Have you ever been sitting on the couch at the end of long day, glass of wine in hand unwinding in front of the TV only to have your peaceful evening interrupted by one of those swim spa sale commercials? Do you know the ones we’re talking about? A booming voice-over shows images in quick secession of hot tubs which are “on sale NOW NOW NOW this weekend only at the fairgrounds. SALE SALE SALE! HURRY HURRY HURRY!” Whatever relaxing feelings you may have had are immediately zapped from this loud intrusion. We’re also willing to guess that not once have you gotten off your couch to go buy a hot tub as a result of seeing that ad. Our point? We don’t want your brand to be the screaming hot tub commercial of social media.
As an agency that describes ourself as a storytelling social media agency, we not only understand the power of a great story but work to develop stories daily to connect with audiences around the world. Why are we so passionate about storytelling?
Stories build an emotional connection. If you can recall the last time you read or heard a really great story, there is a strong chance you remember it because of the emotions generated as a result of hearing that story. It may have prompted feelings such as sadness, happiness or trust. Feelings create a foundation for connection and allow us to relate to others through our own experiences. The best way to share our experiences? By telling stories.
Stories nurture relationships with customers. Telling stories might sound like they are reserved for late nights at the bar or for family gathers but brands can also invest in storytelling to connect with their customer and nurture relationships over time. That is why social media is one of the best marketing tools for sustaining customer relationships with direct one-on-one access available at our fingertips.
Stories increase brand recognition. Every company has a story to tell behind WHY their product or service was created. Building content that reinforces your brand values allows your audience to recognize your brand quickly and be compelled to stick around to hear your story.
Consumers today are not interested in TV-like brand advertising, especially when they are on social media. Customers have a heightened sense of awareness for when they are being sold to and while there is a time and place for that, the average social media user is in the mindset of checking in with friends and family members or seeking inspiration. Having a super bowl like ad disturbing this experience is a major turnoff.
How do you develop a story-driven social media strategy?
Identify the stories you have to tell: Take a closer look at your brand values and speak with stakeholders to gain a clear image of what your company stands for and how these values drive decision making. Does your founder have a unique story? Was your product born out a specific need? Do you source your materials ethically? Are you a B Corporation? Why?
Create content buckets: Once your brand values or sentiments are identified, create 3-4 content buckets from which you can organize content to support each brand value. For example, a client of ours has a core brand value of giving back to their local community and dedicates day-long events for employees to volunteer each quarter. Showcasing the impact of this work with their community is a content bucket we develop and support by posting from 1-2 times per month on the topic.
Plan content ahead of time. Having 3-4 content buckets allows you to rotate the themes of your posts each week or month depending on your post cadence. Planning ahead not only allows you the time to create the story and messaging but ensures you aren’t posting continually from one bucket. A content calendar is the best way to keep on track and plan ahead.
Stay and engage. As with every great storyteller, dialogue often follows in the form of comments and likes on social media specifically. It’s important to engage and connect with those who resonate with your story. Be sure to carve out time daily to check in with your social media accounts.
The art of storytelling is not only an effective social media marketing tool but an empowering way for your brand to connect with potential, current and future customers in a way that is authentic and sincere.
Is your social media content strategy echoing a TV-like swim spa ad? Schedule a consultation call to let us help you identify the story your brand has to tell.