Every time January comes around, so do the new predictions and business trends for the year ahead. There has been a lot of talk in the digital marketing world recently about trends to look out for in 2017, ranging from the emergence of AI, to the development of social media campaigns. In a recent article by The Drum they talk about how social media will develop into a storytelling experience. So, this got us thinking about what the benefit of storytelling over social media is, and why it is so important to a brand’s strategy.
Storytelling brings an authenticity to a brand which enables customers to identify with a brand on a more personalised level. Telling a story via a social media campaign allows you to tap in to a customers emotions and evoke feelings which will leave a longer lasting impression on a person. Take the Humans Of New York social media accounts for example, they are not a brand with a product, but they do know how to generate huge numbers of impressions and engagement due to the nature of their content. They understand that in someones personal social media space, they want to be able to connect with another genuine person.
Credit: Humans of New York Facebook
Succinct and powerful messages posted on social media have a huge impact over time. Storytelling doesn’t have to mean posting a link to an essay on Twitter, it means using the means available on Twitter (whether it be emojis, gifs, memes) to write a story which will resonate with customers and encourage them to share it. Take the British Heart Foundation’s #RestartAHeart campaign for example – the message was short and visual but still triggered a huge reaction in a lot of people. Why? Because people can relate to the BHF’s cause, it invoked a different story or memory in each individual who saw it, and as such they felt compelled to share, which encouraged them to spread the life-saving knowledge making the campaign a success.
Credit: BHF Twitter
Storytelling can give you a competitive edge. In short, do you remember the last John Lewis Christmas advert? Of course you do! Because the adverts they create year on year, and share via social media, tell a story. People actively wait for the new John Lewis advert, or the Coca Cola advert to show, because they are waiting for a new story to be told that they can share in and be a part of. If you compare that approach with a different brand on social media, with no background story or structure, you will clearly see the difference and impact a brand story really has on pushing a business forward.