We have all been there, right? Around a dinner table, around a campfire, held captivated and speechless while listening to a great story. Why? Because we all love stories. So if you could use storytelling on social media, then why wouldn’t you be doing so? You can get the advantage of the most basic part of human nature! So, let’s look at some ways to use storytelling on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Let’s break down storytelling in each social media. You can perform different methods in every social media platform to make the most of your storytelling.
Storytelling on each social media platform
- Write your entire story in a post
- Create a photo album on Facebook
- Create a long Facebook video
- Go live on Facebook
- Sequence your Facebook ads
- Create an infographic
- Create a narrative with your Instagram captions
- Tell a visual story with your Instagram profile
- Share user-generated content (UGC)
- Create a boomerang or short video on Instagram
- Use a series of Instagram stories
- Tweet a storm
- Create a twitter moment
- Attach multiple pictures to a tweet
- Create GIFs to share on Twitter
- Spread your branded hashtag
- Go through a Trending hashtag
- Create a relevant snapchat Geo-filter
- Create a playlist or YouTube channel
How to use storytelling on your social media?
Here are tips on using digital storytelling on your social media accounts today:
1- Show your company’s Human side
People connect with other people, not brands. So to connect your audience, you should show your brand’s human side. The goal is to form a personal brand that resonates with your customer and to do that; it’s essential that your brand tells a story.
- What you are learning
- What you are doing
- A look behind the scenes
And at the same time, do not share too much personal information. You should always remember that social media is not your diary. Whatever you choose to share with your audience, just make sure you are comfortable with the whole world knowing about it.
2- Share your brand’s story
Customers don’t buy into brands; they buy into the story behind the brands. Just as you use your blog and website to tell your brand’s story, so the same thing with your social media. Improve your brand’s message and share the ideas you stand for. For example, if you run an organic store, known for the focus on overall health and natural products, then you should use social media to share information that is related to that message. Everything you post is a way to reinforce the story you are communicating. This can build credibility for your brand and makes your content relevant.
3- Be narrative in your updates
One of the best ways to tell a story on social media is to do exactly that, tell a story. You can do it on Facebook by turning your status updates into minimal blog posts. But it’s not just Facebook that is open to digital storytelling. Even twitter with its 140 character limits, can be a great tool for digital storytelling. Actually, working within a character limit can encourage creativity in you. Do you really think it isn’t possible to tell a story in 140 characters? Consider these examples which prove that writing stories can still be short:
Even the photo-sharing platform, Instagram, can be used for storytelling. Just as you post your photo, write a caption that tells a good brief narrative. While a high-quality picture is necessary for an Instagram post, a good caption can help you complete the story by sharing a narrative. For your next Instagram post, you can share a brief story about the picture within more than three sentences. Instagram captions are limited to 2200 characters, and after three lines, the caption becomes shortened with an ellipsis.
4- Share Consecutive Posts to Tell a Broader Story
Another good way to share a story on social media is by using continuous updates to tell the story, like a story series, from the beginning to end. For example, on twitter you can first tweet:
“Came home to a house so quiet I could hear a pin drop.”
“But then we walked into the bedroom, where a big surprise was waiting.”
“Both kids had constructed a giant fort & fallen asleep in the middle of furniture & blankets.”
5- Contain elements of your story into posts
The concept of “story” is so simple; it can feel hard to understand and break down. So, if writing stories feel complicated, try to focus on the basic elements of story and try to contain them in your content. Elements such as:
- Relatable characters:
The reason you like to share the human side of your brand is that it makes you more relatable. Each good story has relatable characters with interests and personalities. You can make your business that sort of character by letting your followers in. Furthermore, creating figures in your narratives is an excellent way to develop people your audience finds engaging.
People like drama! So stories are more compelling when they include resolution and conflict. So whatever you are sharing, contain details about the conflict associated with your work will drive more readers in.
The most basic building blocks of a proper story are pacing. First, this happens, then this, then this. The beginning, middle, end. Use this kind of narrative arc any way you can. Any story which tries to drive action should have an introduction, a body and a CTA at the end.
- Backed by purpose:
A story with no purpose is just claptrap. It would be easy to get lost in the background noise and lose track of why you are telling it. Why are you telling a story? What is the critical takeaway you aim for the reader?
Try to keep it simple. Cut out all the unnecessary parts. It doesn’t matter how good you think a sentence, photo or video is. If it doesn’t add any value to your story, ditch it.
First, you should decide if the story is true to you. Don’t try to embellish it or draw out a facade to cover the truth behind the story. People will be able to tell if you are lying and it will fail.
- The environment for telling a story
If you’re telling a story to your friends during a lunch break, you’re going to be telling it differently than in front of a full auditory at the Olympia London’s Conference Centre. The structure of a story depends on the environment you are in. When you’re storytelling on social media platforms, the user’s screen is your room for the context. So you should create something good enough for them to stop scrolling and pay attention.
6- A mix of practicality and passion
Create, try, test, do! You can always create as much content as possible and see which works best. It needs a lot of work and a flaming passion. But it isn’t practical. Passionate people are so focused on spreading their message that they burn out their budget, resources, and eventually their own passion. And with such a crowd of content shared on social media, it’s effortless to get lost in mixed signals and disorganized data.
You need to understand your audience and scale their engagement. Map out significant performance indicators to recognize the success of the stories you’re telling. Storytelling on social media won’t get you immediate response. It’s not like hanging around a campfire telling a story and observing people’s reactions. You’re restrained by things like numbers of likes, shares, comments with which you are trying to “measure” the user’s retention, engagement rate, and the chance of conversion.
Working with a team will help reduce the workload; still, the production and approval processes can get very complicated. For example:
- You have a story outline planned.
- You seek out an audience to target and test it.
- You collect feedback, mostly unstructured.
- You gather information into a structure and make proper adjustments (to the story, audience or both)
- You publish the story and analyze results and engagement.
Although a mere framework, each step holds a lot of synchronization, approvals, resources, time and effort. With a loyal team, you are decreasing the logistic needs, but it gets confusing to onboard new members.
The world today is driven by social media, we’re all in the “always online” state of mind. No matter how liberated we are as people, in the end, we are all driven by emotions. Self-actualization and validation are our primary motivator for sharing a story. Do not mix digital storytelling with content marketing; it shouldn’t be marketing itself. Just try to connect with your audience and have fun!
What do you think?
What is your social media secret ingredient?Tell us your story of social storytelling in the comments below.