How Convincing Is Your Story?

By trade, I’m a writer.

Check that. Really, when it all comes down to it, I’m a novelist.

I labor away, slaving over the keyboard every day that I possibly can, trying to create music out of language. That’s the art of it. Storytelling, the broader brushstrokes that comprise a narrative arc, well, that’s another story. But you’d have to think — if I can just make every single sentence sing the way I want it too, then the larger project will also sing, won’t it? Not necessarily.

Whatever form I’m trying to shape my words into, and what’s at stake underneath all the effort, is always this simple: I am trying to convince you of something. In my novel, maybe I want you to cry. Or I want you to laugh. In one paragraph or on a single page, maybe I want to teach you something that I think is important, some truth that I’ve been lucky enough to learn.

In the real world and through this marketing agency, we also spend a lot of time and effort, crafting messages for clients. And what’s always at stake? The exact same thing.

We are trying to help those businesses convince their audience of something specific.

Why Storytellers Are Perfect for Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is not that different from the kind of storytelling that goes into writing a novel, when you think about things at the level of the sentence in the way I’ve just discussed. Brands, after all, are a lot like people.

They’re doing their thing in the world, running into obstacles that must be surmounted, coming up with wins that deserve to be celebrated. Instead of an individual getting fired at work, maybe the business gets sued by a former employee and has to throw a lot of money at something unexpected. Instead of an individual receiving a well-deserved raise at work, the business lands a new client, or posts a record sales quarter and makes all its investors very happy.

And all of it is reduce-able to story.

Or more specifically, to one sentence in the business’s novel, which is the story of its life in the world. Think of it like a memoir.

You see, taking those everyday details, the little things that happen to us and to our businesses, and creating music out of them — that’s what social media marketing is all about. You’re trying to convince your audience — prospective clients, potential new sales, someone who is searching for a bit of information and lands on your blog — you want all of those people to know that your story is worth paying attention to. That you have the answers they are looking for, in your product or in your service.

So again — how convincing are you at telling the story of your brand?

Analyzing the Engagement People Have With Your Brand

If you’re looking at your social media presence, and you can’t tell if your story is being adequately told, just take a look at the level of engagement those story details get. Look at your analytics, and see how many people click through to your website from a Facebook update. See how many people retweet something you’ve said on Twitter. How many people are sharing your news on Linked In?

With so much focus on ROI and everything coming down to money money money, it’s easy to think that engagement is a second class citizen in the world of marketing.

But really, it’s everything.

After all, if your audience isn’t engaging with your brand, the products you make or the services you offer, then they’re probably out there engaging with your competitors.

But you’ve got the insight now, right? The one that you needed to go out and do your social media marketing better? That’s right. Become the best storyteller you can, and make each post and update and tweet into the music that is your brand.

[Photo Via: haveyouseenthering]

Published by Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is the founder of NOVEL Creative Agency. Fiction writer, editor, content development specialist, lover of the written word and more, Byloos has worked in SEO and web development since 2006. He's written about every kind of subject under the sun, for clients both large and small. Together with his partner Carrie Seitzinger, he publishes NAILED Magazine from Portland.

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1 Comment

  1. A good article. I know from my experience that being able to share your story is one of the most important traits for successful branding. People love an overarching, moral-encompassing story where an underdog overcomes numerous hurdles and finally beats a giant, or through a series of massive failures a person turns one yes to huge success like Dr. seuss. I am looking forward to engaging with people from all walks of life and interacting freely and creating more business.

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