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.

2) Show, Don’t Tell

When it comes to any kind of advertising, whether it’s social media-based or not, it’s better if you show your story rather than tell it. But, what does this mean?

In the realm of social media, this might be as simple as creating a compelling video, or infographic, or using a stunning visual in combination with a catchy title to get your message (or the gist of it) across quickly. After all, you only have a few seconds to make your point, so why not make it as clear and visually inviting as possible?

3) Write Like a Writer

Do you have experience writing copy, fiction or non-fiction? The truth is that while a bit of experience helps, you don’t really need to be an expert in any genre to nail storytelling on social media.

What will grab attention, though, is creativity, boldness, and the type of message that cuts to the chase – or at least gives a hint of the amazing things to come.

4) Use Influencers & Other Partners

Some of the most innovative social advertising we’re seeing today tends to combine two or three elements: a celebrity or influencer, a genuine cause, and a product.

This combination of elements taps into an issue that people care about by leveraging the power of a relevant influencer or brand (make sure the influencer or partner is relevant, otherwise your ad could fall flat).

5) Connect With Your Followers

Social media platforms offer plenty of built-in tools to understand the types of posts that drive the most engagement. This should give you insight into the popularity of your content across channels.

You can look at your social media data to gain insights and see what was most effective. Was that one post, longer blog, or ebook something that resonated in the past? Or perhaps it was a funny video that got a lot of shares? You can use these insights to get a sense of what is hitting your audience and build a new story from there.

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