A narrative is a progressive story that tells others about who you are and why they should take notice of you.
Think about it, without a compelling story, one that is unforgettable, you are just another brand on the (online) shelf.
A well-crafted narrative is what gives brands that ‘sticky factor’ that makes them memorable so people keep coming back to them consistently.
Brand stories or narratives can be developed through traditional media. But, social media offers far better opportunities to engage directly with the audience, to let the audience interact with the brand and for them to become an authentic part (not just spectators) of the brand’s story.
So how to do create a compelling brand narrative to sustain your social media campaign?
Simplify your business purpose
If you are struggling to come up with a narrative, a good place to start is to break down the complexities of your business into a simple, comprehensible purpose.
What are you in business for? What do you hope to give your customer or target audience? What type of experience would you like them to have? What are you offering that is so irresistible?
These are just a few of the possible questions that can help you narrow down your business purpose so you can come up with a narrative statement. Your entire social media brand story will emanate from this simplified narrative statement.
Create solid brand themes
It is common for marketers to throw in any type of content across social media platforms just to get shares, likes and other such vanity metrics.
But, does posting that cute baby picture align with your business goals? The picture may be widely shared, liked or commented upon but does it drive real engagement that espouses your business purpose?
Developing solid brand themes is essentially putting some flesh onto the narrative statement discussed above. You have simplified your business purpose so the next step is to develop content ideas that will support that purpose for the long term.
An editorial calendar is necessary to help you map out overall themes that are in alignment with your business goals and the experience you are looking to deliver to your audience.
For a brand such as Red Bull, its main theme revolves around energy, freedom and adventure while for Walgreens its brand theme is about sustainability, community, and healthy living.
Develop a consistent voice and tone of engagement
A social narrative is not just the cumulative blogs, images, videos or statuses that you create and share over time. The voice and tone of engagement fundamentally influence the narrative as well.
Some narratives are elitist while others have an aura of playfulness; others are chic while others are free-spirited and infused with a sense of adventure, while others have a feeling of community.
For example, the hip and fun social media voice and tone of an apparel brand such as Forever 21 is remarkably different from the chic and elegant tone and voice of a high-end brand such as Burberry.
The voice and tone of engagement will largely depend on your target audience, the kind of community you want to build around your brand and the values that you espouse. All these factors too will determine the type of social content you will create and share.
Personify your brand by weaving others into your story
The best narratives are those that your audience can relate to. They are also the ones that elicit authenticity and build trust for your audience.
Many brands use mascots to personalize and socialize their social media narratives but you do not have to—you can use real people especially if you are in B2B marketing.
Make customers, partners, industry leaders, social influencers, employees and others part of your story. Adding others into your story not only enriches the narrative with authenticity, it also makes it more interesting and therefore more shareable.
Call on your audience to share their own experiences with each other, to create a more vibrant social community.
Leverage social analytics to build a stronger story
Finally, your story is only as strong as your ability to keep track of what’s working and what is not. You really do not need expensive social analytics tools to track the metrics that matter; you can use the analytics provided on the respective social sites.
There are important metrics to keep track of such as the number of people mentioning you, social impressions (reach), active time spent with social content, and conversions. Just be sure that the metrics you are measuring are not ‘vanity’ but rather metrics that give you a true picture of your social efforts and the outcomes of these efforts.
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Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you again!Mike Conkey