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The Power of Storytelling Through Social Media

Social media storytelling

When was the last time you were so caught up in a good story that it became all you could think about? The art of storytelling has been around for centuries and it still has the same impact in today’s world. Social media is filled with content that doesn’t always catch your interest, but storytelling is a great way to “stop the scroll” and engage with your audience.

Why Storytelling is One of the Best Content Types in Social Media

What makes someone stop scrolling in their social media feed? What makes someone click to “see more” or visit a website? It’s the same answer: why you can’t put a good book down or stop thinking about the latest TV show or movie you watched. The story and characters hold your attention and leave you wanting more if made correctly. The ancient art of storytelling works just as well on any social media platform as it does on the big screen. It’s also one of the most overlooked content types in most marketing strategies.

  • The average person spends between 2 – 3 hours on social media according to global statistics from Smart Insights. That is a lot of scrolling and even more content being published daily. No wonder brands have trouble getting the maximum reach on their posts- the algorithm is filled! This is why storytelling can help you stand out from the crowd. Instead of continuing to share content from your website, reimagine your content by building a compelling story that will grab your audience’s attention.

Now that you know the importance of storytelling on social media, we want to help you answer the question about how to craft stories that put your audience first, create trust, and help you improve your content moving forward.

How to Tell Compelling Stories That Resonate with Your Audience

Compelling social media stories

It’s all about communicating with your audience in a way that makes them feel understood. If you tell a good enough story, your audience will begin to look to your brand as an industry leader and begin to think of you first when the need arises.

  • Understand your audience. The first important step of storytelling on social media is to understand your audience. HubSpot recommends asking yourself these questions: Who wants to hear your story? Who will benefit from it and respond in a strong and positive way? Before you start writing, do some research on your target audience. Does it connect to a buyer persona you already have, or are you trying to reach someone new? These are great questions to get you started thinking about your audience and how you will be perceived. You can also ask yourself how you would like your audience to feel at the beginning, middle, and end of your story. This will guide the points you are trying to convey and help you achieve your desired outcomes.
  • Repurpose. So, what kind of storytelling are we talking about here? Well, we’re not suggesting you need to write the next novel or a great screenplay. You can use the content pieces that you already have. For example, say that you have a blog post on your website that shares the details about how your product is the best on the market and how the reader should only buy from your company. Instead of just taking that blog post and writing a quick caption with the link in your social media post, make it a story and share the compelling details upfront. Use an example from a testimonial you have and immediately show the audience that this isn’t just a blog post, but rather a story of how someone had a problem, how you offered a solution, and how your solution not only solved their problem but also built trust. If you include enough details and focus on what your audience will find intriguing, you’ll capture their interest much more quickly than just sharing a blog post link. Don’t just share the link, share the story!
  • Utilize Images. Another great way to tell a story is to use imagery. They say an image is worth a thousand words for good reason. If you want to share complex ideas in a way your audience can grasp the information, imagery is best! Create compelling images that help enhance the story you’re sharing. It should be minimal in design and help guide the reader’s eye to your next point. Here’s a great example from our friends at HubSpot:
What is Guerrilla Marketing

Images designed to help guide the reader to understand a larger topic are a way to help get your point across while keeping your audience engaged. However, keep in mind that your story still needs to have a strong beginning, middle, and end without leaning heavily on the images alone.

Analyzing If Your Stories Stuck with Your Audience

Ok, you’ve heard the reasons why storytelling is powerful on social media and you’ve learned a few steps to follow when creating content for your audience. Now what? Let’s see how you can look at your data to learn what’s working and what needs improvement.

Analyzing what's working in social media
  • Understand that it’s not all about the numbers. It can be challenging to pull strong data points from storytelling. Yes, you can track link clicks, click-through rates, and impressions, but how can you track how the story made someone feel? It’s important to know that the best stat is how your brand made someone feel after they saw your post, and you may not see those results right away. The good news is that your audience will keep you in mind throughout their online journey if they feel you have entertained them, educated them, and built trust.
  • Look at your key performance indicators (KPIs). As we mentioned above, there are specific metrics that you can look at to see what the consensus was for your social media content. A few important metrics to look at for organic content are impressions, engagement, engagement rate, link clicks, and click-through rates (CTRs). These indicators will help you learn what kind of content to keep creating and what content needs to be tweaked to perform better in the future. There is always more learning and testing that can be done.
  • Did your story help you reach your goal? If it did, great! Keep learning from what is working and begin testing different formats to create more of it. If it didn’t reach your goal, keep testing different elements of your content. You can create different imagery to see what is more compelling, create different headlines that are more attention-grabbing, or even edit parts of the story that you think may not be as relevant for your audience.

Tell Your Story

Yes, it may not correlate to leads immediately, but your audience will trust your brand more and consider you in the future. You’ll begin to see improvement in your engagement over time and you’ll grow your following in a natural way that only improves your online community. People may not remember your taglines, but they will remember how you made them feel. So what are you waiting for? Get started writing a story that your audience needs to hear!

If you want to learn more about how to grow your social media following, you can read more about it here. We also go more in-depth with tracking metrics in this blog article that can help you see results in real-time and help improve your content. Happy writing!

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David Loughney
About David Loughney:

David Loughney is passionate about helping brands find and express their voice in the world of social media. He helps to strategize and facilitate social media content to gain brand awareness, increase engagement and generate leads for your business.

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