Social media storytelling strategies

In a world where likes, hashtags and shares are indicative of influence, social media storytelling has fueled so many brands to achieve unbelievable visibility, impressive recognition and even unmatchable growth beyond expectations.

From complete obscurity, many brands have risen to prominence today, using the power of social media and impressive brand storytelling.. Just as many have been buried in oblivion, using the same social media.

As a brand seeking to gain prominence, you’re far better positioned to use the social media as a tool to achieve your aspirations today compared to 20 years ago. But to get started, you must have the right strategies.

And in this guide, I’ll be taking you through the social media storytelling strategies that worked for some of the top brands in emerging and established economies, in the following paragraphs.

The first and most important social media storytelling strategy you need in your docket is to understand your audience. This is very crucial.

There are no two ways about it. For you to be able to create a significant impact with your storytelling content, you need to know the people that will be consuming that content so you can actually create the kind of content that works for them.

This is where it starts. So, go ahead and find out your audience. Who are they, what content do they like? This is the way to get started.

It doesn’t matter that brand storytelling is  a very authentic kind of marketing. What matters most is that even your most authentic stories has to be shared with the right audience. This is the only way to create the right kind of impact.

Without this, you might put the most energy into creating the most impressive content yet it doesn’t make impact. Because the audience cannot relate to it.

So, before you think of embarking on a storytelling campaign, know your audience, who they are, their sentiments and the stories they can relate with.

A brand narrative is a story about your brand identity. In summary it is a story about who you are, what you’re doing and why you do what you do.

For effective social media storytelling, you want to craft a compelling brand narrative that tells a story that revolves around why what you’re doing is matters to your target audience. And this should be the foundation where your storytelling draws on its authenticity.

As a business that’s worked with new and upcoming brands, one thing that’s very common across branding and storytelling is the fact that no one cares unless it matters to them.

To be able to tell your story effectively, you have to clearly identify your audience so you can tell stories that matter to them | Photos by Edmon Dantes via Pexels

So naturally, your audience doesn’t care about who you are or what you’re trying to sell to them. They are more concerned about how your story, product or offer is going to meet their needs, sentiments or ideals.

These needs could be anything. From hunger problems to love, food just anything. Your goal is to create a brand narrative that can meet this so your everyday storytelling can flow effortlessly, using this as a foundation.

The most powerful stories are not those written by the greatest writers, the most powerful stories are stories in whose words we see ourselves through each line, whose phrases reveals our deepest aspirations and each paragraph reflects our innermost sentiments.

As a storyteller seeking to impress your audience, you have to create stories that matter to them if you really want to create impact.

Like I usually tell my students, although this is your story, this is never about you. It is about your audience and what matters to them. You have to tell the story to reflect this.

So, it doesn’t matter the greatness or depth of your content ideas, to make the biggest impact, your story must reflect the sentiments of your audience, align with their aspirations and easily provide solutions to their needs.

This is the way to go viral with ease. This is how we were able to build our first few client base from scratch as a new digital startup. You can try this with your brand.

And of course when you’re able to do it effectively, you’ll find that social media storytelling could easily become the greatest asset to achieve visibility for your brand.

It’s nearly impossible to make an impactful social media outing without a great strategy. So, before you get started with social media storytelling, you want to create a strategy to work with.

It is not enough that you already know your audience and the content that matters to them. It is important you also post your content at the right time, use the right hash tags and promote across relevant platforms.

Outside this, you also need a robust strategy to take care of the kind of content you want to post, based on your audience’s likes and preferences.

This should come up like a content goal, content calendar and content strategy. The whole lot of this should cover the entire platforms you plan to post, promote and share your content.

Put into consideration also, the time and posting preferences for your audiences, create content around the trending topics or activities that matter to them and do not fail to answer their questions or reply their comments.

Successful storytelling does not just revolve around your content, the content type, format and presentation is almost as important as the other aspects of the content.

So, beyond creating valuable content, you want to create content in the right format.

The consensus today is that video content is increasingly becoming the preferred content format for most platforms. While there’s an element of truth in this, you’ll find that this is not entirely true as there are still a number of platforms posting audio only, text only and image only content which are still doing pretty well.

Create content using the right content format that matters to the largest segment of your audience | Photos by Vlada Karpovich via Pexels

Although it’s always great to have a video in the mix if you can, consider identifying and understanding your audiences or platform preferences in terms of content format before creating your content. This is crucial.

If you’re on video driven platforms like Tiktok, Youtube and Instagram, you’ll know for sure you need a mix of video content if you really want to grab the attention of your audience.

Where your audiences prefer text driven storytelling, you also want to create that content format for them as much as possible.

Most marketers do make the mistake of deciding between text, video and audio as their preferred content format without confirming their audience’s choices.

There’s also the part where storytellers decide between short and long form content without taking into consideration, audience preferences.

This is not the right way to implement social media storytelling.

PS: Regardless of your preferred content type, do not neglect the impact of images and visual storytelling in improving the context and performance of your content.

One of the major drivers of great social media storytelling is your ability to show authenticity through your stories. It leads to increased trustworthiness and likeness for your brand.

And when your audience can like and trust your brand it gets them to move from ordinary content audience to raving fans who will defend, share and promote your brand. This is one of the biggest heights brands can attend with their audiences.

One of the easiest ways to boost your likeness by your audience is to share your vulnerability just as much as you share your strengths.

Allow your audience to see through your struggles, growth and back end story. it adds the human feeling to your brand.

Outside helping to cement your authenticity, sharing your vulnerability is a great way to build trust and relatability. So, beyond being just trust worthy, you become this brand that people can also relate to very easily.

To get the most out of this aspect of storytelling however, be sure to not overshare. Outside bringing your humanity to the fore, there are certainly some things not meant for public consumption, you have to find a way to create this balance.

If your audience have followed you through the thick and thin, seen your mistakes and growth, they should also be able to see and celebrate your wins.

So at intervals, you want to let in a sneak peak into what’s happening around your life. This is very important for personal brands. Point the light on things you’re doing correctly and the ones you’re struggling with.

What this does is that it gets your audience to understand your progress. It also sheds the light about what you can do for them as a brand either because of your current growth projector or what you’re already doing for other brands.

Celebrating your wins also includes things like your corporate social responsibilities and brand interventions. Whether you’re a big or small brand, this is a great way to showcase your commitment to living up your dreams.

In fact, while starting out, displaying and shedding the light on these aspects of our brand helped in attracting some decent sales in our early days. Looking back, I consider this aspect of social media storytelling to be a big plus especially for new and emerging brands.

Final Words

Social media Storytelling is a great tool for big and small brands to amplify their presence and create relatable content that meets the needs of their audience.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a brand that’s just getting started or you’ve been existing for the past 100 years, brand storytelling gives you almost a level playing field to curry the favor of your target audience and using these strategies, you can be sure to create a more bigger and widespread impact.

Beyond using these strategies, you can adapt them to fit your audience’s and brand needs with some iterations.

And of course, you can sign up for our social media marketing course, to gain a more hands on experience on how to use social media to drive brand visibility and growth or reach out to our team here.

So now, it’s over to you. What are your biggest challenges when it comes to using social media storytelling to build brand visibility? Drop your comments below.

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    Victor Winners

    Victor Winners

    Award winning Blogger, Author, Web Developer, Senior Digital Strategist and Founder of Africa's most widely read blog on Content Marketing and Digital Strategy, VictorWinners.Com.Named as one of the top 50 design influencers globally, since 2014; Victor Winners has helped over 2 million readers to understand and use digital technology to transform their lives and businesses.

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