3 Great Ways to Use Brand Storylines to Spark Social Media Engagement
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Bland, boring tweets and Facebook updates aren’t of much value, but that’s what many brands are sharing.
The companies follow the routine. They take the steps suggested by social mediaconsultants and experts. Their brands have a presence, but the content is lacking.
It lacks energy, and it lacks interest, and it lacks soul.
As a result, these brands do not cultivate vibrant, engaged, and growing social media groups. But when a company takes a stance and sparks social media engagement, its Brand stands out like an orange tree in an evergreen forest.
A great example of this is Spin Sucks. According to Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich (and an active member of the Convince & Convert community), “Spin Sucks is one of the top three PR blogs in the world, and it has afforded us the ability to compete with the largest agencies in the world.”
Spin Sucks is an outlier, and what makes it a Sticky Brand is how Gini and her team engage their community in conversations.
Conversations Spark Social Media Engagement
It’s easy to ignore companies that don’t engage with you, but it’s hard to ignore a conversation. A conversation is a two-way dialogue to share ideas and opinions. And that spark ofsocial media engagementcan shatter the trap of indifference that so many companies face online.
An average post on Spin Sucks will receive twenty-five to fifty comments, and some posts will catch fire and generate hundreds of comments. Entire discussions happen around each post, making the Arment Dietrich brand visible and engaging.
Conversations build relationships, demonstrate your firm’s expertise, and generate top-of-mind awareness. They are a powerful method of pulling your Brand out of the indifference trap.
Not All Conversations are Equal and Can Spark Social Media Engagement
Brand Storylinesare unique because they are not just conversations about the weather or sports, they are conversations crafted to engage your marketplace and keep your brand top of mind.
Gini says, “We’re purposeful with the Spin Sucks brand and have a vision. Our vision is to change people’s perception of the PR industry, and everything we do goes to that.”
The Spin Sucks tagline is “Fight Against Destructive Spin!” This is the kernel of Arment Dietrich’s Brand Storyline.
For example, one of their weekly posts is titled “The Spin Sucks Inquisition.” Every week Gini posts interviews with experts from their industry. At the end of every interview, she asks, “Why Does Spin Suck?”
The question is brand-relevant but also portable. Everyone has an opinion. In Jay Baer’s interview, he wrote, “Because, in an age where everyone is connected to essentially all the world’s information at all times, it is almost impossible to bend the truth or put lipstick on a pig. So don’t try.”
The Arment Dietrich team doesn’t have generic conversations with their social media community; they are having conversations tied to their Brand and vision. And they are having conversations anyone can participate.
Three Elements of Brand Storylines
Brand Storylines are effective marketing tools because they are crafted to connect conversations with your Brand.
Brand Storylines Have Three Fundamental Elements
Expertise: It’s a topic you and your team know well and draws from your company’s core expertise. Strong Opinions: It’s a topic your company is passionate about, and you can take a stance on it and boldly share your opinions. Point of Sharing: The topic resonates with your target market and encourages others to participate in the conversation. The three elements function as a three-legged stool. If any one of them is missing, the Brand Storyline is unsustainable.
For example, strong opinions without a knowledgeable audience is a rant, and expertise without strong opinions is boring. And without a Point of Sharing, you’re talking to yourself.
Wrap Your Content in Brand Storylines
Any company can post on social media, and most do. It’s odd today if a company doesn’t have a social mediapresence.
To stand out, your company has to go further. You have to find ways to spark social media engagementand keep your brand top of mind in this very cluttered marketplace.
Gini says, “The Spin Sucks blog drives 80 percent of our growth.” It’s the conversations that are moving their sales needle.
Brand Storylines shift the customer experience and plant the seeds of a relationship because they start with a conversation, and the conversation opens things up. They let you share ideas and engage your market in a dialogue. And they let you have conversations with purpose — clearly linked with your Brand.
What conversations can your brand spark in your market?
Look for two to three topics where your company has Expertise, Strong Opinions, and a Point of Sharing, and craft them into a Brand Storyline. Once you have packaged the storyline, push it through your social channels. See which storylines resonate and which ones keep your brand top of mind.
Hold on to these, and when you have one to three effective Brand Storylines, you will grow a Sticky Brand.
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