Does your business sell advertising or tell stories? Creating compelling stories that foster a connection between your business and consumers goes above and beyond what an expensive ad could do for your company. People expect more from advertising. They don’t want to be sold something — they want an immersive personal experience.

How can your small business achieve this? If you’re active on social media, you’ve accomplished the first step. The hardest part is creating authentic content tailored to your target audience and engineered to best fit each specific platform.

You’re no longer an advertiser; you’re a storyteller. People don’t want to listen to the salesman at the kiosk, but they do want to hear the campfire story. Here are some ways to master the craft of storytelling in social media marketing:

1.     Structure

Every good story has an enticing beginning, steady build to a climax, and a resolution. Stories without a climax are the stories that have no point or purpose. If you think about your favorite stories, they all follow this general pattern — whether it’s a feature film or a story about a bad date. A good story is a story with structure.

2.     Values

A belief ecosystem is the backbone of your company platform. It should also be the backbone of your stories. Referring back to your core values allows you to shift your image away from product-oriented branding and toward an integrative consumer-centered business. Especially on social media, this strategy is key. For example, followers of a pet shop are not likely to “favorite” or “re-post” an ad for 20% off or a story about why it is the best pet shop. However, a story highlighting the importance of rescuing pets, with the example of a dog the pet store saved, would have the potential to attract many “likes” and “shares.” The value of saving shelter animals is common ground between the pet store and its niche group.

3.     Local Connection

Let’s return to the pet shop example. A story about a shelter dog is going to spark more conversation than a typical advertisement. But a story about a shelter dog that was saved locally will do even better. Why? The closer the story is to home, the more real it becomes. People take pride in their homes and communities. Stories that connect the business to their real lives are more likely to convert new followers and impact your sales.

Social media allows a massive influx of communication that was previously not possible. Users are consuming and sharing new information at a constant rate. 

So rise above the noise and tell a good story. I know you can do it!

All the best,