10 Hacks for Storytelling on Social Media

Competition on social media is fierce. Brands are now more than ever fighting to stand out in the crowd, generate engagement and cultivate lasting relationships with their audiences. When it comes to creating an impactful message that truly resonates with your audience, research shows that storytelling is one of the most effective ways to do this.

Storytelling appeals to the emotions of your audience. It helps them connect with your brand on a personal level and connotes a sense of authenticity and transparency. However, when it comes to storytelling on social media, the approach and tactics you use to deliver your message are often times just as important as the message itself.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to create, optimize and amplify messages on social media that resonate with your audience, then this post will provide you with 10 tips in order to do just that.

They say content is king, but when it comes to marketing, video reigns supreme. If you want your marketing efforts to be successful, then you are absolutely going to need to have a video strategy for social media. Why? Because video content consistently garners higher engagement rates than other forms of traditional content. In fact,

found that businesses who use video content in their marketing efforts grow their revenue a whopping 49% faster than businesses who don’t.

Furthermore, according to Animoto, video was

that consumers reported finding out about brands they were previously unaware of. It even beat out recommendations from friends and family members. If you’re looking to make a sizeable impact and truly connect with your audience, then video is the way to go. Hands down.

Many businesses make the mistake of focusing on the quantity of content they generate as opposed to the quality of their content. With countless reports and statistics citing that a heavy, consistent output of social media content is crucial to success, it’s not hard to understand why. After all, how are you supposed to keep up with your heavyweight competitors who are consistently pumping out dozens of posts per day in order to saturate and thus, gain control of the social media space?

The answer is, you can’t.

At least not if you don’t have the means to support a full-time social media staff. However, there are other ways you can get around this. Companies that focus on generating tons of content are naturally going to have to compromise on quality. So, leverage your competitors’ weaknesses. Make high-quality, engaging and thoughtful content that stands out. Focus on being personable and identifying shareable moments that would appeal to a wide audience enough to move them to click the “Share” button. This is how you can truly shine.

When it comes to really knocking it out of the ballpark with storytelling on social media, the truth of the matter is that you just can’t neglect aesthetics. When it boils down to it, storytelling is a tactic that should be fitting in seamlessly with your overall marketing strategy and brand as a whole. As a result, it’s important that you create a sense of uniformity or cohesion with the content you generate.

This is also essential to effective branding. There’s numerous approaches you can take to do this. Many businesses choose to add logos to their content in order to tie it to the overall brand. If you’re sharing a lot of content on channels such as instagram, then using a consistent filter or text overlay can help tie everything in from an aesthetic perspective. You want people to see your content and know that it’s yours right off the bat. Uniformity not only helps with branding and identity, it’s visually pleasing and also connotes a sense of professionalism.

In the end, everything boils down to the bottom line. While our marketing efforts are inherently self-serving, that doesn’t mean that we should approach communications via social media with an egocentric mindset. Engaging with your audience is key to success and one of the best ways to do this when it comes to visual storytelling is to encourage your audience to participate in some way, shape or form.

Make the experience interactive. People love engaging and research has shown that they’re more likely to do so when they’re encouraged to. If you’re sharing a story about your company, encourage other individuals in the audience to share stories about their experiences with entrepreneurship. If you’re telling a story about a product or service, then encourage feedback from your audience so that you’re able to glean insight from their responses. It’s not enough to create awesome content, sit back and just wait for the engagement to flood in. You have to be proactive. Encourage engagement and cultivate a relationship with your audience in order to truly make an impact.

There are countless resources available to businesses looking towards visual storytelling as a way to generate engagement and cultivate relationships with their audiences. However, no one is saying you have to go out and spend X amount of dollars on countless services, software and tools in order for your efforts to be effective.

The truth of the matter is that many platforms already offer the features you need in order to optimize your visual storytelling efforts. For example, when Snapchat came on the scene and generated wild success with their ephemeral content, other platforms swiftly began to follow suit. Fast forward a few years later and we have a Stories feature on not just Instagram, but Facebook as well. Since 2015, Facebook Stories have been growing

than news feed sharing and Instagram Stories has amassed an audience of

. Furthermore, both of these features are listed by default at the top of the news feed. That’s right, the

of the newsfeed. It’s pretty much free advertising.

Influencer marketing is pretty much the hottest thing since sliced bread. It’s no wonder why. It’s less costly than traditional advertising and the ROI is greater. In fact, a recent Tomson study found that businesses earn

they spend on influencer marketing. Even more interesting is the fact that the top 13% of these businesses earned as much as $20.00 or more on every dollar spent.

