5 Ways To Tell Compelling Stories
Using a story to engage an audience has been around as long as language itself.
And social media has provided business owners with the most effective and efficient channels for reaching a global audience on demand.
While technology has given us advanced communication tools, storytelling still remains as one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience with your business.
For this reason, storytelling is at the heart of social media; the creation of stories and the sharing of experiences as a way of providing your audience with unique and satisfying experiences.
To be successful with social media, your audience’s experience must be at the centre of your marketing strategy.
Storytelling accomplishes this goal.
Keep reading for 5 ways to tell compelling stories to your social media audiences...
5 Ways To Tell Compelling Stories In Social Media
People love stories.
When done properly, stories have the ability to reinforce your brand and boost your sales in a way that is completely authentic and native to social media platforms.
To leverage one of the most basic aspects of human nature, create stories that people can relate to so your business and brand are memorable.
Here are 5 ways you can create intriguing and engaging social media stories:
The Story Behind Your Business
This is an opportunity to tell your audience about the origins of your business or brand, giving your audience an insight into how it started in comparison to where you are now.
Sharing this part of your story not only creates history, but it also provides your audience with a shared sense of values.
When you share the story of your business, you provide your audience with the opportunity to champion your business through word of mouth marketing - which is the most valuable marketing strategy available to business owners. This is because your business is as much of a statement about you, as it is about your audience.
Here are some tried and tested ways of sharing the story behind your business:
- Share the story behind why you do what you do
- Clearly state your mission and share your vision of the future
- Share the story of how you got started, including the ups and downs
- Reveal your goals and how you plan to reach them
Crafting the story of your business is an opportunity for you to dig deep; while honing in on your ideal audience and how your business can serve them. Your website and blog tell your business’ story, and social media provides your audience with the living story.
A Backstage Pass
This is where you can show your audience the day-to-day operations of running your business; filling your social media posts with photos and videos that tell the story.
This is a fantastic opportunity to convey authenticity, transparency and accessibility to your audience about you and your business. These types of stories showcase how you live and work in alignment with your business’ mission statement by telling (and showing) your audience about what you’re doing behind the scenes, and how it relates to the overall story of your business.
Allowing your audience to go behind the scenes is also a great way to show your personality in fun and creative ways: bloopers from your video recordings, images of people you’re interacting with, mini-stories about something you just learned, acknowledging people you’ve been inspired by; these are all creative ways to bring your audience into your business’ story.
Here is a summarized list of ways you can take your audience behind the scenes:
- Share mini-stories about what you’re doing in your business
- Create mini-stories about what you’re learning in your business
- Share mini-stories that showcase and highlight the people you’re talking to
- Share mini-stories that inform your audience of industry trends they should be aware of
Keep in mind that every piece of content you post should reinforce your business’ overall message and mission. When you take your audience behind the scenes consistently, you’ll build credibility for your business while keeping your content relevant and shareable.
Reveal Something Personal
When you reveal something personal about yourself, it connects you with your audience on a deeper level, which can inspire them to follow you on your journey.
Being honest and genuine (and maybe even humble), shows your audience who you really are and what you’re really all about. It’s a way of standing up and saying to them, “I’m not perfect, here’s a story that proves it”.
Remarkably, revealing your personal story through your flaws and your triumphs is what makes you and your business unique; and owning all parts of your story will empower others to do the same as well.
Here are a few ideas that to get you started:
- Share a part of your story that motivates you to move forward with your aspirations
- Reveal how you overcame a weakness or challenge you were facing
- Expose a flaw that you know you have and how you deal with it
- Share something that inspires you to be a better person or professional
The point is, share something that shows there’s a human being behind your business. People want to listen to stories that they can relate to, and telling a personal story is an incredible way to create that connection.
Stand For Something
Translating what you and your business value into mini-content is a way to show solidarity with your audience.
By staying on top of the news, trends and pop culture that affect you and your audience, you can create timely and relevant mini-stories that make bold statements about how you see the world, and how you intend to contribute to making your community and society better for all.
Here are some story suggestions that communicate your values:
- Share stories about community events you’re involved in
- Share a mini-story that communicates your support for an event taking place in the world
- Share a mini-story that provides insight on an event that has happened in the world and where you stand on the matter
- Create an inspiring mini-story about a person, business or organization that is a living testament to the values you hold about yourself, your business, society or the world
Your content should always reflect what you value: what you and your business care about and how you’re contributing toward that end. These values tell your audience what your principles are, and they enable your audience to see themselves in your business.
Encourage Audience Participation
In social media, there’s no better way to be social than to create opportunities to engage with your audience.
This interaction allows you to not only understand what drives them, but it also allows you to be informed of their wins and their challenges; providing valuable insight into the type of content you should be focusing on in the future.
Finding ways to integrate audience generated content into mini-stores that you post will also allow your audience’s stories to become part of your story, and make for intriguing and celebratory social media posts.
Here are a few ways to engage your audience:
- Share a mini-story about how one of your active social media followers has impacted your business
- Share the testimonials and create mini-stories about the people using your products or services
- Hold contests, surveys, workshops and masterminds, and share mini-stories that reveal the value of the community’s interaction
- If the opportunity arises, be spontaneous - share a story that you’re audience will love!
This type of community building takes a lot of effort and planning, but you’ll give your audience real reasons to follow you. In other words, it’s well worth the effort.
A Word To The Wise
Hopefully the ideas above have inspired you to create stories and mini-stories that are filled with value (and entertainment) for the people you are beckoning into your sphere of influence however, a word of caution before you press the publish button...
Before you publish any content, you should always ask yourself the following questions:
- Will my audience find this content interesting or useful? (gut check)
- Does this content reflect the values of my business? (mission statement check)
- Does this content inspire people to connect with me and my business? (call to action check)
If you’ve answered yes to all of the questions listed above, go ahead and publish your content.
If your content falls short of creating a valuable experience for your audience, then review your post and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Seeing your content through your audience’s eyes allows you to realign with the goal of your business - to serve your audience.
Social media has allowed us to document and share our lives at an astounding pace, giving us opportunities to reach and connect with the people that matter most to our business.
While there are many techniques that can inspire your next social media campaign, telling your story remains as the most authentic way to convey your message, while creating genuine social media interactions.
Use the ideas listed above to create and publish compelling stories that strengthen and grow your business on social media.
As long as you persist in creating stories that your audience can relate to, storytelling will be an effective and rewarding part of your digital marketing strategy.
Do you have any suggestions for creating compelling social media posts and stories? Please share what’s working for you…