Storytelling in Social Media

There is a story for every business, and not just the “this is how we came to exist” story.

Gone are the days that allowed marketers to put together a simple ad and broadcast it to the masses and consider it a job well done. With the birth of social media, the playing field for marketing has changed. There is a major shift in terms of the relationship between consumers and marketers, with consumers now in control of the content that reaches them, that they choose to engage with, and that they share. We can no longer just publish ads and hope it works, we need to provide consumers with engaging, compelling content. That’s where storytelling comes into play.

Creating a campaign around an authentic story involving our business/organization provides not just engaging content, but an emotional connection for our audiences to react to. Social media provides a conversational channel that should not be limited to just sharing content, but telling it and providing a voice to the organization. Storytelling allows brands to actually speak. captivate and interact with their audience, it is less about marketing a product and more about engaging the community it reaches.

I am lucky enough to be assisting in the marketing of a local agency that offers tremendous programs throughout the community. Despite their long existence in the community, they don’t always have the impact they should from their current marketing efforts. When looking at possible campaigns to increase engagement and improve brand awareness, it was evident storytelling would play a large rule.

Enter the Fish…

One of the newer programs that the organization is working on is bringing fresh, organic, clean produce to the community. One method is by housing their very only Aquaphonics system. They are currently growing lettuce (almost harvest-able), along with some newly added tomatoes.

While this is just one of many programs they are currently working on, it makes for the perfect storytelling campaign:

Abundant media- from photos detailing the growth of the produce, to video of the fish (which grow along with the produce) there is a never ending continuum of content available during the planting, growing, and harvesting cycles which carries on once the produce becomes available to the public.

Community interest- locally grown and harvested, and then available to the community means that from the organizations buying it and preparing meals, to the hopeful availability of public purchase, the community gets a first hand look at where their food comes from.

Audience Voices- inviting the community to share their related stories: meals created with the produce, other organizations utilizing the availability of the produce; it gives a chance at inbound engagement and makes the community feel as if they own a piece of the story.

Educational Value- not only does bringing the aquaphonics alive benefit the marketing needs of the organization, but it also provides a chance to help educate the community on multiple aspects: sure they will learn this program exists, but this storytelling also allows us to include social awareness on the importance of diet, nutritional information, details about growing cycles, providing tips for DIYers, and endless other valuable lessons.

With the overwhelming growth of social media and social marketing, a storytelling approach to engage audiences is critical, and the planning of social storytelling should be well thought out, inclusive of the audience, informative, and consistent. The overall plan for this particular storytelling campaign is, still, in the works as we develop a plan that reaches across multiple social platforms and also utilizes old media to increase exposure. What we have established is a fun engaging social persona that will carry well to diverse audiences. I’d love to tell you everything we have lined up, but instead will encourage you to follow along once the campaign is released… that is after all, the end goal.

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