Why Storytelling Works… and What You Need to Do


Storytelling infographic

Why Storytelling Works… and What You Need to Do

Have you given up on social media or blogging? Try storytelling the way it should be done on social media. I’ll use this infographic as an outline.

Short and Sweet

Keep everything you write as short as possible. To quote Mark Twain, “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”

Blogs and social media posts and emails… keep them short and to the point. Avoid wordiness and passive voice and needless repetition. Can you replace a phrase with a great verb?

Have an attention-grabbing title. Try one of these six categories.

Visual

Take the time to include a shareable photo. When your story engages your reader, including an interesting photo increases the likelihood that they’ll share this with their friends who may also read, and even share, your post on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter.

Share videos. YouTube is second to Google with more than 3 billion searches per month. Look for stories in current events and thoughtful messages, not just cute puppies and/or “Christian content.”

How to Spend Your Time

Notice the rankings in the “anatomy of usage” section. The leader of the pack for engaging people is social media. Second place (in our context: see Notes) is a close tie between email and blogging. Video was a distant third for marketing, but I suspect it’s higher for individuals and ministries.

Pick one social media platform to engage people regularly.  You won’t need to be on other platforms at all or as often. Next, send attractive emails. (Don’t send prayer letters as PDF attachments.) These are your minimum tools. Add blogging and videos for even more engagement.

Possible Minimal Scenarios for Busy People

The following suggestions depend as much on you as on the people you’re trying to reach. That is, you may prefer Instagram and your audience prefers email. Do one of these options fit your busy life?

  1. Interact with people through Facebook. Send regular ministry updates through MailChimp. (= visit Facebook regularly + learn MailChimp)
  2. Set up a blog, linking applications to send your posts through emails and social media automatically when you publish. (just blog, but you should also respond to social media comments and emails = visit Facebook + learn blogging and MailChimp)
  3. Love using photos to tell a story? Use Instagram or try MailChimp Snap to send photos through email when you’re “doing ministry.” (= learn Instagram or MailChimp Snap)

How Storytelling Works

In the infographic’s section on the brain we learn that your readers will connect with you and better retain your message when you use a story.

Jesus used stories to touch the hearts and minds of his listeners. Use these modern Internet helpers to take your stories to people virtually anywhere in the world.

NOTES: 

  • This post is intended for Cru staff wanting to engage with either an audience and/or their financial partners. I hope it also benefits other readers.
  • I’ll save a discussion of quality and distribution for a “part two” post.
  • B2C = Business to Consumer
  • I recommend: Clutter is Killing Your Creativity and What to Do about It) by Jeff Goins.
  • The image and  statistics are from an infographic on Visualistan.com’s website. Follow the link for a larger image of the infographic.

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