8 Ways to Use Social Media for Storytelling

  • When we think about the stories we read as children, they had characteristics: a beginning, middle, and end; a climax or conflict; and some sort of moral lesson. Great content on social media can also convey a similarly rich message when done correctly.
  • A story isn’t just about words – a great story teaches us something about the world and ourselves. And great content marketing tells a good story.
  • Today, we’re seeing more innovative uses of storytelling incorporated into brand building as customers demand more from companies. More people want to understand the ethos and mission of a brand to see if it is committed to something meaningful (such as a social issue or cause), rather than just buying something because it’s ‘cool’.
  • So, what’s the best way to tell a story on social media? Let’s look at 8 great ways to do it!
  • 1) Develop a (Long) Story Arc
  • A story is essentially a sequence of events with some key elements. With social media, you have plenty of options to tell stories in new ways that cross the boundaries of traditional storytelling and advertising. While you may have some restrictions (for instance, length), you also have a number of tools at your fingertips.
  • Before you develop your social content as part of a campaign or advertising strategy, it’s important to look ahead at your end goals and work back. Ask yourself questions like:
  • What does your business goal look like one year or five years from now?
  • Where would you like to be in terms of preferred or target audience?
  • What is your growth plan demographically and even internationally?
  • How are you performing in comparison to your competitors?
  • Every single clip, blog, video, or image needs to be a mini-story in itself, but what about taking your audience and customers on a journey that lasts longer than that? When you think about the fact that each piece of content contributes to your brand and business story, you have the potential to ‘hook’ people over the long term.
  • To this end, you can think of your ‘story arc’ – the beginning, middle, and end. Not only for each piece of content but also in connection with your long-term goals and unique offering or USP.  
  • Let’s look at a great example, the beauty brand Dove. Originally launched as a soap brand, the company has put storytelling at the heart of its marketing campaigns to focus on empowering women through a message of self-esteem and self-acceptance.
  • Dove’s #Detox YourFeed campaign aimed to demonstrate the harm of toxic beauty advice. Its use of social media helped get the message out as people shared using the hashtag. 

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