With each post, tweet, and photo you’re telling your potential client base a story about who you are and what you stand for. Don’t waste an opportunity to tell them something great about yourself. Brand storytelling isn’t just some fad or a corporate buzzword — it’s part of the essential fabric of how people interact with brands on social media. With the right strategy, you can create a story that reflects the true essence of your brand. Not only will storytelling educate your potential clients about what you do, but it will also help build trust and maintain customer loyalty. Here’s our advice on how to create a great brand story on social media. (But first, make sure you’ve got these three basic digital principles nailed).
Personality helps position your brand
There’s a reason why millions of people watch the videos of YouTube stars such as Jenna Marbles and PewDiePie—and it’s not just because they like the content they post. YouTubers have found the secret to building an audience who will follow them for years. They get people hooked on their personality and encourage viewers’ interest in their lives. Every brand on social media can apply this trick to their own marketing strategy. By displaying your brand’s personality you can get people interested in you — encouraging people to follow along with your story.
Use language and content to help create a sense of personality for your brand on social media. You may want to:
- Use humor
- Use emojis
- Tell stories
- Go live with video
- Champion other people
- Support causes
- Get different members of the team to manage social media.
To truly reflect your brand’s personality you need to get to the core of your company’s philosophy. What is your mission statement? What are your values?
Creating a social media mission statement and guidelines is a great way to ensure that your social media personality is aligned with your organizational goals.
People connect with people
First and foremost, you should consider adding a sprinkling of real people to your social media feeds. No one wants to see bland corporate headshots, windowless rooms, and the same old tired logo shots. Get other people to do the talking for you. Whether this is by sharing user-generated content, or by sharing real stories from your colleagues and customers, your audience will connect with this type of content on a much deeper level.
See this example from Intuit Accountants:
As part of the accountancy industry, they could easily fall into the trap of being overly serious and boring, constantly reminding people of tax deadlines and regulations.
Instead, promoting the story of one of their clients (Amanda Hinzmann) brings them back down to earth, giving a human face to their brand. It also helps show that the wider business community is benefitting from their product. Content like this helps your brand story along as it adds to your audience’s mental picture of your company and its clients.
Weaving in human stories is important, but make sure you do it tactfully. Don’t overshare and try to profit from other people’s achievements. The key to great social media content is balance, so share customer success stories amongst content curation and company culture posts.
Originality and creativity
When creating a great brand story — you need to put effort into creating engaging content that’s original and compelling. It’s been proven time and time again that images, videos, and hashtags increase audience engagement on social media. Take note of the popular content formats right now and create accordingly.
- Where possible you should invest some time into creating your own media content. Take photos of the people that work for the company, take photos of satisfied clients, and live stream and video any important events or funny goings-on.
- If you haven’t got stacks and stacks of visual content lined up — don’t worry. A carefully placed stock photo (high res ones wherever possible) with a logo or text overlay can work just as well.
- One very easy way to create original content for social media is to embrace infographic and design tools. Tools such as Canva and Piktochart are very simple to use and can help you create awesome social content like instructables, downloads, infographics, maps, charts etc. in a blink of an eye.
- Hashtags should not just be used for the sake of it. While it may be beneficial to get involved in trending topics, do it sparingly. Only use hashtags that work with your brand. Why not create your own? This will encourage people to get involved with the conversations you started.
Continuity and legacy
The key to a great brand story—a factor many people forget—is how you pull it off and keep consistently sharing your message with the world.
- Don’t chop and change your tactics, but also — don’t be afraid of change. We think of stories as having a beginning, a middle and an end. While you’re not going to want to have an end to your brand story, you’re certainly going to want to show some kind of progression.
- The unfortunate thing about social media is that users don’t tend to have the energy to keep up with every single thing that you do. The way to combat this is through campaigns. Make plans that span just a few months and work towards showing that progression in your brand story. These campaigns may overlap, but also allow you to focus your energy on one tactic at a time rather than trying everything at once.
- That being said, you also need continuity in your story from campaign to campaign. Do this with specifics such as coming back to your core values. Keep colors and aesthetics consistent.
Your business has a tale to tell—and you can use social media to tell it! Give your audience an insider view on what you stand for, and where you want to go as an organization. People want to feel like they know a company on a personal level. With every tweet, image and client story you’re opening up your brand to the public. Share your story and reap the rewards!
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. Big fan of community content and storytelling, as long as it’s genuine and comes from the heart. Say no to bland copywriting.