Social Media Storytelling.
by SUSAN FRIESEN
3 Tips on How to Build Better Engagement for Your Business.
Stories predate television, the internet, and social media, but they’re a big part of the modern marketing landscape. Social media is—or should be—a big part of your marketing strategy, no matter what line of business you’re in.
Social media storytelling can increase reach and brand awareness and help you gain new followers. However, there is a great deal of noise out there.
If you don’t attract attention, your message is going to be lost in a sea of other competing messages.
When we’re attempting to connect and engage with our followers, customers and potential customers, it’s essential to remember that we’re not talking at people or simply posting products or services.
Think of this as a chance to narrate your brand, to start a conversation about who you are and what you offer.
Here are 3 tips to help bring storytelling into your social media marketing strategy:
Tip # 1: Be Human.
People are going to connect with people first, not brands. Share what’s happening in your world with your followers, what you’re learning and what’s exciting you. Reinforce your brand’s message, your mission and what you stand for.
Audiences are savvy, and they can tell when a brand isn’t being authentic in their posts. Recently, we’ve been engaging our eVision audience with questions, and based on the response we’re getting, it’s a fun and genuine way to learn more about our followers while promoting our business.
That said, only share things that you want the whole world to know! Once you put something out there, it’s out there for everyone to see—and snapshot and share—so make sure it’s well-thought out and appropriate.
Tip # 2: Create Value.
Your creative must have intent, which isn’t necessarily to make leads or sales. Think of ways to inform, entertain or surprise your audience.
Provide people with unique and interesting content, like blog posts, articles, infographics, videos or eBooks on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
Offering resources is one of the top ways to attract attention and followers. Inviting your community to be part of your brand is an ideal way to get them engaged with your resources.
For example, if you’re an accountant trying to increase your online presence and engagement, you could ask your followers to share their top reasons for hiring someone else to do their taxes.
Ask them to hashtag their responses with #taxhelp or #relaxingnottaxing or something else clever and short.
If you don’t have many fans, you’ll need to gain more followers by sharing relevant content from your industry, interacting with people and finding relevant users to follow.
Here’s an example of a brand who did this well: Lululemon with their #justmymat campaign. It began with a woman doing yoga in different settings in an Instagram brand video. As a result, thousands of followers uploaded photos and videos of themselves practicing yoga all over the world while using the campaign hashtag.
Tip # 3: Show, Don’t Tell.
Telling your brand story doesn’t have to mean typing out a whole bunch of copy. Images and videos can be a great way to capture the essence of your branding. Some platforms Centre around images (Pinterest and Instagram, for example).
Even the ones that don’t have made changes to make social media storytelling easier, with more opportunities for photos, videos, and albums. If you’re not sure where to get images, do some research on design apps and sites that let you use your own images or templates and backgrounds to create engaging posts for the various social platforms.
The Power of Content Marketing Storytelling.
by SUSAN FRIESEN
3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Social Media Engagement.
Once upon a time your social media marketing strategy was probably largely focused on sharing links to third-party content with your audience. Well, those days are over, and if you want to stand out in the crowded and noisy online environment, you need to focus on content marketing storytelling.
We all love a compelling story. Whether it’s an adventure, comedy or fairy tale. Stories influence people’s emotions, which we as marketers know can then influence buying decisions and brand loyalty.
According to Jennifer Aaker, a psychologist, and professor at Stanford University, stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts.
Here’s a great example of how a passionate story inspires, promotes and increases loyalty and social media engagement. SoulCycle is a trendy spinning studio that entices people to try out a pricey class by using an emotional narrative.
This is also an example of brand positioning, but SoulCycle used it as a content piece across online platforms and on studio walls: So how can you incorporate storytelling into your business marketing efforts?
Here are 3 easy ways to get started with:
Lights, Camera, Engagement.
One of the top ways to tell interesting stories is with video. I recently attended Social Media Marketing World in San Diego, and this was probably the biggest takeaway: you need to be focusing on video if you want to increase your social media engagement.
I know some people hate being in front of a camera, but there are a few ways to make it easier.
For example, if you’re a life coach, you could create short videos answering common questions your clients face such as Am I in the right career? How can I be happier in my relationship?
It feels much more comfortable and natural to speak about what you know, and you might find yourself enjoying it.
You could sit in your office, outside with a cup of coffee…whatever puts you at ease and creates a nice aesthetic for people to look at.
If you’re still shaking your head, how about creating videos that feature other experts (who aren’t competitors) or using imagery and text to tell a short story? A life coach could share graphics with inspirational quotes set to music or shoot a beautiful sunrise and ask followers; What are you grateful for today?
Whether you’re using Facebook Live or creating 15-second clips to share on Instagram, use the platforms your target audience does and start shooting!
Lose the Links on Facebook.
It’s now common knowledge that Facebook limits the reach of your post if you include a link. When you share a post without a link, your engagement is much higher. We’ve seen his happen and have changed our Facebook marketing ways accordingly.
It’s not just Facebook who doesn’t want to see a bunch of links—it’s your audience. People like to engage with a brand and have authentic conversations, not just be fed a steady stream of links to relevant content.
Furthermore, you can limit your links by creating videos with calls to action; focusing more on problems and solutions your product and services offer, and asking your followers questions they’ll want to answer.
Add More Humanness.
I kept hearing the word “humanness” at the conference. It relates to the simple idea of creating a more authentic story by being yourself to connect with your audience.
Warby Parker is an affordable eyeglasses company that focused their brand positioning around humanness. They never marketed to their audience by saying something like “We sell cheap eyeglasses for the whole family!”
Instead, check out the story they used across all their channels:
“Every idea starts with a problem. Ours was simple: the glasses are too expensive. We were students when one of us lost his glasses on a backpacking trip.
The cost of replacing them was so high that he spent the first semester of grad school without them, squinting and complaining.
(We don’t recommend this.)
The rest of us had similar experiences, and we were amazed at how hard it was to find a pair of great frames that didn’t leave our wallets bare. Where were the options?” One of the interesting video stories Warby Parker shares online.
Remember, telling a story is not intended to be a sales tool! Your end goal is of course to grow leads and sales. But your intent should be building strong relationships with your customers and online community. If you do that well, the rest will follow.
Finally, Don’t have a way with words, or the time to juggle all your tasks, let alone focus on growing followers and engagement? From account creation and optimization to building a thriving community for you; we have knowledge and expertise to handle all your brand positioning needs.