10 Elements of a Compelling Story

  |  February 9, 2012   |  Comments

Keep your consumers engaged by telling a compelling story so you can build and thrive on engagement.

Social media is about creating engagement. One way a consumer can become engaged is by telling a compelling story. And then it is not just about the content; it is about how you tell it, and how you leverage the content. Here is a concise checklist of 10 key elements to help you tell your story so you can build and thrive on engagement.

  1. Real people, real stories. Write about experiences of real people by focusing on the element of change. Think about a before and after scenario, so you can show your readers what has been overcome or what has changed. Try to be original with the language. Real quotes are compelling and successful in generating "shares" on social networks.
  2. Think about your audience. Target your story to the audience and focus on a segment versus writing for everyone. Solicit comments by posting questions and collect the feedback to share with your team.
  3. Train your storytellers. The feedback you receive should be the guiding point for your storytellers. Train them on what to say to the media, how to respond to your consumers, and most of all, how to continue the conversation.
  4. Customize for your social channels. After you have written your story, think about how you can customize it for your different channels. You can take quotes and lessons learned and turn them into headlines. These headlines can be tweeted, shared on Facebook, published on LinkedIn, and can even be your subject lines in email campaigns.
  5. Short is good. A shorter story will keep your consumer engaged but you don't have to end the story there; try continuing the "rest of the story" on another page.
  6. Make it "multi-media visual." Use words, pictures, sound, and video to enhance your storytelling. You will not only captivate the consumer, but will be able to leverage "searchability" on other channels.
  7. Test out your story. Tell it to your team and solicit their feedback. After you have made adjustments, start the discussion on a social network with your "insiders."
  8. Include numbers if possible. An article that shows statistics or results is intriguing for a consumer.
  9. Leverage your traditional channels. You can extend the "shelf-life" of a printed story by continuing the conversation on social media. Borrow and enhance material from your other channels. Consider taking some of your top (previously published) articles and converting them into multi-media social stories.
  10. Don't just ask for permission. When you publish a quote, think about giving consumers an opportunity to share their testimonial on their own social networks.

Keep them engaged! Until next time…


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Sundeep Kapur

Sundeep Kapur has been assisting organizations with their converged channel marketing strategies since 1990. From direct marketing to digital to converged, he is a passionate teacher who works with businesses across multiple industries, helping them to enable technology and services to brand, and personalize and speak to consumers more effectively.

He is an industry-recognized expert who has delivered keynotes, run panels, and delivered "relevant, inspirational, and outstanding" education for organizations around the world.

Sundeep is also an avid user of social media, having leveraged words, pictures, and video into a conversational digital book. His daily dose of best practices can be found at www.EmailYogi.com, where he has more than 1,200 articles on best practices.

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