Serial Storytelling on Social Media

You know when you’re sitting around with a bunch of friends at dinner or over drinks (tea, coffee, or otherwise) trading life stories? When one person shares a story, others want to follow. That conversation is what nonprofits should be striving for with their audience.

Before I get into this post, I want to remind you and let new readers know I did a series of posts on storytelling and took you through the process from beginning to end. I looked at different examples of stories in the news and explained how staff at organizations can write similar pieces. (If you didn’t read the series, you really need to check it out!)

This post is more about how to write a serial story on social media. I’m not finding exactly what I’m looking for online, so I’m going to create an example here. And continued in part two, I’m going to give examples of nonprofits that are doing storytelling well.

I think the best position for this in an organization would be a roving reporter, likely in the communications division but it doesn’t have to be. By roving reporter, I mean someone who doesn’t sit at a desk all the time, but goes around talking to people face-to-face  getting the story out of people who sometimes don’t know they hold one.

So here’s what I think is a great way to go about telling a story on Facebook. You could also write the entire story in a blog post (or series) and promote snippets of that. (This is just an example; I know parts of this might seem a tad unrealistic).

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Brands and Customer Service, and Being Nice is Underrated

What emotion does your brand inspire?

(Photo credit: YDubel)

I’m not sure when it happened, but I started to become really obsessed with brands and customer service. (And I when I say brands, I don’t just mean businesses, but nonprofits and individuals too). I have this inkling it might be because I’m getting older, but I really just don’t want to deal with poor customer service anymore.

[Tweet “I also believe the story of an organization can be partly told by its customers or supporters. “]I just finished a series on how you, as a representative for your organization, can report and write your story. But in terms of customer service, we can only guide this conversation by providing the best service possible.

I’m a big fan of Bernadette Jiwa and her blog. She sums up what I’m talking about in her post, What If Your Customers Could Talk?  “We still think that marketing is how we talk to people about ourselves. Marketing is giving people something to talk about.” (She also writes a great deal about “customer experience,” “everything that happens when people encounter your brand.” For instance, see The Business Case For Creating Great Customer ExperiencesWhy This And Not That? and Pick One Thing.

I’m also reading The Passion Conversation by Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church, and John Moore from Brains on Fire. In chapter two, the authors write:

“No passion, no conversation.
No conversation, no word of mouth [marketing].
No word of mouth,
no successful business.”

Wow! That sums it up perfectly too. What goes along with this is providing awesome customer service because that’s a huge part of what people are going to talk about — whether it’s passion from being awesome or passion from being really terrible.

Specifically, the authors say,”there are three motivations that spark conversations about brands and organizations:” Functional, Social, and Emotional. Customer service fits under emotional motivation. “People are more likely to talk about brands and organizations when they evoke strong, polarizing emotions on the edges of love and hate, or shock and awe.”

So I have some short stories for you, and they are about customer service.

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