5 Ways to Grow Your Brand With Social Media Storytelling

5 Ways to Grow Your Brand With Social Media Storytelling

The concept of social media storytelling is built on a tough question: How can you captivate and engage your audience when you’re up against fleeting attention spans, fierce competition, and a landscape traditionally saturated with too much promotional noise? 

The answer is simple: tell them a story

But not just any story. 

A story that reflects your brand identity, values, and personality. A story that resonates with your target audience and makes them feel something. A story that inspires them to take action.

Enter social media storytelling — the art of weaving brand narratives that resonate deeply with your target audience and connect with them on an emotional level. And all this requires creativity, digital marketing strategy, and skill. 

It also requires knowing your audience inside and out. With that kind of knowledge, you can craft stories that speak to their needs, interests, and emotions.

So, read on to learn some effective tips for ramping up your social media storytelling skills and increasing your customer engagement.   

What Is Social Media Storytelling and Why Is It So Important? 

Traditionally, storytelling has been an essential part of human culture, allowing us to communicate, educate, entertain, and persuade. It’s also a powerful way to connect with others on a human level. 

Social media has revolutionized storytelling by providing a platform for individuals and brands alike. Now, we can reach millions of people worldwide with a click of a button. It has also created new opportunities and challenges for storytellers, who have to adapt to different platforms, formats, and audiences.

In short, social media storytelling refers to telling stories aligned with your brand on different social media channels. It allows you to convey your brand message through: 

  • compelling narratives,
  • engaging visuals,
  • interactive elements.

This is a much more impactful approach than just posting about how amazing your products or services are or bragging about being better than your competitors. Social media storytelling will help you demonstrate all this much more powerfully, leaving lasting impressions on your audience and evoking a wide range of emotions. 

It’s about showing your audience who you are, what you stand for, and why they should care.

The following stats perfectly illustrate why you should invest your time and resources in this digital marketing strategy:

  • 70% of emotionally engaged customers spend up to two times or more on brands they trust and are loyal to.
  • 80% of them don’t stop at purchasing only. They become fervent brand ambassadors who recommend their favorite brands to friends and family. 

In other words, drop selling and start telling. And there’s no better medium to tell your brand stories than social media storytelling. 

This will allow you to humanize your brand, express your core values, educate, entertain, and start meaningful conversations with your audience. 

Here are some tips to get you going. 

Tips for Social Media Storytelling

Social media storytelling will allow you to humanize your brand, express your core values, educate, entertain, and start meaningful conversations with your audience. 

Here are some tips to get you going. 

#1 Get to Know Your Audience 

Compelling stories have to resonate with the intended audience. So, if you want your customers to be invested in your stories, talk about their interests, pain points, and needs. 

By understanding how your customers feel, you’ll be able to empathize with them and strike the right chord with your social media storytelling. 

Dove made a huge splash with their Real Beauty campaign, challenging the long-established beauty standards. It featured women of all colors, sizes, ages, and ethnicities. The brand has continued to feel the pulse of its audience, embrace all kinds of diversities, and include them in its stories. 

For example, Dove’s Instagram channel is a safe space where women share intimate confessions about struggling to live up to deeply-rooted toxic beauty stereotypes. By doing so, the brand empowers them to be confident in their own bodies and creates a tight-knit community of loyal customers. 

dove instagram page
Source: Instagram 

One of the best ways to get to know your audience is to create buyer personas — fictional representations of your ideal customers based on real data and research. They help you segment your audience and tailor your stories to different groups of people. 

Monitoring your comments section and obtaining customer feedback through surveys and pools is also a good idea.

Finally, make use of social listening tools not only to track what people are saying about your brand online but also to understand how people feel about it. This way, you’ll be able to pinpoint the why behind all these conversations and use these insights to inform your social media storytelling.

#2 Put a Face to the Name  

People don’t want to connect with cold, faceless corporations. 

They want to see the real people behind the scenes, the ones who share their passions, values, and stories. That’s why it’s important to show the human side of your brand through social media storytelling. 

Let your audience know who you are, what you do, and why you do it through photos, videos, live streams, or testimonials. 

By showing your personality, values, and mission, you can create a more authentic and relatable image for your brand. And it’s authenticity that generates trust, credibility, and loyalty. In fact, 90% of consumers say this is the factor they consider the most when deciding which brands to support.  

Include your team members, customers, or partners who contribute to your success in your stories. This will make your brand more human and approachable and encourage your followers to interact with you more. 

For example, the MarketBeat Facebook channel does a great job of showing the brand’s human side. Besides a lot of educational content about investing, stocks, and bonds, it features the people responsible for their success. By putting their employees at the center of attention, the brand gives them the credit they deserve and puts the company culture on display. This makes them more accessible and generates engagement. 

marketbeat facebook channel
Source: Facebook 

#3 Make the Customer the Hero of Your Story 

You may think that powerful brand story is all about you, but there’s a plot twist: it’s actually about your customers too! 

That’s right, the secret to crafting a compelling brand story is to put your customers in the spotlight and demonstrate how your products or services help them overcome challenges and achieve goals.

Basically, your brand should play a supporting role in this narrative. 

