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The importance of visuals in social media; #SMBuzzChat community talks how to create perfect narrative content

By Adam Mitchell | Head of Digital Development

September 10, 2015 | 10 min read

Last night #SMBuzzChat covered multiple subjects including reactive content, baby shoes and whether it’s good to act like a robot. It’s not good just in case you wondering.

We were joined by Sally Rushton of Jaywing to lead the chat based around the importance of narrative within social media.

Question 1 - Does a narrative matter within social content?

Here’s Sally’s opinion on the subject

"Absolutely - storytelling as a marketing term is being bandied around like a hot potato and for good reason. Constructing a strong narrative is key to telling a compelling brand story. It doesn’t have to be to the detriment of being reactive online but should be a key principle of creating social content.

The importance of developing a social strategy, with a clear understanding of audience, social value proposition and reason for being, should underpin all activity. Enabling brands to develop the right content mix within a clearly defined channel strategy to help both the business and community."

This is what the community thought

Story telling can happen on various social platforms in a much more obvious way, Instagram & snapchat are clear examples of this #SMBuzzChat

— Emma-Louise Trotter (@emglobetrotter) September 8, 2015

@SallyRushton Instagram springs to mind! #SMBuzzChat — Alessandra Gritt (@GrittAlessandra) September 8, 2015
@baconchin @Buzz_Awards there will be times for storytelling yet during the era of 'scrolling' you have to ensure its engaging! #SMBuzzChat — S3 Advertising (@S3Advertising) September 8, 2015
@Buzz_Awards I'd say it has to involve a mixture of text and content. Blend short n' sweet with facts #SMBuzzChat — Cheyenne Davis (@Tweet_Cheyenne) September 8, 2015

@SallyRushton @Buzz_Awards Piggybacking the popular narrative can be a quick win, but rings false if not aligned with the brand #SMBuzzchat

— Nicola Carey (@NicsCarey) September 8, 2015

Question 2 - Which social networks lend themselves best to brand story telling?

Here’s Sally’s opinion on the subject "I’m not sure it’s a matter of selecting which is ‘best’ - a well thought out channel strategy will allow a brand to use platform features effectively and in accordance to audience and the native landscape. Visual networks certainly help, but given the focus Facebook and Twitter have made to priortise visual (and certainly video) content, it’s arguably a strength across most key platforms nowadays. People generally are time poor and that’s even more true when we consider how people consume social content – so the ability to tell a well structured story in a tweet is just as important as in a short documentary film." This is what the community thought

@Buzz_Awards Snapchat or Facebook - both give you time and space to show your personality! #SMBuzzChat — Curated Digital (@curateddigital) September 8, 2015
@Buzz_Awards @jonburkhart my guess is "books" or "TV" at a push? — Will Saunders (@willpsaunders) September 8, 2015

@Buzz_Awards A2: Instagram #smbuzzchat

— The Credible Agency (@credibleagency) September 8, 2015

A2) It's where the folks you want to get actually are. From a platform perspective, Facebook & Instagram allow lenghty posts. #smbuzzchat

— Alexandre Bourgeois (@wakanouka) September 8, 2015

A2. Brand storytelling is more about accurate targeting to pick the right platform & having something interesting to say. #SMBuzzChat — Ehsan (@eksays) September 8, 2015

Question 3 - What are the best brand examples of storytelling online and why?

Here’s Sally’s opinion on the subject

"Facebook’s timeline has enabled many brands, rich in heritage (like Burberry), to plot their history and exploit the platform features to showcase their role in fashion.

In equal measure, there are brands like Land Rover who really use social to capture the spirit of adventure – they’re not selling you a car, they’re unlocking your curiosity to get out there and explore. And it’s really powerful stuff."

This is what the community thought

Instagram storytelling is done splendidly by Airbnb & GoPro, both embrace their audience & amplify the brand ethos @Buzz_Awards #SMBuzzChat

— Emma-Louise Trotter (@emglobetrotter) September 8, 2015

@Buzz_Awards Personally, @innocent do an amazing job. Their current narrative about the floor stapler is inspired. #SmBuzzChat — Adam Libonatti-Roche (@baconchin) September 8, 2015

@SallyRushton @Buzz_Awards - oreo is the super obvious one #smbuzzchat :)

— Nicola Carey (@NicsCarey) September 8, 2015

Question 4 - What are the 3 most important things to consider for brand story telling in social?

Here’s Sally’s opinion on the subject "Be authentic, be human (and real!) and try to keep it simple. If you’re struggling to express it in 140 characters, chances are no one will truly understand what you’re trying to say." This is what the community thought

@SallyRushton @Buzz_Awards always remain actively social, be authentic with out force & engage like a human not a robot #SMBuzzChat — Emma-Louise Trotter (@emglobetrotter) September 8, 2015

Fancy getting your opinion in The Drum? Make sure you going the Social Buzz Awards for #SMBuzzChat when it returns on 22nd September. We’re at Social Media Week next week.

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