Why I Work In Social Media Part 2: I Love Stories

In the last blog post in this series, I talked about my love of tech and how it started when I was a kid. My love for stories is the same way. I was always utterly absorbed in a book, movie, or television show. 

At some point I started trying to create my own stories. Those early attempts may not have been any good, but I kept trying. One of my early works was essentially the plot of 101 Dalmatians, but as my writing skills grew, I learned about plot, characters, word choice, and creating conflict. Stories became so much a focus of my education that for my undergraduate senior project I wrote a full-length screenplay.

To many people, I’m sure the connection between social media and storytelling isn’t obvious. But it should be. Advertising and marketing are all about evoking emotion through stories. Just look at Apple’s “I’m a Mac” campaign.” Each commercial is a short story about how cool Mac is and how lame PC is by comparison. Microsoft is still having a hard time fighting off the image created by this compelling story.

Social media gives the ability for any company to tell their stories even if they can’t afford a professionally-produced video or a primetime commercial slot. Even if they can, social media allows for real-time interaction with the people who matter — customers.

Below is a post I did for the Minnetrista Facebook Page in 2014. It was Minnetrista’s 25th Anniversary, and we wanted to tell the story of how our organization was founded. I knew that the photo of the house burning down would cause an innate emotional reaction in anyone who sees it, and I hoped the story about how Minnetrista was built on that spot as legacy to the Ball family who originally lived there is an uplifting one. I was rewarded by a very positive response to the post.

This story is a core element of Minnetrista’s identity and thanks to social media, we were able to share our story with our patrons for almost no cost.

There’s a huge range of stories that can be told. Stories that shape your brand. Stories that celebrate your customers. Stories that celebrate your employees. This is the kind of content that makes social media exciting; not companies shouting about their sales and services.

Do you know of any good examples of social media and storytelling? Post a link in the comments.

My name is Josh Schweigert. I graduated in May 2012 with an M.A. in Digital Storytelling from Ball State University, and I am the Social Media Manager at Roosevelt University.

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