Snapchat, Facebook, or Instagram, it’s all about effective storytelling

You might have heard that content is king. Indeed it is, but what does that really mean? Is it about using good filters on Instagram or Snapchat? Or is it about making sure you chose the best pictures and scenes? These are all important considerations, but it all boils down to telling a compelling story through either text, images, or video. Whether you are using Snapchat, Periscope, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram, the golden principle remains the same, tell good stories.

Think of social media as a means of transmitting experiences, feelings, values, and emotions. Use it strategically to share stories about your dreams, and take the reader/viewer into your world. Tell a compelling story, convert dull information into something that grabs instant attention. Use storytelling to inspire innovation and new ways of doing things.

While emphasizing the value of storytelling, I would also like to point towards the importance of clear goals. Once precise goals are established, you can be clear about the exact tactics that you would employ to get your message across. Good stories are based on a clear set of goals. From start to finish, a story can guide a person into action. This might include promoting further engagement or increasing sales.

Storytelling may be viewed as a critical literacy skill. Think about how one can engage audiences on the micro-blogging site such as Twitter. In 140 characters, one should be able to effectively narrate a story that not only keeps readers reading but also sharing compelling posts. Writer and actor John Hodgman rightly said: “Twitter offered a very restrictive set of protocols that awaken the imagination: what can I do with 140 characters that will be meaningful to others? The solution has proven to be pretty much endless. And do you know what? If the right person is telling the story, I’ll read a tweet stream of sandwiches all day long.”

Beyond microblogging, effective storytelling can be made possible through sites like Storify. Content can be juxtaposed to create powerful stories. Users have the option to scour through multiple social networks from one place. They can drag, re-order elements they like to form a complete story. A number of media organizations have used Storify to bring stories to life. Here are a few examples: Be inspired!

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