Stefani Kirilova

8.9.2021

How to tell a brand story on social media?

Have you ever bonded with someone over something similar that has happened to both of you? Have you started trusting that person? And have you felt compelled to tell them something about yourself as well? Yeah, us too. That’s kind of how human interactions work.

And that’s also why brand storytelling should be an integral part of your business strategy. Telling stories creates trust and ultimately makes people care about you - something unachievable by quick ad-hoc campaigns and big advertising budgets alone. A few big examples of brands that have cashed in on their stories are Disney and Coca-Cola.


Apart from the fact that Disney as a company specializes in movie-adapted storytelling, there has always been a romanticized perception of how it all came to exist, and an interest in Walt Disney’s trail of life events that lead him to create Mickey Mouse. Almost a hundred years, numerous screen adaptations and theme parks later, each and every one of us remembers our favorite childhood movies fondly and with a smile.

As for Coca-Cola, well...they sure have taken Christmas to another level. Santa Claus as we know him today, was entirely fabricated by the company in 1931 - the red coat, the big white beard and friendly smile - all of it. And boy, did it work! The bet hard on the big old man drinking their product in between bringing presents to the kids of the world, and in turn they created something more than just loyal consumers. They shaped our western culture.

So now that we know how important your brand story is, how in the world do you tell it without hiring a movie director, a scriptwriter or a novelist? Here are a few tips that will hopefully take you in the right direction.

1. Be human.

Yep. Think of your brand as a person. What kind of stuff do they like, where do they spend their days, who do they hang out with? Creating a brand personality takes some time, but it helps create genuine relationships with your customers and increases their empathy towards your brand.


2. Know your audience


It’s difficult to tell a good story if you don’t know who your listeners are. And just like your brand personality, your buyer persona helps you understand where your story really makes an impact.


3. Don’t be afraid of conflict


Every good story has a conflict and a resolution. Nothing runs smoothly all the time and neither should you - at least not in your story (unless you want to end up with a boring one). We understand that you want to position your business as the best on the market with a stellar record of successes, but no one is perfect and especially not brands. So the sooner you let go of the notion of executing everything by the book and upholding a squeaky clean image, the better. So what’s your plot twist, where’s the drama? How will you resolve that in your story? Remember that your story has to be engaging and open, prompting others to connect with it.

4. Follow the compelling story formula



If you’re out of ideas on how exactly to formulate your story, you can never go wrong with the following steps:


  1. Hero - Every story starts with a main character who wants something. And in this case this is your customer. Ask yourself “What does the customer want in relation to our brand”?


  1. Problem - What kind of problems might your hero face along the way? Intensify these problems to deepen your audience’s interest. Because every story is about the main character trying to solve a challenge. This can be something internal, external, philosophical or why not include a villain in the picture?


  1. Guide - How can you demonstrate that your brand can help the hero win? Your role as a brand is to encourage them and provide them with the tools needed to succeed, not trying to prove your value and taking center stage.


  1. Plan - Now that you’ve established your brand as a guide to the Hero, you have to show them the actionable steps they need to take in order to solve their problem. Customers trust a guide with a plan.


  1. Action - How can you as a brand propel your hero to take action? This step is necessary because us humans don’t make major life decisions, unless something challenges us to do so. Your role is to be the outside facilitator of change.


  1. Outcome - Show your Hero what success and failure looks like, build the suspense and help them succeed and avoid failing. We all want a happy ending, right? The point of this step is to have everyone wonder “Will the Hero make it? Or will they not?”


  1. Transformation - The final step! Showing the end result after the dust has settled. This is a summary for your overall brand storytelling script. Your brand is helping the hero to become the best version of themselves, so show them how that looks like!


And there you have it! A (not so) short overview of storytelling for brands. Feel like you’re ready to develop your own story?


If the answer to that question is still “I’m overwhelmed”, don’t fret! Here at Troot we love telling stories and we would love to help you tell yours. Drop us a line at business@troot.fi and we’ll have you ready for action in no time!


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