Here are some tips on how to make your customer the hero of your story:

Celebrate Your Customers’ Successes

Share stories of how your customers have used your product or service to achieve amazing results. Testimonials, case studies, reviews, videos, or user-generated content lend themselves well to this approach. 

ATH shared a video of one of their customers’ winning pre-match routine. One of the steps is taking the brand’s supplement.

It’s more effective than a commercial with a similar narrative because it’s genuine, and the main focus isn’t on the product. And yet it is one of the ingredients that helped the customer succeed and win. 

ATH instagram page
Source: Instagram

Use Social Media Storytelling to Engage Your Customers Directly

Ask your customers to share their stories with you by inviting them to participate in your storytelling. Don’t forget that communication is a two-way street. Therefore, to add another level of genuineness to your efforts, comment and like when your customers share their achievements on social media. 

That’s exactly what GoPro does on Twitter. The popular action-camera brand doesn’t hesitate to connect and interact with its customers personally. They like and comment on the tweets in which customers tag them — even if a customer doesn’t have a huge following. So, it’s not only about expanding their reach and organically growing their following but taking a moment to appreciate customers’ loyalty.  

Source: Twitter 

Take Advantage of User-generated Content

Use social media tools to curate and display the best tweets, mentions, and posts in which people talk about your brand or enjoy your product. You can also create a hashtag for your customers to use when they share their stories.

Apple takes the idea of user-generated content to the next level. The brand’s entire Instagram account is dedicated to its customers’ photos and videos shot on iPhone, with a tagline reading “Everybody has a story to tell.” Not only does this serve as the best possible ad for their products, but it also allows their customers to tap into the brand’s massive audience and showcase their art. 

apple instagram page
Source: Instagram  

#4 Establish a Unique Brand Voice 

Breaking through the clutter and being memorable with your social media storytelling can be challenging.

If you want to avoid blending in, it’s essential to establish a strong, consistent, and unique brand voice that your audience will understand and find appealing. Your brand voice is the tone, style, and personality you use to communicate with your audience across different platforms. It reflects your values, goals, and identity as a business. 

Here are some tips to help you create a distinctive brand voice: 

Define Your Brand Personality 

Think of your brand as a person and describe its traits, such as friendly, professional, humorous, or adventurous. 

You can also use adjectives, metaphors, or archetypes to illustrate your brand personality. Based on your brand personality and target audience, decide how you want to sound on social media. 

Do you want to be formal or casual, informative or entertaining, authoritative or conversational? How about using slang, jargon, emojis, or hashtags? How do you want to express emotions or humor?

Be Consistent and Authentic

Once you have defined your brand voice, stick to it across all your social media platforms and channels. 

Don’t switch from one voice to another, depending on the situation or the platform. 

This will help you build trust and loyalty with your following. 

Also, ensure your brand voice aligns with your brand values and mission. Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not or say things that you don’t mean. 

Your target audience would be confused if your social media storytelling narrative suddenly changes from lighthearted and playful to stiff and corporate. 

Test and Refine

Testing your brand voice with your audience is the best way to know if it is working. 

Use social media analytics to monitor their feedback, engagement, and sentiment on your social media stories.

Determine what kind of content and tone they respond to the most and what they ignore or dislike. Use this data to adjust and improve your brand voice over time.

Supplement company FOCL sells CBD, plant-based, vegan, and pet-friendly wellness solutions, which their target audience can easily conclude simply by scanning the brand’s Instagram account. 

The mindfulness-oriented messaging, pastel colors, and mellow imagery are in harmony with the brand’s focus on all-natural ingredients, healthy living, and promoting mental wellness.  

FOCL instagram page
Source: Instagram 

#5 Build Tension 

One of the most critical elements of good social media storytelling is the ability to create and build tension. It’s what keeps your audience hooked, curious, and emotionally invested in the outcome. It makes the story memorable and impactful. 

Every story needs a conflict, an obstacle, or a challenge — something that troubles your customers. So, if you want to intrigue your audience and get them to engage with your story, start by establishing the context and introducing a problem the hero faces.  

For example, a fitness brand could share a post about someone who wants to lose weight and feel more confident but struggles with motivation and self-esteem. 

The plot thickens, and after trying out different diets and workouts that don’t work, the hero feels frustrated and hopeless. In the story’s climax, the hero discovers a solution — a personalized diet plan that the brand offers that will solve their pain point and transform their life.   

The key is to take your audience on an emotional rollercoaster and structure your story as the archetypal battle between good and evil. 

TOMS is a brand that champions cause marketing. Their “One-For-One” campaign raised awareness of children living in poverty and pledged to give a free pair of shoes to a child in need for every purchased pair. 

The brand tries to make an impact, and the storytelling is synchronized with this goal. It revolves around promoting kindness, diversity, and equity. 

This Instagram post is a message sent by their customer and is a textbook example of how to craft an engrossing and poignant story dripping with tension: 

Source: Instagram 

In Conclusion 

Social media storytelling is not just a buzzword or a trend. It is a powerful tool that can help you grow your brand, connect with your audience, and outperform your competition. Use it to showcase your values, share your customer success stories, or create immersive experiences. 

Let storytelling help you leverage the power of emotions, memories, and imagination to make your brand unforgettable.

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