How to ... succeed at social storytelling
How to ... succeed at social storytelling|Hotwire
Hotwire’s How To

How to Succeed at Social Storytelling

A quick guide on how to deliver social stories that mesmerise.

By Taazima Kala-Essack


When it comes to social storytelling, there are few rules of thumb to help ensure you get real, positive impact. Here are a few tips, sourced via the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)'s "Social Storytelling."

  • Remember what your objective is and build your story with that in mind. People loving a story is not equal to people loving a brand. Think about your audience’s needs and interests.

  • Listen to your audience. Understand how they like to converse, their typical tone, their preferred channels and influencers, and regularity of discussion.

  • Think about your audience and their motives at all times. Simply broadcasting your own agenda won’t hold attention. Make sure your story serves a purpose for the audience and is relevant, useful or entertaining.

  • Be relevant, meaningful and useful.

  • Facilitate audience participation. If you engage people with your story enough for them to want to interact, make sure it’s clear how they can do so and mechanics, such as a hashtag are in place, to collate these mentions so you can easily monitor, measure and reply.

  • Think about how you connect with your audience. Connection builds loyalty.

  • Prioritise authenticity as much as possible. People connect with people, not companies. Use names. Humanise your stories. The more relatable your story is, the more connected and responsive your audience will be.

  • Create memorable content. Analyse your most positive, shareworthy content to date and look for trends to further amplify what type of stories your audience are positively engaging with and sharing the most.

  • Tell a visual story. Play with how visual tools – Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook photos and videos – can help convey your story.

  • Be prepared. Carry tools and equipment that will allow you to capture the story. For example, if you are running a conference, take photographs and record videos that can be shared digitally.

  • Keep it simple and human – remember the audience may not know about your industry or organisation and you could lose them if they can’t relate to your content/story.

Remember the old saying "always leave them wanting more"? The same principle applies - capture their attention and keep them hungry for more!

The Hotwire XChange