With all the click-bait and gimmicks people see on their social media feeds, it can be hard to break through the noise and get people’s attention. Of course, there is something even busy professionals and distracted millennials can’t resist: a good story.
Every business has a story to tell, although it isn’t always obvious. Perhaps it’s the impact your products are having on a community, your innovative manufacturing process, or the unique employee philosophy that is the backbone of your success.
Whatever your story is, make sure it’s creative and authentic. If it’s done right, a good story can bring people together and inspire them to take action. Despite all the advanced technology and social algorithms designed to communicate, word of mouth is still the most effective marketing. Shareable content is the key to a great social media campaign.
Define your goals
Before you start to tell your company story, clearly define your business and marketing goals. A story without a strategy can be an expensive investment. Understanding what you hope to gain from your social media will help you choose which channels to focus on, and what kind of content to feature.
Consider these goals:
- Build a following by creating entertaining content that is shareable
- Support your sales team by explaining the uses and benefits of your products
- Strengthen personal relationships by featuring employees
- Increase brand recognition by promoting causes and community partnerships
Once you have a defined goal you can more easily build a story that people will want to share, one that will bring life and personality to your brand.
Don’t skimp on the story
A story has five basic elements: character, content, motivation, conflict and resolution.
- Character: Who are you, who will be impacted by your product, and who are the people you work with?
- Content: What do you do? Where? Fill in the story with interesting details.
- Motivation: Why did you start your business? What does it mean to you? What keeps you motivated to do what you do?
- Conflict: What were problems you encountered as you started your business, created your product(s), etc.?
- Resolution: How did you solve your problems, and how do you solve problems you encounter today?
Coordinate across channels
Take advantage of all the tools you have at your fingertips. Use different social media platforms to reach unique audiences who may not already know your company. Each platform has its own strengths and lends itself to a different style of storytelling.
Twitter hashtags make it easy to tell a story over time in small pieces. Combine that with Pinterest and Instagram, which create a series of visual benchmarks. Feature videos on YouTube that tell the whole story. And we can’t forget Facebook, the perfect place to bring the story and all its pieces together.
Creating a storyboard will help you map out the process and develop a plan to effectively use the different channels.
Make it easy for customers to contribute
Find parts of the story that might lend themselves to comments and contributions. Creating content that resonates with potential customers is great, but inspiring people to create their own content and tag your business is better. Create a hashtag for your story that allows people to track and tag their posts and images.
Add simple calls to action (CTA) to remind people that they can get involved. Ask them to take a simple photo or tell their own story and use the company hashtag to connect to the project. To help build momentum, consider offering a small discount or free shipping. The CTAs should not be the focus of the posts, but a short and sweet addition to some or all of the posts.
Whether you choose to focus on creating a storytelling strategy for your company’s social media or you simply incorporate more storytelling elements into your posts, the personality a story can bring to your online presence can be a powerful tool for any business.