Using brand stories to build your Instagram or Facebook following is the latest, greatest digital marketing strategy. Whether you’re an entrepreneur running your own business or helping a company scale their current online presence, using brand stories to build that following is essential in today’s over-saturated, noisy online environment.
So what kind of stories should you be telling and how exactly do they fit into your Instagram or Facebook growth strategy?
If you’re brand new to brand storytelling, I recommend you read this article first. You should also check out this article on using stories in your business and the science behind stories that sell. Finally, if you want a real-life case study then check out the recent breakdown I did of Rachel Hollis’ mega-brand and her use of stories to build her empire.
If you feel you’ve got a handle on brand stories in general, then let’s dive in and discover how they can work to build your social following as well!
Say Goodbye to Vanity Metrics and Fake Followers
If you’re relying on vanity metrics (think quantity not quality of your feeds) and fake followers, then I’d like to challenge the way you continue to do things.
While you may have a feed of 50,000 followers, the real question is how often they’re engaging in your content.
If you’re producing posts that align with your ideal follower or fan, your engagement numbers will prove it.
On the other hand, if you’re in it just for the follower count and have incredibly low likes and comments, then you my friend need a new strategy.
Brand Stories for Social Growth and Standing Out
Look up your favorite hashtag and nine times out of ten there are a few thousand (if not hundred thousand) posts that are using that hashtag too. Look up marketing or health or fitness on either Instagram or Facebook and my bet is you’ll find a few thousand accounts to follow.
So how do you stand out in a sea of competitors?
Brand stories do more than boost your website ranking; they grow your social accounts by building rapport, increasing engagement and elevating your likability.
The use of brand stories on social media also aligns your brand message and values across all platforms, making a more cohesive and enjoyable brand experience for your potential clients.
4 Secrets to Using Brand Stories to Build Your Social Followings
SECRET #1: ALWAYS POST WITH A STORY IN MIND
The worst kind of feeds are those with random, mismatched or unrelated posts that don’t build upon one another. Sharing a picture of your cat is nice and all but is it necessary?
Separating your business and profile accounts in the beginning is a great way to stay focused. That way, if you want to share more of your personal life but feel it’s not in line or isn’t necessary in your business account, you can do so privately.
Then again, sometimes sharing those behind-the-scenes or day in the life moments is a great way to boost your relatability in your business feeds. Just keep it to a minimum!
SECRET #2: LEAD YOUR FOLLOWER, DON’T LET THEM LEAD YOU
You are the master of your brand story. By leading your followers through your shared content, you hold the control of how they interact with you and your brand.
This is very important to remember.
So many new entrepreneurs let their followers lead them. This causes confusion, brand misalignment and difficulties later in creating a better brand experience.
When crafting brand stories to engage followers, always remember you are the one in charge!
SECRET #3: ALWAYS USE A STORY ARC
Story arcs aren’t new but they are a rather recent discovery for anyone building a social media following. While writers have been using story arcs for centuries, online business owners have only just begun using this strategy to better communicate their message and positioning.
In a nutshell, a story arc consists of a beginning, middle and end.
Crafting brand stories that are engaging and entertaining means guiding a follower through these three stages of a live video, Instagram story or even shared photo with a compelling caption on a consistent basis.
SECRET #4: FOCUS ON STEADY GROWTH
Great brand stories build over time.
In today’s fast-paced online world, social media triggers our brain’s pleasure centers.
Likes, follows and comments (even if by bots or spam accounts) can create dopamine hits.
Thing is, a sustainable brand isn’t built on the backs of these types of followers.
Your growth relies on real people aligning with your brand message and that takes time. Consistent sharing and story creation isn’t an overnight success story but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bring you more success down the road.