Let’s be honest, when we think about storytelling, we think fairy tales, novels and picture books with easy-to read sentences. Fair enough. That’s pretty much what storytelling is. But the term is used constantly in social media, and there’s never really a clear direction on what that is, or how to curate the content for people so they understand you’re trying to convey a story, rather than a message.
Let’s set a few things straight:
- Social media is not a storybook
- You want to tell people a story rather than tell them a short sentence (i.e. you should buy this. You should do this. You should have this.)
- You are using storytelling as a way to connect
How Do You Create a Story Rather Than a Message?
Let’s say you are creating a post with an image attached. The image is a picture of a runner wearing the brand’s new top-selling running shoes. A message would be: “Get the ____ running shoe for $____ now! It’s our best seller.” But if you really want to connect with runners and make them feel emotional toward the brand, you have to give them something they can connect to.
The storytelling angle to this photo would be:
“(Insert runner’s name or their social media tag) wore the ______ running shoe for her record breaking marathon in ______ this weekend. She overcame some tough obstacles this year training for this race, but managed to pull through and reach one of her biggest goals. What are some of your running goals you want to reach in your (brand’s name) running shoes?”
With a post like this, you have more connectivity that your customers can relate to, and you also give them the opportunity to voice their feelings. Rather than telling them what they should get, you’re showing them WHAT they can get when they buy your brand. They’re not just getting a running shoe, they’re getting an experience.
Creating content shouldn’t only be well-thought out when it comes to blogs and your website. Everything you post to social media should tell your brand’s story. Storytelling is about the vision you have for your customers and what you can do for them if they choose you. That’s the story you should be telling.
Storytelling as opposed to just creating a simple post that directs people to something, is much more effective for selling your brand.
Here’s some food for thought:
As an experiment, Refinery29 tested Facebook ads that were sequenced like stories. Overall, the experiment yielded a 56% conversion lift and an 87% rise in view-throughs. Refinery29 also saw a 7% increase in in-store purchases and a 10% increase in online purchases. (Socialmediaexaminer.com)
When you find a way to relate to your consumers, you can create your content so that it resonates more effectively with them.