A Tale of Social Media Short Stories
Once upon a time oral storytellers were considered a valuable asset to a community as people gathered together to spend hours hearing retellings of important events. These days our attention spans may be a little shorter, we have many more things to be interested in after all, yet stories continue to matter to us. We are also experiencing a period of rediscovering the communities around us. Perhaps this is why short content stories on social media platforms are one of the biggest current trends.
Why do stories matter?
Stories are shared universal experiences because we see ourselves in the characters they contain. They also help us learn and process new ideas, especially abstract ones.
These days we share our own stories with friends and families on social media and it is this that brands have tapped into to tell their stories.
What are Social Media Stories?
Social Media Stories are short-term content, with segments no longer than 15 seconds, that disappear after 24 hours. So they are a perfect medium for our shorter attention spans. They first appeared on Snapchat, followed by Instagtram and FaceBook. Linkedin have begun story testing in Brazil and the Netherlands and Twitter is expanding the testing of its own version of stories called “Fleets”.
Instagram states that one third of the stories on its site are from businesses. The bite sized presentations are being used to show behind the scenes snippets, product launches, and explaining technical processes.
These stories don’t have to be just video clips. They can become interactive with the addition of polls and games. The more involved an audience is the more they will remember what they see and emotionally connect with it.
How do I craft my story?
The way we deliver our stories may have changed but the way we tell them hasn’t. They still need to contain a beginning, middle and end, have characters we can relate to and because it is a short format they should relate to one single issue.
Imagine your customers are your characters, and you must be very sure you know who your customers are so you know what story they should appear in. You set the scene in the beginning of your story and introduce a problem. You spend the middle of the story expanding on how the problems can be solved by your company and then reveal the ending, showing how you satisfied a customer’s needs.
And hopefully you will build enough trust and confidence to arrive at a happily ever after.