Brand storytelling & social mediaPosted on November 05, 2020 by Sarah Robertson
The second guest in our brand storytelling series is Charlie Bolderow, a social media consultant based in East London. She helps social entrepreneurs to grow an engaged audience, and to inspire that audience to take real-life action by doing their part to build a fairer, kinder and more sustainable society. Here Charlie explores the role of brand storytelling in nurturing and growing your social media presence.
Storytelling is a valuable tool that can grow and nurture your audience. Essentially, your audience can get to know the person behind the brand, and this is key: as human beings, we like to buy from people. We crave connections with others and because of this, the “know, like, trust” principle in marketing is a vital part of the puzzle. By crafting a narrative rather than merely relaying facts, storytelling shows empathy and understanding, and it makes your audience curious. It can also position you as an expert in your field and puts your brand at the forefront of peoples’ minds when they think about your industry.
How can you make the most of storytelling in your social media?
The first step is deciding on the purpose of your post. What action do you want your reader to take, and what is the desired outcome? Having a strong call to action is super important for each post you share. If the result is to make sales, then you want to encourage clicking on your product links or sending a direct message. If you’re building brand awareness, then welcome viewers to comment on your post, tag a friend, or share your post.
Next, you need to figure out what message you want to tell your audience. There are a whole host of ways to introduce followers and potential followers to your products or services, without doing straight-up sales posts, which, unless you have a vast and incredibly engaged audience already, don’t usually work. Some types of storytelling content to try are:
Achievement posts: Show off your skills and share what you’re proud of. Suppose you have recently won an industry award or received a glowing testimonial from a happy customer. In that case, this is a brilliant way to demonstrate that you are an expert in your field.
Adversity posts: What challenges have you overcome to get to where you are today? The key with this one is to share with your audience, once you have conquered the issue. Avoid talking about it when you’re in the depths of the challenge itself. How can you illustrate the outcome that your audience wants to achieve?
Alignment posts: What do you stand for as a person and as a business? How can you portray these core values to your audience? You can offer opinion-dividers so that your potential clients get a solid understanding of who you are as a person and as a brand. Raising a subject that splits opinions also prompts conversation, which is a brilliant way to foster relationships with new followers.
By incorporating PR into your business, you’re leaving a trail of breadcrumbs on the platforms that your audience is using.
Next up is working out how to get your message across. It’s essential that your story speaks to your ideal client. Different types of stories can be broken down into the 3 x E’s: Educate; Entertain; Engage.
Content that educates your audience offers value and places you in a position of leadership. When you share your knowledge with people, you become a trusted source of information for them. A great way to do this is to identify the common issues that your customers have and provide answers to their pain points. Share your tips and tricks openly to build trust from your followers.
There’s a lot of value in the form of entertainment. The vast majority of videos that go viral are entertaining. I’m not suggesting you start posting silly cat videos (unless it’s relevant to your audience, of course!), but share content that will make people smile. Create posts that give your followers a glimpse of the real you.
The main aim of engaging content is to start a conversation. The algorithms on all social media platforms favour content that captivates other people to engage with it, whether that’s by commenting, sharing or saving it. So ask questions and get your audience involved. Don’t forget to let people know how you want them to answer (e.g. add a comment, send a DM, etc.).
Storytelling is the vehicle that will move someone from being a stranger to becoming a customer. It is an integral part of your whole brand marketing.
Charlie has generously created a free download to help you keep on top of Instagram in just one hour a week. Sign up to access it!