Once upon a time…
People used to write and send letters. Negatives had to be developed before photos could be added to huge albums kept by the coffee table. It was a simpler time. And everything took ages.
The switch to digital, the Internet and social media have quickly revolutionised the way we communicate. But one thing has remained the same since the dawn of time. It’s all storytelling.
We all love a good story
Whether it be a tale of triumph over adversity or a hilarious mishap, stories capture our interest.
Think of the last conversation you had with your friends/family/colleagues. What story did you tell? Was it about your weekend exploits? Did something happen at work? Could you believe what happened in the latest episode of…?
Stories abound. We live our own stories. And we love other people’s stories. Especially when there’s intrigue, exclusivity, outrage or sheer stupidity involved.
Communication is the very essence of human nature. We’ve been telling stories as a means of communicating ideas, knowledge, traditions, morals and values since the dawn of time. Stories allow us to live vicariously through characters. We gain experience and knowledge from exploring the imagined misfortunes of others.
We are constantly engaged in narratives. They surround us.
So why should your approach to your brand or business be any different?
Brands Are Built on Stories (buying into the narrative)
It is no great secret that the key to business success is storytelling.
Every person in marketing, advertising or sales will acknowledge this. Their job, and yours, is to tell a story.
It should come as no great surprise then that the way to build your business, engage your audience and make a significant impact on conversions and sales is through great storytelling.
Your aim is to get people to buy into your narrative. Hook them, one chapter at a time.
The quickest way to do so?
Plan your social media story
Planning is key.
It is important to have a strategy on social media. Plan your social media stories in advance for maximum impact.
Your posts need to be organised in a way that develops your brand narrative. From one post to the next you need to build your story. Think about narratives in the traditional sense.
At their most simple, stories have a beginning, middle and end. However, these are closed narrative structures. You want to maintain an open narrative; one that develops over time with new and interesting twists. Think soap operas.
Perhaps not soap operas. Businesses don’t need the drama.
But, chapters in a novel follow the same open narrative structure.
Each chapter is a self-contained episode that ends with a lead-in to the next chapter. Usually there is an element of enigma or expectation at the end of a chapter to hook the reader into reading on.
Don’t give all your secrets away too soon.
Leave your audience wanting more.
The stories function on Facebook and Instagram in particular can assist you with this.
Social Media Stories: Still the same old story
The stories function is nothing new.
Ok, it’s a new(ish) function, but the thinking behind it is based in traditions of narrative. It’s a social media picture book.
In the same way as your posts form part of your brand’s written narrative, use the stories function to provide your audience with interesting visuals that continue to develop that brand narrative.
Plan how you might use images to tell the story of a day in the life of your brand.
If you have an upcoming event, prepare yourself. Take photos and video of the start, middle and end (sound familiar?). Offer behind the scenes access. Devise a sequence and post your images throughout the day, adding to your story.
The strategic planning, creation, development and sharing of your social media story leads to one place.
We will help you plan, write and share your next chapter. And every chapter after that. We’ll be your Prince Charming.
A Fairy Tale Ending
We all love a good story.
Social media allows us to tell our stories in real time, as they unfold.
This immediacy – as explored previously in The Value of Social Media for Business – is a powerful tool you have at your disposal to build your brand, engage your audience.
With Social Ink by your side, you’ll enjoy a happy ever after.
Written by Gareth Alvarez, Head of Content.
To get in touch with Gareth, you can email him directly on firstname.lastname@example.org