Humans love stories. Whether they are told through word-of-mouth, books or films, stories are something that have been capturing humans’ attention for millennia, transcending boundaries and making us feel very real connections with the characters and the themes they are bringing to life.
So, why can telling your brand story on social media often feel like such a challenge? Is there something inherently “wrong” or “boring” about brand stories that make them fundamentally untellable? I say no.
In fact, I believe that social media professionals can learn a thing or two about brand storytelling from filmmakers.
In this blog post, I will take three principles from screenwriting and filmmaking and explain how they can also be applied to creating social media content.
1. Show, don’t tell
When you create your content, ask yourself: what does your content say about your brand? Creating content around the core values of your brand, whether that is thought leadership content, or product/branded content, sends a message about what is important to your brand. Some other questions you will want to ask yourself are:
- How does your content reflect your core values?
- What will people learn about your brand from your content?
- How can your content support your message?
You have to make sure your social media content not only says something about the content itself, but also about your brand as a whole. So, when you think of your topics and content pillars, make sure that every single pillar feeds back into this story that you are telling. As an exercise, try making a flow chart or a mind map with your brand at the centre, and expand it out into core values, then content pillars, then content types, etc. This will help you map out how your content connects back to your brand as a whole.
2. Define your visual vibe
You should aim to post content consistently that has the same visual vibe. Think of colour palettes. Colour can be a very strong emotional tool. We all have certain associations to colours, so it is really important to use that to your brand’s advantage.
However, cultural nuances need to be kept in mind. For example, in most of Europe and the US, the colour white is associated with cleanliness and purity, whereas in a lot of Asian countries, the colour is associated with death and grief. When you as a brand show that you understand these cultural nuances, your chances of succeeding in your target markets start looking a lot better than some of your competitors.
Further to that point, consistency is also very important. By consistency, I do not mean identical. Having a good variety of visual assets is important, so that your audience does not get bored. But what you do want is for all your images to fit the overall feeling or vibe of your brand and the content that you post. If, say, you are a tech brand who is committed to creating a better future through technological innovation, that is quite an aspirational message, so try and find visuals that match that feeling.
3. Introduce your characters
A big part of your brand story should also include people. Who are the people behind your brand story? Company culture and employee advocacy content are a great way to give a face to your brand and let your audience see who the people behind the brand are. It humanises your brand and gives people something to relate to.
You should also think about how your brand affects the people who use your products or services. Obviously, the best way to show that your brand works is by showcasing people who actually use it. If you are looking to expand your brand awareness across borders, just be aware of the content you target each market with. Content that is very UK-specific, for example, might not be of huge interest to someone in Japan.
Want to learn more?
I hope this blog post has been a useful introduction to telling your brand story on social media. For more in-depth information and advice, read my full-length guide here! From reading this guide, you will learn:
- how to define your brand
- how to craft your social media content
- how to tell your brand story
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