Social Media Storytelling: 5 Tips for Better Stories

People are wired to respond to good stories.

Social media storytelling is all about being authentic. Storytelling, however, is an art that goes beyond beginning, middle, and end.

Social media storytelling is the process of using social media platforms to tell specific stories about your brand, product or services to engage and entertain your audience.

Telling stories just to sell products won’t capture your audience’s heart and leave a lasting impression, but good storytelling that adds value will help humanise your brand and make your mission statement clear.

Compelling stories often provoke emotion, leading to consumers getting emotionally involved, making it a winning strategy for marketers.

Here’s how to create dynamic stories that can build brand personality and connect with consumers.    

1. Know who your story is for

Before you even begin to tell a story on your socials, you need to know who the audience you’re talking to is. Engage with polls on Instagram Stories, review Google Analytics, engage with your customer service team to fully understand who your customers are, and create detailed customer personas.

From the personas, it will become clear what your audience needs and wants. Use this information to create a killer story that communicates these needs, and your followers will begin to feel a real emotional connection with your brand.

Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign showcased women embracing their curves and different stages of life, all unairbrushed. They understood their consumers’ struggles living up to specific beauty standards and turned it into a self-empowering movement.  

2. Include a narrative in your captions

While many believe social media is only about imagery, captions shouldn’t be forgotten as they provide context, add personality, and inspire your followers to take a particular action.

Captivating long-form captions allow your audience to learn more about you, your brand and your mission and, along with an image, creates a complete narrative.

Airbnb does this incredibly well, featuring breathtaking imagery along with fun and engaging captions about the hosts and the charm of the location.  

3. Showcase user-generated content

UGC is mighty as it focuses on recruiting your own customers to tell their own authentic stories about your brand and services.

As said on Iconosqaure’s podcast about storytelling, Meg Coffey said, “Nobody tells the story better than the people out there experiencing it”.

Apple sources user-generated content through the #ShotoniPhone hashtag and uses their social media accounts to showcase epic imagery and engaging stories about what their followers are experiencing in the world, thanks to an iPhone. 

Listen to Meg talk about storytelling on Iconosquare’s podcast here.  

4. Utilise visual storytelling

On social media, images alone have the power to make a more significant first impression than copy does, which is why visuals are just as important.

Patagonia has adopted visual storytelling into their marketing strategy, emphasising their environmental ethics and stunning adventure visuals to speak directly to their target audience of thrill-seekers.

With social media users having shorter attention spans than ever before, the imagery Patagonia uses is so strong that it helps communicate their brand’s story, even if users scroll past the caption.

5. Tell your story

Want your storytelling to be authentic? The answer is simple: tell your story. You may be surprised but people want to know what makes your brand or business unique. People are interested in how you started and how you got to where you are today.

Whether you choose to tell your story through blogs, videos, podcast, or any other media, just make sure you’re staying true to what make you you. People gravitate to authenticity. On the other side of the coin, people can smell when you’re being disingenuous from a mile away.

Don’t be afraid to show you human side, share your failures, and give your customers a look behind the scenes. The more open and honest you can be with your customers, the more they’ll love you for it.

Interested in how storytelling can help your brand grow? Sounds like your should check out Storytelling in marketing: fact or fiction from our blog!