Social media has become a staple in spreading messages and stories around the world. We can all agree that is hasn’t been here too long ago (unlike print ads and TV commercials) but it has taken the world by storm in so many ways. In this article, we’ll look at what makes a great social media story and share some social media storytelling examples worth paying attention to.
Initially, brands and companies saw social media as another outlet to advertise their products to people. At first, it was all just posting a photo of the product and putting something like, “Hey, we got a new product. Try it today!” Unsurprisingly, it all sounded like a pushy advertisement.
As social media became more and more popular, things started to change. Companies rapidly turned to social media advertising, which pushed brands to do something unique, something different, so that they may stand out from the rest.
This was when social media storytelling was born.
What is social media storytelling?
Social media storytelling is the usage of photos, videos, texts, and other elements to create a story or a narrative through social media. It’s not simply presenting facts or a product. This form of brand storytelling is specifically featured on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Pinterest, and many more.
The aim of social media storytelling is not just to promote a product. It also has to be relatable, detailed, and relevant to your audience. You want to increase your brand awareness and attract new followers. Remember, your story is how your customers will remember your company.
Building a brand in different social media platforms can be a challenge. Different platforms require different strategies. This will require creativity and lots of research to find the best way to translate your brand story.
The good news is, customer engagement is achievable. You just have to convey your brand story on social media in a way that resonates with the right audience – the customers who will actually use your products and services. If you do this successfully, rest assured that the follows, clicks, tweets, or likes will come.
What makes a great social media story?
However you plan to share brand stories on social media, whether it’s an article, image, a video, or a long-form post, keep the following points in mind:
Uncover new, intimate, or engaging information – make sure that the post will legitimately capture the audiences’ attention and trigger curiosity.
Aim for emotional response
Create a post that produces an emotional response that will drive your audience to take action. Whether it may be inspiration, happiness, laughter, sadness, or even anger (if appropriate).
Take them on an adventure
Take your audience on a narrative adventure with a satisfying story arc and an outcome. Unless there’s some lesson or transformation that takes place, it’s not a good story.
Unravel small beginnings
Create your origin story in this order: how it all started, what happened next, when it all took off, what have you learned along the way. These kinds of stories tend to do very well. Why? Because people love these rags-to-riches kinds of stories. We love hearing stories about how something from the bottom made its way to the top. It draws more inspiration in hopes that one day, we might do the same.
To create a great social media story, you must always genuinely care about the message and the purpose behind your brand. A great story can help plant a product in people’s minds without them even realizing it – all you need to do is learn how to listen, communicate, and connect.
How to make an effective social media story?
Emotional storytelling can elevate a brand’s social media presence and allow them to create more meaningful connections with their audience. But that doesn’t mean creating a story is easy.
Here are some few tips on how you can make an effective social media story.
Effective stories need to be genuine. Steer clear of exaggerated, over-the-top scenarios. Trust me; cheap marketing ploys can be seen by audiences even from a mile away.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Challenge yourself and create something new. Being unique could result in an insanely effective marketing campaign.
Stay relevant to your product and your message. Being creative is crucial, but you must also stick to your core purpose and convey how your product will improve your customer’s life.
Create stories that are easily relatable to your audience, like common day-to-day scenarios. Create stories that will make them feel seen, supported, and understood.
Being emotional doesn’t mean that you have to make a tear-jerking story. Let your audience feel the emotion of your story, from fun and lighthearted to inspirational and empowering.
5 of the best social media storytelling examples
Here I picked some of the best social media stories that were presented by different brands. These were posted on different platforms, so you can see the variety. Be mindful that some of these stories may not be well-known in different countries.
1. Tide Loads of Hope
Platform Used: Facebook
Much like other cleaning detergents, Tide could focus on how well they clean clothes. But this brand knows that a more emotional approach is better.
Tide launched the Loads of Hope campaign as a way of giving back to others while providing emotional engagement to their audience. The campaign is a community program where they released a mobile laundromat that travels to different areas affected by disaster and does free loads of laundry for the people in need.
They used social media to update people about where they’ll be headed to next to inform the people in need. This allowed Tid to connect with their audience at the same time to let others know about the charitable work they’re doing.
2. Under Armour
Platform Used: Twitter
You might expect a lot of workout-related posts from this fitness apparel company. But their social media posts are more than merely workout videos and photos. The brand is also inclined to motivating and inspiring their audience to keep them moving and become fit and healthy.
They do this by posting different content like workout tips, routines, and daily challenges. These posts result in a highly energizing social presence that their followers keep coming back to.
3. Dove DermaSeries
Platform Used: Instagram
Dove, a famous personal care brand, launched their DermaSeries campaign, which was made for women with skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and excessively dry skin. You may think that since this brand that produces a reputable line of soaps, these new products would easily sell themselves given a catchy headline.
But Dove didn’t use that approach. Instead, they used their social media accounts to share the stories and some snapshots of their customers. This strategy was equally relatable and moving as it speaks directly to their target market in a way that’s empathetic and encouraging —and not overly salesy.
4. Always #LikeAGirl
Platform Used: YouTube
Always, a feminine hygiene brand had its own way to promote women empowerment across the globe. The brand launched the #LikeAGirl campaign promoting the fact that women and girls should not be influenced by the expectations of society.
They created a video showing how young girls who were breaking the mold of what is “girl”-ish and what is not. The video starts with people who are drawing the typical expectations of how a girl should act, and showing phrases on how to “run like a girl,” “throw like a girl,” and so on.
#LikeAGirl demonstrates what young girls really think of these phrases and that “like a girl” shouldn’t be used to symbolize weakness, but instead strength.
Platform Used: Instagram
Intel used its social media accounts to tell their brand’s story literally. They used powerful images and captions to tell the story about their company’s humble beginnings — its founders, first products, notable employees, etc. They have compiled archives from where it all started, which helped show its evolution over time and paint a complete picture of the brand.
The story told with their photos and captions showed how far the company has come, in a way that words alone can’t. This helps create a relationship on a more personal level. If your audience can see the faces and the story that built the brand, it will help establish a common ground and build trust.
I hope you got some inspiration from my social media storytelling examples above. It’s now your turn to pull from it and work on your social media stories. There are a lot of brands that do a great job of telling their stories through social media. Never stop looking for inspiration and keep those creative juices flowing!
Remember, always focus on your core values and the interest of your target audience. Do that, and I’m confident that you’ll be able to use your social media accounts in creating excellent content that engages your followers and elevates your brand.