Social Storytelling: A Powerful Tool to Captivate Your Audience

Everything you see online, every story on Instagram, every ad on YouTube, and every post on every social media platform ever has a story to tell. These stories so perfectly capture our attention that they feel real. But, have you ever wondered why marketers needs to tell stories online? And, why you need to too.

Why is social storytelling a big deal?

The thing is, whether you like it or not, people don’t want to be sold to. But, they do and always will want to buy what they know will help them. And, stories(or social storytelling) are how you convince people that you have what they need.

Whether it’s through shared experiences, emotional resonance, vulnerability, universal themes, or active listening, stories can help to build empathy, understanding, and relationships. By harnessing the power of storytelling, you can not only build meaningful relationships with your target audience, but convince them that you not only understand what they are going through, but have the solution to all their problems.

This is why digital storytelling almost works like magic.

Ads don’t sell, but, stories do. People don’t buy products. But, they do see pleasant experiences as investments.

social storytelling

Spice Up Your Social Media: Why Storytelling is the Secret Ingredient You Need!

The reason why social storytelling is such a widely used tool on social media is that it helps you to make a connection with your audience. When you’re listening to a story you’re engaged in it and that triggers communication. There have been various scientific studies that showcase how a story can evoke the following things:

  • Emotion: While listening to a story various parts of the brain activate and most of these parts are responsible for feelings and emotions. Therefore while listening to a story the listener can emotionally connect with the storyteller and disconnection can be intelligently leveraged to make the listener take certain actions by having an impact on the listener.
  • Action: Evoking emotions and feelings in an individual is one thing but having an individual take action based on the emotions and feelings felt is a whole another thing. And that is where the most powerful aspect of storytelling comes into play: its ability to make individuals take concrete actions. There have been experiments that showcase the same result. In an experiment where volunteers were told a story about a lucky Statue and how touching the Statue could bring about good fortune into their life. More than half of the volunteers believed in the story and ended up touching the Statue.  

Connection: Stories have a unique ability to evoke a sense of connection between the storyteller and the audience. This connection is created through the emotional and psychological impact of the story on the listener, and it can be a powerful tool for building relationships and empathy.

Consider the #SmileDekeDekho campaign by Lays. Watch this video and try to guess the story it is trying to tell and the impression it is trying to leave in your mind:

For this campaign, Lays hired more than 700 influencers to participate on social media.

In the midst of a hectic day, why not share a smile with a packet of Lays to ease the tension? If this isn’t a perfect story to tell on social media(and television for that matter), I don’t know what is.

This particular campaign received 185 million impressions!

If not our hearts, Lays definitely quite a few smiles with this particular campaign.

Here’s How To Craft A Perfect Story To Share On Social Media

Storytelling on social media is a great way to connect with your audience and foster a relationship around your brand values and message. You can get started with social storytelling using social media using the following steps:

  1. Know your audience: Before getting started on the story, understand your audience and the value of the theme, relate to, and would be interested in. 

And keeping those pillars in mind, craft a story that touches these themes and is something that your audience is likely to connect with. 

  1. Keep it impactful: Considering the insane amount of content created every day on social media, the competition is cut-throat, which calls for your content to stand out in the middle of the noise. Add your unique twist to the content and make it stand out. 
  1. Make it appealing: Social media offers a huge variety of tools and effects that if mixed with the right creativity can and innovation can make mundane content such as infographics and facts seem way more interesting, impactful, and memorable. 
social storytelling

Make use of the latest features and trends of a platform. 

  1. Be Real: Sharing content that’s inspired by your real experience not only allows your audience to connect with you better but also makes you stand out because your experience, learnings, and advice are unique and novel to you and act in your favor. 
  1. Plan it well: Grabbing the attention of your audience on social media itself is an uphill task and which you can accomplish by having hooks at the start of your content and by making it appealing. However, once you’ve captured the attention of your target audience the next step is to sustain that attention and have a lasting impact on your audience which happens by planning the content strategically. Make sure that every piece of your content is worth it, to the point, and brings value to the audience. 
  1. Encourage action: In the end, your content must encourage the action of some sort; something that forces people to like, share or comment as this engagement is what builds a following and in the long run a community of engaged and loyal folks. 

Social Storytelling: Some Tips & Tricks

Digital storytelling is neither as hard nor as easy as you think. Here are some tips & tips to help you get started:

social media storytelling
  • Have a clear message: Before even starting with the draft of a story ensure that you have got a crystal clear idea of what it is that you want to convey, only then can you chalk out a story that’s in sync with your motive and have an impact on the masses. 
  • Use storytelling techniques: Spice up your stories by exploiting storytelling techniques like metaphors, analogy, foreshadowing or humor(like Lays).
  • Make it appealing: Social media offers a huge variety of tools and effects that if mixed with the right creativity can and innovation can make mundane content such as infographics and facts seem way more interesting, impactful, and memorable.

Make use of the latest features and trends of a platform.

  • Be Real: Sharing content that’s inspired by your real experience not only allows your audience to connect with you better but also makes you stand out because your experience, learnings, and advice are unique and novel to you and act in your favor.
  • Plan it well: Grabbing the attention of your audience on social media itself is an uphill task and which you can accomplish by having hooks at the start of your content and by making it appealing, to begin with, however, once you’ve captured the attention of your target audience the next step is to sustain that attention and have a lasting impact on your audience which happens by planning the content strategically. Make sure that every piece of your content is worth it, to the point, and brings value to the audience.
  • Encourage action: In the end, your content must encourage the action of some sort; something that forces people to like, share or comment as this engagement is what builds a following and in the long run a community of engaged and loyal folks.

What To Watch Out For While Sharing Stories Online

  • Don’t be too sales or pushy: If you want to get the most out of social storytelling, make stories not about yourself or your brand but about the people who’d be consuming these stories. 
  • Don’t neglect the platform: Never take the platform for granted as you may have a great story but if it’s not optimized as per the platform, the chances of it getting the traction it deserves are slim. 
  • Don’t be too open-ended: When trying to appeal to the masses being open-ended with your content might seem to be the way to go about it, but sometimes this may backfire as the more open-ended it is there are chances that it might not be as impactful as opposed to something that’s to the point and concise. Though there are themes where being open-ended is the only way, and if such content works for you then you may stick to it, but if it’s not working out for you, do give some to-the-point, precise content types a shot. 

Mastering the art of storytelling takes time and constant trial and error. There are obviously some thumb rules and tips that help you to get started and chalk out more than just average stories, but specifically, there’s no one size fits all approach to storytelling. It depends on several factors but constant practicing gives you an edge and helps you decipher a methodology that works the best for you. 

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