In today’s increasingly digital, user-driven society, marketers have to reevaluate how they sell their messages to customers.
Today’s consumers, unlike their predecessors, have a wealth of options for entertainment. If they don’t like what they see, they can simply change the channel or go to another website. They don’t have to settle for what they see first — there’s always another avenue to try.
In terms of advertisements, consumers aren’t willing to sit around and have you tell them your product is the best. Rather, you have to show them. At the same time, you can’t do so in a way that’s in your face or overly sales-y.
You need to engage consumers on their level and interact with them.Consumers don’t just want to hear about a product — they want to cultivate a relationship with you.
Seeing the Power of Social Media
Today, using social media is a must if you want to get ahead in the marketing and advertising world. Regular people using social media have proven time and time again that it is a powerful platform capable of bringing about change.
Social media fueled the Occupy movement and was responsible for how widespread it became. Having an account on the most popular sites isn’t enough, though. To be truly successful on social media you have to interact with users and keep them interested. One of best ways to do this is through storytelling.
Why Be a Storyteller?
Storytelling is one of the most effective methods of communication. When you chat with a friend or catch up with your family, you tell them a story. Storytelling is a part of our day-to-day lives. We go into work on Monday and ask our co-workers about their weekend. We like to hear which beers they drank, clubs they visited or movies they saw. It would sound odd if they gave this information by spouting off statistics, though.
Stories allow people to weave the events of their lives together in a cohesive and interesting manner. By the same token, giving your customers great stories about your product is much more engaging than just telling them which awards it won or which rating it received from Consumer Reports. Ultimately, telling stories through social media is a great way to attract new customers while keeping the old ones interested.
How to Incorporate Storytelling
Storytelling in social media can be accomplished in several different ways:
- Tell the actual story of your business. You can do so easily with micro blogging platforms such as Twitter, where you tweet about new developments several times a day. Tweets are great for sharing relevant news or other information. If you’re at a conference or another important event, tweet about your experience. The same also applies to other platforms, like Tumblr, Facebook, etc. When reading tweets or posts, consumers are essentially reading the story of your business.
- Don’t discount image or video sharing sites like Pinterest or YouTube. Pictures can tell stories just as well as, if not better, than text alone. Holt of California shares old factory and equipment photographs on Facebook to increase engagement and develop a relationship outside of the sale. It’s important to remember that storytelling began as oral tradition. Hearing stories aloud is especially moving, which is why videos are more likely to go viral than other types of content.
- Share quality, original, story-worthy content. This can be a blog post, a YouTube video or anything really. Content is most successful when it had some of the elements of a good story, for example, a hero, plot, conflict and resolution. Anything resembling a story is more often than not comprised of interesting and engaging content. Original, well-written content will always get more shares than recycled or error-ridden posts.
Additionally, there’s more resources and information about social media marketing, for instance, “59 Social Media Statistics You Need to Know in 2020.”