Telling a Brand’s Story on Social Media
By Emily Deady
Our goal is usually simple: Use social media to tell a brand’s story to its ideal fan.
However, the application of that formula is not always easy. A brand’s story is deep and important, while social media posts are short and transient.
To tell a story well across social media requires placing consistent pieces of quality content in front of the right audience. On the front end, the experience should feel effortless. Scrolling through the brand’s channel should instantly immerse the audience in the proper story. But on the back end, this requires an understanding of both the story and the medium.
Find the Story
The first step is understanding the brand’s story and setting it up to succeed on social media. A story always involves a hero struggling against an obstacle to reach a goal. When we prepare a story for social media, we identify those three elements: the hero, the obstacle and the goal. Insider tip: Making the audience feel like the hero is the most important way to frame a story for social media.
Every post on social then becomes a small piece of the story. As the hero, the audience uses their growing knowledge of the brand and its offering to achieve their goal, whether that’s making a purchase, supporting a charitable organization, or learning more about a cause.
Know the Medium
Once the story is ready, however, we are still presented with the challenge of working on an ever changing platform. Facebook is continually updating their algorithms. Instagram and Snapchat are disrupting the the way audiences consume content. Understanding and executing in social media requires a deep knowledge of the social platforms as well as a unique strategy, quality content, knowledge of the audience, data analysis, paid promotion, and constant interaction with the online community.
When these knowledge bases are separated out amongst a team, each individual person can develop a deep understanding of their area. For example, a strategist can spend time understanding the brand, building a strategy, and creating the story. They then work closely with a designer who has the skillset to bring the story to life using visual content. That beautiful, on-strategy content is then promoted by a promotions specialist who understands social media ad products and how to run split tests at scale. When each member of the team deeply understands their own sector of knowledge, they can stabilize the complex process of building and running an effective social media program.
Hit the Target
With multiple people working across different types of accounts, the team benefits from sharing knowledge and experience. Each strategist knows their accounts inside and out, and they collaborate with each other. What is working about a specific audience? What is not working about a specific promotion?
In this way, the entire team benefits from the research and experience of each member. Over time, our strategists have built up a broad understanding of specific audiences, content, and reactions. When they apply a brand’s story to an audience, they are building a calculated and informed strategy to hit the right target.