Increasing engagement is a critical social media marketing goal marketers aspire to reach. However, with a saturated social landscape, it can be challenging to create shareable content. Let’s show you how to cut through the clutter and get Buzzfeed like engagement levels.
Telling compelling stories on social media is a great way to connect with your audience and increase engagement. Since humans are designed to share stories, use these tips to improve your social media storytelling capabilities.
Focus on Real People: Tell authentic stories that talk about real people rather than your product. Focus on everyday moments and show real-life situations in a genuine way that emotionally connects with your customers. Share stories in a way that encourages your audience to share their own experiences and weave your brand’s mission and values into your narrative.
Talk About What Matters: Look for issues your audience is concerned about and see if you can turn it into a story. Dove’s “Evolution” movie was widely shared because the beauty brand latched onto something their audience was ready to talk about: unrealistic beauty norms. Your story should have an underlying message about your product and connect with an idea you believe in. Also, include something novel, surprising, or just plain interesting in your story to make it remarkable.
Leverage Emotions: Ensure your story stimulates an emotional response from your audience. For instance, Nike uses emotional branding of heroism in its social media strategy to keep its audience inspired, motivated, and emotionally invested in the brand.
Find out what your customers emotionally relate to and use sensory information to bring your story to life. Ensure your story draws people in and makes them care.
Build Emotional Connections
Leverage emotions in your social media content to bond with customers, influence loyalty, and increase shareability. Research on the article‐sharing habits of New York Times readers’ found that emotion was a key predictor in why the content was shared.
What emotions should you work with?
Happiness: Happiness is a positive emotion that gets people sharing. McDonald’s McCafé It Forward program encouraged coffee lovers to recognize those who they think have done good in their world.
The campaign received positive reactions across social media with McDonald’s fans nominating a friend or family member. Flood your social media feed with content that evokes generosity, nostalgia, joy, gratefulness, laughter, or love. Include an element of surprise in your happy content to drive people to share it.
Awe: Content that creates feelings of awe such as wonder and excitement, drives people to share it. Redbull builds awe into its posts by sharing a video of ice climber, Will Gadd, climbing the world’s tallest free standing mountain, Kilimanjaro.
You can create awe-inspiring content by sharing things like encountering great beauty, news reports of an important discovery, or a person overcoming a significant challenge.
Anger: Anger is a negative emotion that can help you build an emotional connection with your audience. For instance, for its “Like a Girl” campaign, Always, successfully leveraged anger around gender stereotypes to create a movement and drive an emotional connection with its audience. The video had over 1 million shares.
If anger looks like something you can use, work with experts to ensure you incorporate anger in a healthy way that inspires positive action from your audience. Include something uplifting in your content and use a hashtag to start a conversation.
Have Some Laughs
Humorous content makes your brand human, entertains consumers, and gets shared. Social media users are 49% more likely to share a funny post than an “important” post. Some things to keep in mind when sharing lighthearted content.
Find Humour in Mundane Things: Inculcate the comic element into your social media content by talking about everyday situations. Starbucks tweets about everyday situations in a humorous way that makes its tweets a fan favorite.
See the funny side of things and look for the humor in signs, ads, and newspaper headlines. Embed your product into your jokes to make your brand memorable.
Let Your Personality Shine: From clapbacks to snarky comments, Wendy’s witty personality shines through all its jokes.
Present a real personality to forge relationships with your audience. Have two-way conversations with your audience, a consistent tone of voice, and put out original content that aligns with your brand identity.
Be Relatable: Keep your social media handles engaging with relatable humor. Baby product brand Fridababy’s Instagram page is awash with relatable humor, appealing to new parents with its comical and sarcastic tone.
Cut the jargon and talk to your customers like humans. Don’t rely on weird situations to produce humor; instead, focus on situations that your audience can relate to. Avoid politically incorrect jokes and socially awkward comments.
Social media users are highly motivated to share information because they would like to help others.
Show How You’re Giving Back: Share issues that directly impact your customers, employees, and business operations and lead with the intent to make a difference. Build credibility by being transparent with your operations and committing to the causes you promote on social media.
Connect People: Build an online community for fans of your brands. Starbucks builds a sense of community by creating a Facebook community called, Leaf Rakers Society for its Pumpkin Spice Latte lovers. If you have a broad market base and sell products that appeal to different segments, give your products a unique personality that customers can easily identify with on social media.
Be Practical: Share bite-sized educational content that will be of practical value to your audience. This could be videos demonstrating how to use your product or tips on how to save money. Think about why customers shop with your brand and how they use your product to get a sense of the underlying practical value.
The Final Word
Try out one or more of the ways we discussed above to increase your social media shares and measure your engagement rate to see what works for you.
Remembers to leverage social data to understand your social media audience’s psychology, what content holds their attention, and what motivates them to share.