Tag: Brand Storytelling

How to Tell a Story for Your Business in Social Media

Storytelling matters. It matters in our lives and it matters in our businesses. Human beings, since the dawn of time, have been drawn to stories. It’s how we learn and it’s how we relate to one another.

One of the reasons many businesses struggle with social media marketing is that they are using it strictly as a sales tool. However, people aren’t on social media for that reason. They open up their social apps to connect with other people, to learn something new, to become motivated or inspired. If your content isn’t doing these things, then it’s falling flat.

If you want to garner attention and interest on social media, you need to create content that your audience actually wants – and often that involves telling a good story.

Here are some ways to tell a story for your business in social media:

Create an Editorial Calendar

It’s difficult to weave together a consistent, relevant, and clear story if you aren’t certain what you are going to post on social media on any given day. An editorial calendar is a compass for your social media content, outlining what type of content you will share on what days. Once you have a plan for sharing and promoting your content, you can use your editorial calendar as the structure for your storytelling.

Without a calendar, you could find yourself in a situation where you are talking about your service one day, your ideal client another day, sharing a motivational quote another, and then forwarding an article that caught your interest later in the week. What’s ineffective about this approach is that there is no strategy involved. On any given day, you are posting content that isn’t related to the other posts. While you get points for consistency, this method of posting is not telling a cohesive story that motivates people to act.

Here’s a better example of utilizing an editorial calendar:

For the current month, you’ve chosen the theme of ‘Sharing Our Business Origin Story.’

You know that on Tuesdays, you share your main piece of original content (this could be a video, a podcast, or a blog post). On Monday, you post a quote from that content and share it as a kind of teaser of what’s to come. The day after you share your original content, Wednesday, you create a post that’s promotional, tying in what you do with what you created. On Thursday, you share some behind the scenes photos of a past project, your workspace, or an inside peek of how you began your business. Friday is a great day to engage your audience by posting a poll or asking a question.

In this scenario, your editorial calendar looks like this:

Monthly Theme: Our Company’s Why & Why It Matters

Weekly Theme: Our Origin Story

  • Monday – Quotes
  • Tuesday – Original Content
  • Wednesday – Promo Day
  • Thursday – Behind the Scenes
  • Friday – Engagement

For ease of use, keep the calendar the same every week/month, switching out only the content themes.

An editorial calendar is really the foundation of any successful social media strategy. It allows business owners to know exactly what type of content to create and also provides a structure around their storytelling and calls to action so that the output is easy to understand and has a natural flow (like a story).

Plan for Engagement

Any social media marketing plan comes with a word of warning: DON’T be one of those businesses that posts content and then disappears. Scheduling social media content is a great way to save yourself time and to stay on track with your messaging, but social media is meant to be… social.

Too many businesses use a post it and forget it strategy and then go around telling any other business that will listen that social media marketing doesn’t work. The truth is… it doesn’t work for absentee business owners. Have a plan for social media engagement. Even if it’s only 15 mins a day, 3 days a week – some presence is better than none.

Your audience will quickly grasp onto the knowledge that you aren’t there for them and they will take their time and attention elsewhere, leaving your story to be unseen by the people you want to attract.

Showcase Your Brand

We encourage our clients to share their personal and professional stories on social media as often as they can. It’s important that, in your content, you are showcasing your personality, your business culture, and all of the things that make your brand unique. This helps your audience get to know you better which builds both interest and trust. No one is going to do business with you until they trust you.

When showcasing your brand and business on social, have your audience in mind. You want them to be inspired by the good you are doing in the world, but you also want them to feel motivated to strive for more so that they’ll sign up for your product or service. How can you make your audience the hero of your story?

Not everyone is a writer and storytelling doesn’t come naturally to all. However, mastering the art of sharing your story online is the most impactful way to build your brand and grow your business.

