With nearly 70% of Canadians using social media, you may think that having an active social media presence is enough to build your brand.
Unfortunately, that’s not enough anymore. With so many voices on social media platforms, unless you can stand out, your voice will get lost in the crowd.
So, how do you stand out on social media and craft posts that get remembered?
Effective, long-term social media marketing is about more than just a clever Twitter post, a good-looking Instagram picture, or even “sparking a conversation.” Tweets and pictures fade from your followers’ memories as soon as they scroll past in their feeds. Conversations come to an end without making an impact on anyone except those involved.
For social media marketing that provides context, humanity, and shows what your brand stands for, you need to focus on strategy that builds a narrative.
What IS a Social Media Narrative, Exactly?
To reach out to today’s consumer, you need branding that has a human side. It’s not enough to know your clients and customers—they want to know you, too, and they want to know your story (“you,” meaning your brand). You want your audience to associate emotion, feeling, and characteristics to your brand, and creating a story builds that connection.
Simply put, a social media narrative is a long story broken up into posts for social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. While the posts are short, together, they craft a longer story with a theme and continuity. If you’re looking at a social media narrative that will build your brand, most likely you’ll share posts that add to the history of your company, that values your hold, or the impact you are making as a brand.
Social Media Narrative Methods That Work
Any successful story, whether a book, a magazine article, or a story you tell your friends over lunch has a specific arc that has a beginning, middle, and an ending. This same arc needs to be applied to your social media narrative. No, you won’t be telling one long story, but you still need to plan a story for your followers to get involved in and want to know how it ends.
Some successful story arcs could involve:
- Your Brand Evolution or Company History: Write your company history narrative through your social media posts. Tell your followers what prompted your business beginnings, what inspires your brand, and how you have evolved. Include the mistakes and missteps, too — that makes you human. The climax of the story is where you are today and the changes that are taking place within the company.
- A Customer’s Story:– Tell the story of your customer by imagining an avatar, or ideal persona (a symbolic ideal customer who you picture when you market, evolve, and craft your company). Where does your customer have challenges? What are her pain points? What work did he have to put into solving those challenges, and how did or could your company help? Finally, finish by envisioning your customer’s success—ensuring that they can picture that with crystal clarity too,
The key is to tell a story that is uplifting at the end, with an emotional impact and a heart-driven focus. Negativity and depressing endings in a social media narrative will likely backfire. And they don’t inspire followers to become clients or customers.
Crafting a Narrative in 280 (Or So) Characters
Social media users generally don’t want to see a wall of text, no matter what platform they’re using. Even if they read the content, it won’t stick in their conscious. Brevity is key in order to make a deeper impact.
So, how do you move your story forward in a short amount of space?
Consider making an effort to tell your story through pictures and videos. Graphics get results on social media. If you want to post about your company history, a time-lapse video can be a great attention-getter. Or simple Boomerang videos of your employees behind the scene may prove endearing. Customer narratives with pictures can add context behind the words. Plus, videos and pictures drive engagement, whether that’s to go to your website, respond to a call-to-action, or just share the post so friends and loved ones view it.
So go out there and tell a story that makes your followers and viewers respond. Make them think, make them feel, make them laugh, or make them cry, but tell a story that gets them engaged. You’ll see benefits to your brand and to your bottom line.