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Storytelling is both an anchor and compass for social media marketing.
Good stories can help to enliven your brand. Great stories can thrust you into the dizzying heights of social media stardom. (Well at least until the next big thing comes along.)
However, what sort of stories should you tell, and who should you focus your attention on?
Her nifty blueprint for storytelling ticked all the important boxes for brand storytelling success:
Here’s how the Story Strategy Blueprint looks like.
Courtesy of The Meaningful Book
Let’s dive into each of its sections.
Start with the top left-hand corner of the blueprint, and think of your customer’s story.
As you start to build your customer profile, go beyond the basics such as her demographics and psychographics.
Describe a day in your customer’s life as fully and richly as possible, and ask yourself these questions:
PS – a good way to mine your customer story is to look at what she may be posting on a regular day on social media.
Moving to the bottom right-hand corner of the blueprint, your next job is to document your understanding of what your customers truly wants – but can’t – and consider how your products and services can help her.
To develop a unique insight of your customer’s situation, consider how you can create the greatest opportunity to make the most difference to her life.
You should also think about your marketplace (both products and ideas), as well as your competitors.
Is the market already flooded with options for your customers? Or can you offer something that can meet an untapped customer want, need, or desire?
Next, follow the loop back up to your product.
The information which you’ve obtained from the earlier Insight stage should inform the types of products, services and content which you create for your customer. This should be as closely matched as possible to the specific insights which you’ve garnered.
List them down and include the following:
Lastly, consider how you want your customer to experience your product or service.
Here, you may wish to walk through your customer’s buying journey from awareness to advocacy, and consider how your advertisements, messages, and product experiences may impact your customer on every touchpoint.
Ask yourself these questions:
In the book, Jiwa warned readers about the ‘breaking point’ – this was where many companies failed to translate their insights about their customers into product features and benefits that truly serve them.
I believe that there are several ways for this to occur:
Although Jiwa’s book focused mostly on weaving meaningful stories into your products, her lessons could easily be transplanted to the world of social media marketing.
The key thing here is to break your product stories into short bite-sized narratives that are written from your customer perspectives.
For instance, you could produce a series of short online videos using the Story Strategy Blueprint which goes like this:
This same approach could be used for different social media content formats (text, photo, video, live stories) across channels like blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other channels.
The story of GoPro never goes cold.
In the book, we learn how Nick Woodman planned a five-month surfing trip to Australia and Indonesia to work out how he could continue his entrepreneurial journey after the failure of his second online business in 2002.
The inspiration of GoPro (ie STORY) came when he couldn’t find a camera that could allow him to take close-up photos of himself and his friends while they were surfing.
Nick then tried to develop a wrist harness into which he could put a single-use disposable camera, but unfortunately, they could not withstand the water impact of extreme sports. Knowing that other surfers would want the same kind of camera setup (INSIGHT), he decided to build a camera company.
Nick took two years to find a waterproof camera from a Chinese manufacturer. Built with US$265,000 of capital, it got off the ground in 2004 and launched its first product (PRODUCT).
This went through several rounds of iteration and improvement, drawing on his customers’ experience (EXPERIENCE).
What I love about GoPro is how it constantly uses social media channels like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to amplify customer stories. By tapping on customer created video content, GoPro is a perfect example of a company which interweaves its product offering with the lives and experiences of its customers.
Oh, and since we’re talking about GoPro, here’s one of their videos for good measure.
UPDATE: Apparently GoPro has got themselves into a bit of a financial fix. Well, I believe that is less of an issue with their storytelling than it is of leading and managing a large company. Hopefully though, they can pull themselves out of the morass.
In summary, here’s what you can do to use Meaningful‘s Story Strategy Blueprint:
By using this framework for social storytelling, you can shift your focus from knowing your customer to understanding her unique needs. This can be understood as moving from…
Awareness –> Attention –> Action
Attraction –> Affinity –> Action
To find out more, check out Jiwa’s website on the book here.
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