Marketing and advertising departments across the world are changing how they connect with customers because of Social Media. The days of jingles, slogans and commercials are now shifting to stories. Each and every touch point to connect with a customer through social media is a chance to tell a story. A photo tells a story, a video tells a story and each story shares who you are and attracts new audiences. Getting social storytelling right can reap significant benefits for your business to drive sales, build customer loyalty and create a shareable brand.
Many brands might think their business service or product is not colorful or fun enough to create a compelling story that can resonate with their audience. While other brands that are colorful and fun, might not have the mindset to transfer that to a relatable story.
Here are three ways to successfully develop a kickass story for your brand that will evoke emotions with your audience:
1. Understanding what storytelling means, and how best to apply it
Storytelling in social media is one of the most powerful ways to create an emotional connection between your customers and your brand. This is by far the greatest way to increase engagement, add personality and emotions, that will add a human element to your story.
Storytelling requires you to be more creative in how you distribute content to your audience. This requires time investment and an opportunity to showcase your brand beyond 140 characters or standard photos or custom graphics you would normally post on your social channels. Your audience is already craving for these type of content from your brand, so it’s up to you to give it to them in a creative fun way.
If your brand is food related, simply posting a photo of your product is not enough to tell a story. But posting about the ingredients of how you made this delicious pie is the start of a story. Whether it is a video or a photo of an apple tree where the apple came from to make the pie. Use Facebook live, Periscope or Snapchat to show your chef or baker putting the ingredients together and making the pie in real-time. That will create a story of how that pie was made. It will emotionally trigger that an actual human is behind your brand. Now the next time a customer buys a pie, they will feel as if they were part of the process and will know exactly what they are eating and how it was made.
2. How to make a boring brand fun, appealing and exciting
Even if your brand is not sexy or visually appealing from the outside, you can still create a story that will create a relevant emotional connection with your audience.
In your not-so-sexy brand, you will need to realistically align your expectations with your social media goals. Don’t expect that by posting a photo of your office or product that you will receive countless engagement, and more importantly don’t be disappointed if you don’t.
Focus your time on your strengths. If you’re launching a campaign to create awareness for your service or products, think about doing fun, educational short clips, and How-to videos. Because even in the most boring business, it’s always about what’s in it for the customer. Give them what they want, but in a visually appealing way through videos, photos or live streaming.
3. How to develop a narrative structure for your story
Business owners should stop looking at social media as a job or a chore. You don’t need to post something every day, 9 to 5, just because you want to post. If your narrative structure is to post once a month, every other day or 7 days a week, then plan accordingly. But don’t post just for posting sake. Spend time developing quality content that aligns with your business, your customer's interests and your resources.
- Think about what you want to accomplish, how do you want your brand to be represented online and how do you want your customers to feel.
- Now write out what that looks like on paper. This will add a visual of what to expect and what will be needed to execute on your plan.
- Find the right resources to help you bring that vision to life. An example I like to use is Arby’s. Have you ever been on Arby’s Instagram page? Their storytelling is about food art. They use different food items from the menu to create really cool visuals.
Storytelling is not new, but successfully executing a well-thought out social storytelling strategy that aligns seamlessly with how your brand connects with your customer is still a process to be mastered and only the business owners that are not afraid to try new things will be the ones to succeed.
In addition to following the steps listed in this article, the next phase would be to understand the true value of how to use social media to connect your message with real people and measure those efforts across devices and social channels. Storytelling should be the focal point of any brand using social media to connect with customers.
Andre Kay is CEO and founder of Sociallybuzz, which exists to help businesses grow using social media. By helping them reach relevant customers, build customer loyalty, mange reputation and increase revenue. We protect relationship with their customer, create effective campaigns, manage their social channels and online reputation 24/7. Read the company’s blog and follow it on Twitter and Instagram