TL;DR: Successful storytelling on social media is a sure-fire way to create meaningful and engaging top content. Bring your brand's story to life with these tips.
In the age of Netflix, consumers want to spend their time guzzling content that entertains and interests them; it’s our job as marketers to use that and capitalize on what they care most about. With storytelling, we can create social media content that excites and invites consumers in, just as your favorite binge-worthy show does.
Here are five tips to craft authentic and engaging stories through social media.
1. Guide Your Followers through
Think of followers scrolling through their newsfeeds like Dug the talking dog from the movie “Up” that’s easily distracted. Followers are more likely to stay and engage if you give them a taste of what they’re getting.
With Instagram Story content, for example, we recommend bookending each Story with frames that offer context and a call to action. This can be executed in many ways creatively, but should stay simple. If your Instagram Story was a book, what would bring users in? And how would you finish on a lasting note?
If your content is the type that can’t explain itself, or you’re not sure if the message is clear without audio, include the gist of it with copy. It never hurts to give followers all the information they need, concisely and creatively.
2. Find the Balance between Strong Visuals and Words
No matter the platform, you can't beat strong visual and written components. We know that visuals matter most on Instagram, but the caption copy is what brings content home. In Twitter’s case, all eyes are on copy, yet tweets can get lost in the stream of constancy, so a strong visual is what accents a top tweet.
Finding a balance between these two components is where your brand can shine, because it is tailored to your own story.
3. Aim for Cohesion across Content and Platforms
Ever read a book where the tone or style shifts out of nowhere with no explanation, or the ending leaves you wishing you never picked up the book in the first place? You’re not only confused, you’re disappointed.
That’s how we make followers feel when our social media content doesn’t reflect cohesion across platforms and throughout a campaign. Just as we invite followers along the journey with context and direction, the look, feel and tone should tie everything together with a bow. Storylines shouldn’t feel disjointed, and neither should social media content.
4. Create Urgency for Engagement
Just as with any other form of storytelling, social media storytelling should stir followers to want to be a part of the journey, and this means inciting them to engage with your content.
This doesn’t mean you should spike your social with engagement bait. Instead, craft your story so that engagement results naturally. Ask questions or utilize platform features that encourage engagement, like Twitter polls and chats or Instagram’s multi-photo feature.
5. Play to (and with) Your Audience
Last, the best stories and social media storytelling are created by those who have a strong understanding of who they’re talking to. Memes can be a great space for brands to play when done effectively.