One of the most important elements of creating a social media strategy, is developing a compelling brand story. Your brand story is the core theme of your business, but it’s much more than a tagline. For example, Facebook is a technology company but its brand story is about making the world more open and connected. Every piece of content it creates tells this story in different ways.
Finding your brand story will make sure the content you share on social media is consistent with your brand promise and engages your audience at every stage of their journey. Remember, business is about people adding value to each other’s lives in some way. It’s a human connection, so the stories you tell need to be emotive and authentic.
In a world where your customers are bombarded with marketing messages thousands of times a day, a powerful story can help your message reach your customer and trigger an emotional reaction. It may be a laugh, a memory, a tear, intense curiosity or a surge of inspiration. Whatever it is, it will help customers remember your brand so you’ll be top of mind when they’re ready to buy.
So how do you create your brand story?
Consider these questions:
- What is the purpose of your business?
- How do your products or services add value to people’s lives?
- How does your business differ from your competitors?
- What is the vision and values of your business?
- Why should people care what your business has to say?
- What emotions do customers feel when using your product or services?
- How would customers talk about your business to their friends?
There’s no hard and fast rule about the best way to create your brand story, but the more questions you ask, the more quickly you’ll start to see a common theme emerge. That’s your brand story. For example, Lorna Jane’s brand story is centred around three pillars: Move, Nourish and Believe. Every piece of content her company creates aligns to these pillars, from clean eating recipes and workouts, to motivational quotes and inspiring stories.
Sharing your brand story on social media
Once you know your brand story, you can create content that isn’t just pushing out sales messages, but really drawing customers in with useful and engaging information. Facebook conducted an experiment last year titled ‘The Power of Storytelling’, where it compared the results of a digital marketing campaign that used various types of storytelling formats. It found that in most cases, the best results were achieved when brand storytelling was combined with sales messaging.
You may not be able to tell a complete story in every post, but you can create a series of posts that work together to tell a complete story. This will encourage your community to continue reading and engaging with your content over a longer period of time. Just remember that not everyone uses social media every day, so you’ll need to make sure that each post is strong enough to stand on its own. For example, Humans of New York tells a number of smaller stories about the people of New York City which each stand alone, but can also be read in sequential order to gain a better understanding of the story.
There are so many opportunities to share your brand story on social media, whether it’s through rich visuals, regular blog posts or other useful and engaging content. By integrating your brand story into every post, you’ll send a consistent message to your community and captivate their attention far more than repetitive sales messages ever will.
Annette McDonald is a print, design, brand and advertising expert. She is an innovator who has changed the way the
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