7 examples of brand storytelling through social media
What makes a successful social media post? We can all say timing, using images, having a clear call to action and so on. But what about storytelling! You may have already noticed that some of the world’s biggest brands, Nike, Apple and McDonald’s are already focusing on emotions. And now more brands are using social media to connect with their consumers on a deeper level. Think about some of the brands you are following on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. What type of content are they posting? Yes, some of it will be promotional. But most of it is likely to be emotional, relating to everyday problems, day to day activities and inspirational messages. Research has even shown posts with emotional value are likely to get more shares than the typical product promotion post. To help you look more human online, here are 7 examples of brand storytelling through social media.
1. Show your human side
You heard it all before, showing your human side on social media is likely to get you more engagement. But, what exactly does this mean? In simple terms being human on social media means, showing your employees with big smiles on their faces while doing their job. This could include showing behind the scenes photos, your day to day life or what you have recently learnt.
Graze UK are a great example of a company who knows how to be human online. They regularly post pictures of their employees having fun, events they attend and even manage to promote their company at the same time!
2. Share your brand’s backstory
Another way to inspire your followers is by sharing your brand’s history or backstory. This could a short story about how your company was founded accompanied by a picture of the original founders. If your company is not that old, you can post old photos of your employees (with permission of course!) with cool captions to amaze your audience. A little tip, post your company’s history on Thursday using the hashtag #throwbackthursday on social media to get even more engagement.
Intel keeps their followers engaged by educating them on their company’s inspirational history. This includes posting pictures of some of the company’s original founders and employees on Instagram and facts about their history.
3. Work narrative into your posts
We all know that visual content is important in social media marketing. But that doesn’t mean we should neglect the written stuff. A captivating caption can help create a complete story in a social media post. It can add drama, humour and even more intrigue.
Airbnb are a brilliant example of brand storytelling through social media. They not only post beautiful travel photos but accompany them with a short story. This captivates their followers enough to make them want to check out their blog for the full story.
4. Share multiple posts to tell a story
If one picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how many words multiple pictures are worth! Sharing multiple pictures of events or special occasions can make your followers feel part of the company. It lets your followers see every little detail of the event and make them wish that they were there!
Starbucks has made brilliant use of their Facebook albums to share great snapshots of their charity work, employee events and products. This Facebook album of their ‘Crisis Job Swap’ event is a wonderful example of storytelling through social media. It shows the events throughout the whole day and the emotions on all the employees faces as they give back to the community. Which is not only inspiring but also beautiful!
5. Share inspirational messages
One of the most common ways of brand storytelling through social media is by using inspirational messages or quotes. Inspirational quotes are the simplest and easiest way to get engagement from your followers. No matter who you are and what you do, using quotes seems to always work for any company.
While there are many companies out there that post inspirational quotes, we particularly love how Sharpie share their quotes on Pinterest. They use their own products to write the quotes and share a picture of the quote. Their posts are both promotional and emotional! Have you ever seen anything more ingenious?
6. Use your customers to tell stories
If you’re running out of content ideas, the solution is obvious. Get your customers to create the content. But we admit this one can be difficult for brands with small amounts of social media followers. Therefore, to begin with, you might try holding a competition to incentivise your small fan base in sharing their content. For example, you could organise a photo or video contest with a unique hashtag. This will fill your social media profiles with a range of different posts and almost guarantees engagement.
GoPro is a brand that does this very well. They regularly hold a ‘Photo of the day’ feature on their Instagram account, where they repost the photos of their fans who use their unique brand hashtag. This not only brings them closer to their customers but also shows customers that GoPro is a customer-oriented brand.
7. Use conflict to add drama
Let’s face it, everyone loves conflict and drama. By showing your followers that you make mistakes too, makes you look more human and even adds entertainment value to your profiles. Of course, when using this technique, don’t share anything too personal or damaging towards your company. Some perfect examples of brands could be tweeting about traffic jams, bad weather or the office wifi not working.
Ashley’s Twitter account is filled with her personal ramblings, everything from recipe meltdowns to cute pictures of her pet pooch. She tweets about almost anything and cleverly links her tweets to pictures on Instagram. Nothing gets more human than this on social media!
Bottom Line: Storytelling through social media
Storytelling through social media is not a new concept.You might have even used some of these techniques in your own profiles. The key to successful storytelling on social media lies in consistency. If you choose to be human on social media, you have to follow through. This means regularly posting human posts on social media, so your followers can see the real you. One post definitely is not enough to show people that you are human and definitely not enough to tell a good story.
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