5 tips to elevate your social-media storytelling

If you are after coveted likes and shares on social media, telling a proper story could deliver them. Photo credit: Getty Images/SonerCdem

In the age of streamable content, instant entertainment satisfaction and independent social influencers fighting for the consumer’s eye, hospitality leaders are in constant search for the perfect organic social-media post. With strategic storytelling, we can create social-media content that excites and invites guests in, capitalizing on their most cared-about issues, wants and needs. Social is everything, but means nothing if your audience isn’t engaged.

Follow these guidelines to craft authentic and engaging social-media stories.

1. Guide Your Followers

Think of followers like puppies, scrolling through their newsfeeds intently, but quick to drop everything to chase a squirrel they saw out of the corner of their eye; easily distracted. With Instagram Story content, we recommend bookending each Story with frames that offer context and a call to action. This can be creatively executed in many ways, but should remain simple. If your Instagram Story was a book, what keeps viewers turning the pages? How will you end with a positive, lasting note? How will you achieve that extra booking?

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Followers are more likely to stay and engage if you provide a taste of what they’re in for, from the get-go.

If your content can’t explain itself without text, or needs the support of audio, make sure you provide text, subtitles or a note to turn on the sound. It never hurts to offer followers all the information they need, concisely and creatively.

2. Find Balance Between Strong Visuals and Words

You can't beat strong visual and written components, regardless of platform. We know that visuals matter most on Instagram, but copy brings content home. In Twitter’s case, all eyes are on copy, yet tweets can get lost in the stream without a strong visual to accent the message.

You must tailor your own story for each post. Find a balance between these two components for your brand to shine.

Storytelling is powerful, but try not to tell too many different stories at once. Keep things cohesive. Photo credit: Getty Images/scyther5

3. Aim for Cohesion Across Content and Platforms

Have you ever read a book where the tone or style shifts out of nowhere with no explanation, or the ending leaves you wishing you never picked it up in the first place? We get it. It leaves you with a deep sense of confusion, sprinkled with disappointment.

That’s how your potential guests feel when social-media content doesn’t reflect cohesion across platforms or throughout a campaign. Just as we invite followers along the journey with context and direction, the look, feel and tone should tie everything together with a bow. Storylines shouldn’t feel disjointed, nor should social-media content.

4. Create Urgency for Engagement

With all forms of storytelling, social-media stories should encourage followers to want to be a part of your journey. It’s important to motivate them to engage with your content.

This doesn’t mean you should spike your social with engagement bait. Instead, craft your story to promote engagement naturally. Ask questions or utilize platform features to encourage engagement, such as Twitter polls and chats, or Instagram’s multiphoto feature.

5. Play to (and With) Your Audience

The best stories and social media storytelling are created by those who have a strong understanding of their audience.

Once you discover what excites and delights your audience, run with it (be it humor, photos of puppies in the wild or gorgeous cityscapes, a relevant meme, etc.).

Don’t forget: A little personality goes a long way.

Lauren Pérez-Maiy is the account coordinator for social-media strategy agency Sparkloft Media.

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