Are you looking for social media training you can participate in, right from the comfort of your home?  Join others utilizing our 40+ video training series that you can participate in, at your own pace, from your home.  We have a Private Facebook Support Group, Monthly Ask the Expert Mastermind Sessions, FREE Ebook and regular new videos to support your marketing. Learn everything from creating the editorial calendar, to creating custom branded images, to the best use of hashtags, to paid ads and reporting by joining the Social Power Program.

 

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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.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#ShareYourMessage – Creating Authenticity in Your Messaging

It doesn’t matter how unique and creative your social media messaging is if the people reading it don’t believe you. And if they don’t believe you, they certainly won’t engage with you.

Face it, today’s audience is pretty sophisticated. People can spot a fake a mile away. Mark it down in big red letters, your social media audience needs to trust you, or they will leave your space, and they probably won’t come back. That sounds pretty harsh, but it’s true. To be successful on social media you need to be authentic, and to be authentic, you need to be honest and true. But how can you create authenticity? Actually, there are a number of ways. Recognize, however, that these strategies work together. One does you no good without the others.

When your community talks, you need to listen. Whether the feedback you get is positive or negative, you need to respond in a way that is open and honest. Where improvements should be made, you must be accountable. When you get kudos, you should pass them along to the people on your team who deserve them. Your social media platforms should be a place where your customers will be safe from judgment.

Share a consistent message. When you talk to your community, your message should be consistent across platforms. That doesn’t mean that you should be a parrot, just that when someone sees your brand they know what to expect regardless of where they see it.

Be yourself, a human being. When people reach out to you for wisdom, advice, help, or whatever they come to your social media for, they want a response that is personal and human. They do now want a robot who cites chapter and verse. Think about the last interaction you had with a support person who lacked experience. Chances are he or she merely read from a manual rather than listening to what you were saying and jumping ahead to help you get to a solution. How did that make you feel? That is not the image you want for your social media.

Creating authenticity in your messaging is a process that consists of a variety of moving parts. The first step is really listening to what your audience is saying and giving them a personal, human response. You need to be real, open, and honest. When you do that you’ll create a community that trusts you and keeps coming back.

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.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#CelebrateSuccess – Share Your Success with Your Tribe

When was the last you gave yourself a pat on the back? Like most people, it was probably some time ago. For many of us, celebrating success feels like bragging, and it makes us feel uncomfortable. The truth is, there is nothing wrong with tooting your own horn once in a while. In fact, experts tell us that celebrating when things go well does a lot more than just give us a warm fuzzy feeling. It helps us build confidence, reinforces a positive attitude, and helps keep us motivated.

Aside from what celebrating our success does for us, it can do a lot for those around us. If you’re honest about it, you would probably admit that without others you never would have had the success anyway. So why not share the success with your tribe—those who got you there.

There are lots of ways you can celebrate with your audience, and social media is one of the most accessible and useful ways to do that. Here are five ideas for how you can make sure that the people who help you know how they’ve contributed to your success.

A Simple Thank You

The most straightforward way to share your success is to thank the people who got you there. That thank you can be in the form of a shout-out, a gift, promotional pricing or some other thoughtful gift.

Customer Success Stories

You can tell the story of a successful customer and how they got there. After all, their success is your success.

An Employee Profile

Your employees do a lot to help you succeed. Why not let your audience get to know them a little better by talking about how they made you successful?

Share Your Secrets

Is there something special you do that contributes to your success? If so, why not share it with others who might benefit? It may be a tool or a technique that you have mastered or a philosophy that works particularly well in your industry.

Pay It Forward

When you re-post information by a customer or another essential member of your tribe, you are helping to contribute to their success; whether you comment on something they write, retweet something they pass along, or respond to a comment, you are helping them become more influential.

No one achieves success on their own. Letting those who helped you know that you appreciate their contribution to your success will make both you and your tribe feel good, provide motivation, and bring a more sustained positive attitude. So start celebrating!

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.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#FreshContent – The Value of Storytelling

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.

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.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.


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