• Are you telling your brand story in social media?

As a social media marketer, you know how important it is to have content that is high quality, frequent, and consistent. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? The truth is, it’s not easy at all. In fact, it’s pretty hard to keep producing quality content that is engaging, well written, and offers something useful to the reader. What’s the solution? In a word: storytelling.

In marketing terms, storytelling means that your copy makes a connection with the customer BEFORE it introduces the product. You can probably think of many TV commercials that use storytelling that way. Think of the ones that catch your attention because they hit your emotions. You may not even see what they are selling until the very last frame.

Focusing on the story rather than the product may sound counterintuitive, but the goal is to create a connection with the customer, not necessarily to drive them to run out and pick up the product. A good story will create trust and stay with a potential customer when it comes time for them to choose a product in your niche.

Once you begin to think in terms of telling a story rather than showcasing what you’re selling, you’ll find fertile ground for building new content. From stories that relate to why you started the business to educational experiences, your stories can provide your customers with new insights into your business and your products.

Before you start to build your stories, you need to make sure that you really know your customers and what type of information they will make a connection. For some, educational stories will work best while for others, stories that tie to the news of the day will make the most sense. Whatever type of story you believe will work best for your audience, your stories should follow some simple rules:

Be Truthful: If your message is contrived, it will show. Use your own experiences to craft your stories.

Write Well: It may seem obvious, but your stories should not only be expertly worded, but they should also hold together by having a beginning, a middle and an end.

Be Consistent With Your Brand: Like all your marketing materials, your stories should communicate the image you have designed for your brand. If it is not consistent, your customers won’t believe it.

Make it Personal(ity): To help your customers connect to the story, make it personal and fill it with a personality that is compatible with your brand image.

To help trigger your creative juices, take a look at some of the best storytelling campaigns: Apple, GoPro, Allstate, McDonald’s, and State Farm are all master storytellers. Once you are inspired, get to work on your story and be sure to make storytelling a crucial part of your social media campaign. Remember, it’s not always about the short-term sale: you are building for the long run.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

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It’s almost the start of a brand new year, and that means it’s time to make your marketing plan. There are customers out there who are looking for your business, so what are you doing to bring yourself to the forefront and #BeAwesome?
There is power in storytelling, and your brand story is essential to gaining the advantage of your ideal market. Your real story, the pains you are solving, the struggles you’ve faced to be able to help them with their pain points…all of this is essential to a solid brand story.
Your customers want to know who YOU are, and what YOU can do for them. It’s time to put yourself at the forefront of your brand.
Here are some great questions to get you started:
  • What is your company’s origin story? Where did it begin?
  • Where is it headed and how do you plan to get there?
  • What significant events in your life and company’s history lead to where you are now?
  • What pains have you overcome to succeed, now?
  • What drives you to help others overcome those same struggles?
Your audience is tired of seeing generic platforms that try to sell to them constantly. They want a personal touch, a way to connect with a real human on the other side of the screen. Showing them the work behind the scenes is a great way to build an emotional investment in your viewer. People relate to the stories of other people.
Remember that you’re the face of your brand. If you’re late or slow to comment, that’s also a part of your brand. You should put your best (and most professional) foot forward. That doesn’t mean you have to use stilted language and respond like a robot. It does, however, mean that you need to put out professional quality and accurate information. A key point to remember is that a live video Q&A, training, etc. doesn’t mean a last minute production. Create quality content and you’ll gain the trust of your audience.
As a side note, consider adding a section to your site that highlights your most popular articles, products, or services. This gives your potential customer/client a great place to start. Shining the spotlight on these valuable posts and services will showcase what your brand is all about. Using the title “Most Popular” can have a great side effect of showing an active brand community.
It’s a new year. Use this time to ensure that you have the YOU in your brand.

 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.
Recommendations and word-of-mouth are still the most powerful way to gain new clients. Unfortunately, that recommendation won’t happen unless you encourage them to tell your story. After you complete a project for a client, ask for a recommendation, referral or testimony. This shares your story with your audience on what it’s like to work with you.


If the idea of asking for a recommendation, referral or testimony makes you uncomfortable, remember this: people won’t give their referrals or recommendations unless they love the work you do for them. Most people don’t even consider giving them because they don’t know what they are. Here are some great ways to break the ice and get the love from your happy clients…without coming off as sleazy or pushy.


  • Whenever a customer compliments you, give them a quick and sincere thank you. Let them know how pleased you are that they’re happy and then ask if they know anyone else who could benefit from your services. This is a referral.


  • Referrals can also come from other businesses. Set up a referral business with a complementary company. If you are in the web design business, for instance, you could set up a referral service with a hosting company you trust. That way you can both offer incentives and discounts to encourage additional business. If you’re not sure where to begin, think about the additional services your clients and customers need once they’re working with you.


  • Another way to gain referrals is by setting up a commission. If you’ve ever signed up for an affiliate program, you’ve done this already. Amazon does it and so do many successful entrepreneurs. A person who has signed up for your commission program shares your product or service. They have a special signup code or affiliate link to provide their viewers, customers, etc. Once a person takes your offer through their connection, the referral member gains a reward. It can be a percentage of sales, product discounts, or free products after so many referrals.


  • Make it easy for your clients and customers to leave recommendations and testimonies by creating an easy-to-navigate system. Setting up an online form through your website, for instance, really makes it simple, and gives them time to formulate their testimonies. You can provide a sample template to get them started.


  • Share all of your goods and services with them, so they know what else your business can do.


  • Treat your clients as partners and key players in the success of your business. They want to know they’re important to you. So let them know how much you appreciate them!


Here are some excellent moments to ask for referrals, testimonials, and recommendations:
  • After you get through a difficult situation with them.
  • Upon completion of your service.
  • When they mention their appreciation of your company and the way you do business.

You are in the business of helping people, and the people you help want to share that experience. Making it easier for them to do so helps you both in the long run. Someone out there needs your help, and an awesome story about your company may be exactly what gets them to you.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

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