It’s palpable. A sense of renewal is in the air as one year leaves us and the other beckons. We begin to reflect. As entrepreneurs, we think about what worked well in 2018, what could have worked better and what needs to be scrapped. It’s a professional cleanse of sorts. We are eager to get rid of what didn’t work, clear out the toxins so that we have space to welcome in the new. Then it can feel like being an artist in front of a blank canvas. Until...the offers and trends on ‘how to manifest your new year’s resolutions’ start to pour in from everywhere. Marketing strategies, branding, design, social media, you name it! The noise gets louder and louder, and that’s when your head starts to spin.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s always exciting to learn about new trends. A business is a living entity, and it must adapt to new environments to stay ahead of the curve.
Embracing new trends can take what is already working in your business to a whole new level of greatness setting you apart from competitors. And isn’t that what we all want?
But we can fall victim to information overload and end up adopting a new trend just for the sake of it without realizing that it might not be the best solution for your business at this time. That often ends up costing you in terms of both time and money as it can end up distracting you from what’s truly meaningful and profitable for your company. The best practice? Take your trends with a grain of salt.
If you have a business, you already know that a strong social media presence is a must. It builds brand awareness, grows your audience and gets you new business while still nurturing your existing clients. But social media is a vast and varied beast. So to avoid falling down the rabbit hole of adopting trends, let me break it down for you to one thing.
There is one social media trend that is not going away in 2019. And it’s the only one business owners need to take really seriously and adopt as their leading social media strategy. Storytelling.
Plain and simple Storytelling. It isn’t new. It isn’t some fad dreamt up at Facebook HQ to save organic engagement. It’s been around since the ancient civilizations. So what does it mean, exactly? I found the definition of story, as defined by Jonah Sachs to be right on point. Especially concerning social media:
“Stories are a particular type of human communication designed to persuade an audience of a storyteller’s worldview. The storyteller does this by placing characters, real or fictional, onto a stage and showing what happens to these characters over a period of time. Each character pursues some type of goal in accordance with his values, facing difficulty along the way and either succeeds or fails according to the storyteller’s view of how the world works.”
When we hear a good story that appeals to our senses through descriptions, metaphors, and emotions, our brain searches to answer: ‘where do I know this from?’ The brain gets to work, searching for a similar experience, good or bad. So, if you are telling a story, on social media, your audience’s brain will not only relate to your story based on their own experiences, but they will also feel it in their bones. This means you are establishing an authentic, real, human and emotional connection with your tribe. Make this kind of connection with them, and they will feel connected to you too. Pretty powerful, right? Story enables the best connection there is in an information-saturated world, and any business using it will rise above the noise and be noticeable and memorable.
The cold sales driven marketing strategies from the ’80s and ’90s are dead. Your tribe is eager for connection with a human touch. So the next time you post, share your story and do it often. Every. Single. Day.
Here are my Five Best Storytelling tips to get you started:
1- Keep it simple. Tell one story at a time using direct emotional language. Drop the complicated descriptions. You want to be easy to understand and relatable.
2- Be authentic and personable using your brand voice. In 2019 we’ll be seeing that the fake, perfect style no longer works and instead real stories will thrive — stories about vulnerability, frustration, wins and losses, tears and laughter.
3- Use photography as a metaphor for your story. Images capture immediate attention; they have the power to stop the scroll! Your pictures need to convey the emotions and feelings of your story. Bonus tip; make sure your brand colors and style are visually dominant so that your posts are easily recognizable.
4- Share your personal story. This is content gold. What experiences, past or present, good or bad, brought you to where you are today? How have these contributed to your core values and principles? Who helped you and how? What have you learned or experienced that makes you brilliant at what you do? And, what are your own obstacles that are holding you back? Think back to the turning points, big or small, that have led you to this place. Nobody’s life is the same, and that’s what makes you stand out from the competition.
5- And finally, the most critical ingredient to effective storytelling is your audience. Having defined what makes you different, you now need to determine how you can support your audience by giving them what they need. You are the powerful guide, the Yoda to your audience, but what do they really need? Instead of describing your services/products benefits, tell a story about how your services/products can help your audience to feel the way they want. Be result driven and focus on the value you will provide and how their lives will be transformed.
Your story is what makes your business magical on social media. It doesn't need to be fancy or tragic, and you’re not trying to win the Nobel prize in literature here.
Simple and authentic, that’s how you tell a good story. Think of Hemingway's famous six-word story; ‘For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.’ Simple, thought-provoking, emotional, in six words. Keep it real and straightforward. The art of the story holds the secret sauce of beloved brands.
Possible social media posts:
1- Storytelling isn’t new; it’s been around since the ancient civilizations. When you tell a good story on social media, your audience’s brain will not only relate to your story based on their own experiences, but they will also feel it in their bones. This authentic, real, human and emotional connection with your tribe is priceless, and storytelling is a trend to embrace fully in 2019.
2- Your story is what makes your business magical on social media. It doesn't need to be fancy or tragic, authentic and straightforward, that’s how you tell a good story. Think of Hemingway's famous six-word story; ‘For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.’ Simple, thought-provoking, emotional, in six words. Keep it real and straightforward. The art of the story holds the secret sauce of beloved brands.
3- The most critical aspect to think about when planning your social media strategy for 2019 is storytelling with your audience in mind. The golden question is: what do they really need?
4- A strong social media presence is a must for your business, it builds brand awareness, grows your audience and gets you new business while still nurturing your existing clients. But in 2019 don't go down the rabbit hole of all the latest trends, the first thing you need is storytelling.
5- There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. - Maya Angelou. Unleash your story on social media in 2019
Olga Pontes is a Biologist turned Visual Brand Storyteller. She takes visionary entrepreneurs and draws out their unique identity through story styled visuals. She founded Branding Collective to build brands that bring the story of a business to life and connect with the audience. Her secret sauce? She specializes in tying the knot between the left and right brain, to deliver visual brand stories that are unsurpassed in both their beauty and their brains. If you are looking for your voice, you’ve come to the right place. Let Olga tell your story. Website: https://branding-collective.com Main Social media: https://www.instagram.com/olga_10fingersdesign/