Furthermore, according to Digital Marketing Institute,

directly depend on influencer recommendations when it comes to the decision making process. Reach out to influencers via the various platforms available and get them to join in on your storytelling efforts and help spread the word about your brand. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be leveraging the power of this valuable opportunity.

7. Integrate your storytelling with what’s #trending.

Hashtags aren’t just cool and trendy — they serve a number of purposes that are immensely beneficial to marketing your message on a number of social media channels. For one, hashtags help categorize posts. They also are proven to increase engagement and effectively attract audiences to certain niches. As a result, they can help you not only strengthen our brand’s image but help you get in touch with your target audience, as well as help your target audience get in touch with you. In fact, a recent MarketingLand survey found that

used hashtags “primarily for searching or following their favorite brands or topics”. So, when and where do you use them?

found that Twitter posts using hashtags received twice as much engagement on average than those that didn’t. Using exactly two hashtags also makes your content 55% more likely to be shared. With regards to Instagram, posts with

see the highest engagement. They are also offer the same myriad of benefits for platforms such as Pinterest, Google+ and Tumblr. However, contrary to popular opinion, hashtags

benefit you on Facebook. In fact, they’ve been linked with a

on the platform.

GIFs are an immensely popular form of content that are essentially super short clips of looping video. When

implemented GIFs in a marketing campaign they enjoyed a 42% increase in click rates, 103% increase in conversion rates and a 109% increase in revenue. When Coca-Cola used Ryan Gosling GIFs in their “

“ campaign and encouraged their followers to share their favorite GIFs, it ultimately went viral.

According to Alexa Chung, CEO of Giphy, these little images on average contain sixty frames and “are capable of conveying 60,000 words — the same as the average novel.” GIFs aren’t just insanely popular, they’re an extremely efficient, effective and trendy form of communication that can enhance your storytelling efforts. They’re also proven to help

of a message due to the fact that they are visual in nature and often also have the added benefit of being funny. Furthermore, GIFs can help you showcase your brand’s personality, making your communications more charismatic and engaging.

Don’t just stop with traditional forms of video content. Livestreaming can take your storytelling efforts to an entirely new level. Every platform from Youtube to Instagram and Facebook offers a live video feature and businesses who use live video are noted for generating higher rates of engagement than with other forms of content.

Part of this is due to the fact that live video is just more appealing to audiences in general. In fact,

say they would rather watch a live video from a brand than read content from them. Even more interesting is the fact that

of individuals surveyed said they have a

for live video from a brand when it comes to types of posts on social media. Furthermore, according to

, live video has an 8x greater retention rate than other forms of video content. If you’re looking to maximize your efforts at delivering a message, then live content is the way to go.

When it comes to making an impact, there’s something to be said for staying ahead of the curve. 360-degree video is particularly useful when it comes to emotive storytelling because it offers an immersive experience to the viewer and makes them feel like they are a part of your brand’s experience.

While many businesses are still catching up to the VR trend, the truth of the matter is that those who are already there are seeing great results. In fact, while only 12% of businesses have used 360-degree video in their marketing efforts,

of them found it to be effective. According to research conducted by Veer,

surveyed said that their use of 360-degree videos increased engagement for them.

Furthermore, research by

found that among the 1,300 adults they surveyed, 71% felt that VR made a brand “seem more forward thinking and modern” and 53% said they would be “more likely to purchase from a brand that uses VR than from one that doesn’t.” If you’re looking to truly stand out when it comes to your storytelling efforts on social media, then staying ahead of the curve is the best way to get attention and gain leverage over your competition.


If you’re a brand that’s looking to truly stand out among the crowd, then you most likely already realize the importance of storytelling when it comes to your marketing efforts. Storytelling offers a way for companies to deliver their message and spread awareness about their brand in an organic and authentic manner. Storytelling gives you the ability to connect with your audience on an emotional level and thus is immensely effective for cultivating relationships with your consumers. This is absolutely crucial to your success as individuals today now more than ever are increasingly looking to brands to be more transparent, authentic and personable in nature. These 10 tips will help you effectively deliver and amplify your message across social media and thus, give you that extra boost over your competition that you need in order to succeed.

What are some hacks that you’ve found effective for helping to deliver and amplify your message over social media? Let us know in the comments below!

Originally published at on April 1, 2019.

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