How To Create Captivating Brand Stories - The Social Media Way!

  • By Andy Fox

Say you’re about to finish work and you get a message from your spouse, asking you to purchase a good bottle of wine on your way home, as a close friend had invited you both for dinner at her place. 

On the way, you pull into a liquor store and quickly dash towards the section where a neatly stacked assortment of wines from various countries, is displayed. 

Soon you find yourself browsing through the finest red wines produced in France, Spain and Australia – but cannot decide on any, as every single one of them was equally good and touted similar stories of being made from the finest grapes and berries, along with their standard tasting notes. 

Just then, next to these bottles, on the ‘new arrivals’ section, a label catches your eye, of an old lady with a handful of wild berries, dressed in rural attire, seems to be smiling her heart out - even though the prominent wrinkles that riddled her face, tells a different story of hardships and struggle… 

You read further to learn the lady’s name is ‘Maya Tsering’ and she is 71 years old. She hails from a Gurung village, situated in the remote hills of Nepal, and is one of the active members of her community, which comprises of 150 households. 

The community which survived on subsistence farming since generations has recently found a new way of generating more income – ‘berry picking’. Maya and her community members collect wild berries from the forest that grow above 8000 feet and sell it to an entrepreneur who makes 12000 bottles of Nepali wine per year, called ‘hinwa’ (the one you’re holding now)… 

With the extra income from the berries, Maya has been able to send her two granddaughters to school and is rearing couple of goats to sell in the upcoming festive season. 

The story ends with: With every bottle you purchase, 2% of the amount goes to a local charity in Maya’s village, which is utilising the funds to build six new classrooms, to accommodate more students and to expand its services as a Higher Secondary School. 

Which one will you choose?  - The French wine, or Maya’s Nepali wine? 

I’m guessing you’d go for the Nepali wine. I surely would go for it without giving any thought whatsoever – simply because it has an amazing story behind it. One that makes perfect sense, adds more value, and is definitely worth a try!

Seth Godin, the marketing ‘guru’ says: “People do not buy goods and services. People buy relations, stories, and magic”. And that's exactly what the consumers of today are looking for, not just a quick exchange of goods for cash, but a ‘meaningful exchange’ – one that takes you on a journey, one that gives you a sense of contentment, values your engagement and weaves you within their ‘brand story’. 

Let’s explore a few ways in which we can ‘construct’ such captivating brand stories of our own, via Social Media:

1.  Facebook – The Humans Of New York

This is an incredibly successful example of engaging an audience with an entire story through your Facebook post. 

The Facebook page, The Humans of New York is all about stories of common people, like you and me. A Facebook post with pictures of individuals, couples and people living in New York and a compelling story behind the image. 

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The stories can be written in short posts (below 120 characters) or longer posts (above 280 characters), either way, the audiences seem to be highly engaged even if they had to click the ‘see more’ link to view the entire story. 

The story above is about a man who is reminiscing the life of his elder brother who was murdered in 1989, and whom he looked up to as a ‘hero’. An incident that made him take wrong turns in life but eventually turned it around with the music which he and his brother loved so much. The post has over 249K likes and 4425 shares. 

This way of storytelling may not be right for you, if you’re looking for people to click a link and capture leads, however, it’s highly effective in telling your audience about your customers, products and building brand awareness. 

2.  Instagram – Airbnb Narrative

Instagram, as we know is primarily to do with stunning photos with a little caption to accompany the image. 

However, Airbnb takes a different spin with their Instagram account. Besides posting stunning images to portray the experience of guests in their hundreds of Airbnb residences throughout the world, they also cleverly nudge you to devour the complete narrative via their captions and cleverly placed links with their ‘bio’. 

Here the stunning picture and caption blend together to entice you fetch more of their story, which can be found by clicking through their bio. Airbnb even manages to weave and cross promote the brand Tesla, within their captivating story of an elderly couple.

3.  Snapchat Geofilters

An innovative way to reach to your audience is by letting them tell their own stories through Snapchat Geofilters. Geofilters are a fun way for users to share where they are, or what they’re up to, by adding a fun overlay to your Snap. 

An example that Gary Vaynerchuk talks about is that of a young entrepreneur, Chris Hall, who was able to get $0.001 cost per thousand impressions (CPMs), for his Snapchat filter and generate over 10.5 million views of his filter in just seven hours. 

Another example is that of RED, who partnered with Snapchat for Worlds Aids Day to offer Snapchat geofilters, to raise funds for organisations fighting against AIDS:


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The filters here cleverly enticed the users to take part in the ‘donation drive’ – an awesome way for people to be a part of a noble cause and show ones support. 

Geofilters are great for brick and mortar businesses such as restaurants, café, clothing retails, etc.,  as the customers get to share their experiences and tell their bit of ‘your brand story’, while they’re at your locations.
 

Finally…

The key essence of a ‘brand story’ is not really about your company or what it stands for, rather it’s about how the story unfolds to understand and relate to your customers, and how it embodies their feelings and aspirations, sending the message  - ‘’We are just like you”! 

If you'd like further assistance or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.

Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email andy@element7digital.com.au 

Our Website is element7digital.com.au

Andy Fox - Author

I have a firm belief there is only one great challenge in life… And that is… To be the best version of you possible. I have lived my whole life to this tune. I love that I am not perfect and I love that every day I get up and make at least one change in my life that makes it better, one change that takes me closer to my life’s goals.

More about me, visit: andyfox.com.au