that we do in so many scenarios. We tell stories in business meetings, at dinner, at our places of worship and on the porch. This is a significant part of communication because every single story creates an experience. When you think about it, social media is actually one big pot of bubbling stories, comments, images, and links.
If your social media posts don’t include stories, you are missing an important way to convert your followers into real fans. Try adding different kinds of stories into your social media mix and let us know how it goes!
If you aren’t sure about your social media strategy, consider getting a Marketing Tune-Up with Tomo360. We will assess your marketing tools, including your social media. Or, if you are already sure that you need a new social media strategy, contact us today!