Think for a moment about the brands you find the most memorable. Chances are it’s because there’s a great story (or stories) behind them and their products and/or services. Storytelling is a vital part of social media marketing and one of the best ways to build a tribe.
There are three key reasons why storytelling is so effective when it comes to brand building:
- People remember a good story
- People will share a good story
- Stories provide connection in a way that sales pitches can’t
Here are the 5 types of story that you can use to grow your social media following
The brand backstory
There may be many different people or companies offering the same kind of product or service as you, but none of them will have the same origin story. The backstory of your brand is what makes it unique. A great example of this is Richard Brandon and the story of how he started his first business, a student magazine, at the age of sixteen from a public phone box. It’s a great and memorable story, and because of this, people want to share it!
Ed Sheeran is someone else who has done a great job of sharing his backstory. We all know how hard he worked before he got a record deal; sleeping on people’s sofas for two years and busking every day for months on end. Everyone loves a rags to riches tale like this. We want people to work for their success. We want to hear about the hard graft involved because it’s inspiring.
Social media offers the perfect platforms for sharing your backstory. YouTube in particular is great for this, as are Facebook and Instagram. Keep your eyes peeled for trends that are perfect for sharing your backstory, such as YouTube’s ‘draw my life’ trend.
The why story
People love to know and understand the reason behind something. They love the human story rather than the corporate speak because it creates connection and empathy. There’s a why story behind every business, but a lot of people don’t bother sharing theirs.
Let’s look at the why story behind Black Rock Media. There are loads of people involved in social media who don’t have a credible track record. The social media industry today is similar to the way car mechanics were twenty years ago. You’d take your car in to be looked at and they could tell you anything because they knew you didn’t have the first clue. At Black Rock Media we want to put our money where our mouth is and show clients their return of investment, rather than it all be pie in the sky. It’s a results based industry and there aren’t nearly enough people demonstrating real results. This is why we created this company.
Sharing our why story creates a level of understanding behind the brand, while humanising the business. It allows our audience to connect with the heart behind the logo.
The behind the scenes story
By sharing the day to day stories behind your work on your social media channels, you’re building trust with your followers and helping them feel that they’re part of the club. The bottom line is, people are nosy and inquisitive; they want to feel as close as possible to the people and brands they like. Imagine if you could have been a fly on the wall in Abbey Road studios in January 1969 when The Beatles recorded Let it Be. Back then that would have been impossible. But now everyone can take us behind the scenes, from business owners to service providers. We all want to be a part of the ‘I was there story’, which is social currency to a tee. Provide your followers with these stories. Allow them to be with you, so that they can say, ‘I was there’.
A great example of someone who uses behind the scenes stories really well is Hayley Williams from the band Paramore. She takes you behind the scenes on everything. It’s like she’s constantly thinking of ways to bring you into her world and this is probably why she has two million Instagram followers. Think of fun and creative ways that you can bring your followers into your world.
The products/service story
Sharing the stories behind each new product/service/creation you offer will help your followers to connect with them. These stories show the human side of your business and make what you’re doing memorable and shareable. It’s important to remember that people buy from people and if someone follows the creation process, they’re more likely to buy the finished product. The epitome of this is the use of crowdfunding campaigns. When someone puts together a crowdfunding campaign, they take an idea and bring their audience on the journey throughout its creation. This allows the audience to feel hugely involved in the creation process and connected to its completion.
Your followers’ stories
If you create content that taps into the stories of your followers, and more specifically the issues they face that you can help them with, you show that you understand them and build respect and trust. Casey Neistat’s vlog about bike lanes in New York City is a great example of this. He tapped into an issue that many people could relate to and the video went viral. You need to create stories that highlight your followers’ problems or needs and show them how you can solve or meet them. This is a hugely powerful tool in marketing in general but lots of people don’t do it, they just focus on the solution. What better way to connect with your followers than by creating a story that highlights their problems as well as showing how you can help fix them?
Grime artist Stormzy is a great example of someone who has tapped into the story of his followers. His work has a strong political message, highlighting the issues facing young people today. He’s given his followers a voice through his work. He stood for something and channelled it into a solution and became a spokesperson for a generation.
When you share the stories of your brand, you build trust and loyalty. This is the crux of storytelling and social media marketing – if you find an audience for your stories, monetising it will take care of itself because you will have built a loyal tribe who will want what you have to sell. How will you use stories to build you brand and grow your following? If you want to find out how we can assist you in growing your following and getting you results, get in touch today.