Telling stories can help you to engage your customers attention but how can you apply storytelling to your social media marketing? We’ve all heard that a photo can tell a thousand words, I’ve found some really great example from businesses that are using visual storytelling effectively on Facebook.
1. Preparing for opening – Cafe Paradiso
If you are just starting your business you don’t have to wait until it opens to start your Facebook page. Very often it can be the story of you building towards the launch that will grab the attention of your potential customers. I used this technique when I first started Spiderworking.com and it was great to have a captive audience by the time I launched.
Cafe Paradiso is a famous and wonderful vegetarian restaurant in Cork. In 2009 it was hit badly by the floods and had to close for a while. Up until that point they hadn’t had any presence on Facebook.
The restaurant chose to start it’s Facebook page during the refurbishment after the flood. They informed customers when they were planning to reopen and began to use visual storytelling to share updates on the progress they were making on the repairs and refurbishment.
This culminated in a photo album showing progress from flood to full refurbishment.
2. Showcasing your customers – Cat Vacations Cattery
Cat Vacations Cattery has really captured my attention. Even though it’s a bit of a drive it is where I will be brining my cats the next time they need a holiday home. The reason for my enthusiasm is that they share pictures of their happy customers. No not the cat owners but the cats in residence.
They don’t just share the pictures, they also share a little story with each one. The cats are the characters in their story.
This approach works in two ways:
1. I can see that the cattery is a nice place for my cats to stay and that the cats are happy there.
2. As a customer I would be delighted to be able to check in on my cats on Facebook and happy that others can see how wonderful they are.
3. Before And After Shots Waldorf Barbers & Roches Barbers
You might not think of before and after shots as being an example visual storytelling but when you think about it they are a perfect example. They tell a story quickly: this is where we started and this is where we end. I’ve found two barber shops who have made the most of this technique.
In this first example from Waldorf Barbers we see a man transformed from a rather long hair look to a rather dapper looking short style.
Before and after only tells part of the story. This series of photos from Roches Barbers shows a guy getting his hair shaved for charity. The half way shot and the look of slight embarrassment on the customers face says a lot.
4. Milestones – Tower Of London & The Malton
Every business has a story, how did you get to where you are today? Who are the people that made it happen? These stories can be told via Facebook milestones, add a photo to each and they are a perfect example of visual storytelling. If you plan them and share them one at a time, maybe daily over a period of time your Likers will get involved in that story.
Britain’s ‘Historic Royal Places’ have been really clever at creating Timelines for their properties. I particularly like the Tower Of London page, as well as being a great storytelling device it also teaches the audience a bit of history.
The Tower of London are fulfilling two functions here:
1. Keeping potential tourists engaged, making sure they put the Tower of London on their travel itinerary.
2.Promoting it as a place you can bring your Children, or maybe groups of school children to learn history in an entertaining way.
It’s ticking boxes for both international and local tourists.
The Malton hotel in Killarney, Ireland also uses Milestones to great effect. Flicking through their Timeline makes fascinating reading and makes a visit to the hotel even more interesting.
I can imagine those who stay at The Malton will be looking for the bars on the windows in the basement and imagining the people who were confined there by both the British and the IRA. It will make their stay part of living history and again this will be particularly attractive for the international tourist market and local historians alike.
Old photos are huge on social media at the moment, you will see them everywhere getting plenty of likes, comments and shares. Using Milestones can help you jump on this trend whilst it is still fresh.
Telling your stories like this on Facebook will make your Likers feel that they are part of your story. In the same way we keep moments from the books we read and the films we watch stored away for later you are giving your audiences moments that they will remember. This should result in your brand or business name resonating with them long in to the future. It will also make them keen to become part of the story when they visit your or buy from you.
What do you think? Does visual storytelling work? Have you used any techniques or seen any good examples? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.