How telling your stories helps you connect with your customers.
New year, new decade. If your social media is anything like mine, there will be many posts from people sharing ‘then and now’ photos from 10 years ago, or a look back at highlights from the past year through to the last decade.
You might have done this too. If you’re on Instagram perhaps you created a grid of your ‘top 9’, the nine photos from the past year which got most engagement. What did you spot? Were you surprised by how popular photos of you were?
If you haven’t done any of these things, you can learn from others who have:
- We love looking back.
- We love seeing how things have changed.
- And we love hearing stories about the key events of the past 12 months or 10 years.
What have your highlights been?
Taking a few minutes to think about what has happened to you and how your life has changed will give you inspiration for stories you can tell on your company blog, in a social media post, or in your newsletter.
How often do you introduce yourself? New people come across you and your business all the time. They follow you on social media or they buy something from your shop or online. This is an opportunity for you to say hello and let them know a bit more about you.
Write about who you are, share some information people will find interesting, and think about what people might be curious about. You could share this on social media, record a video (people like to see who you are), or even put a note in with your orders. What made you decide to make your product? What do you hope to achieve with your service? Which band was playing in the background while you packed their order up? Quirky facts are a fun way to create connections.
If you started your business during the 2010s, now is a great time to tell people your origin story. How did your business come about?
Indulge in nostalgia
When I worked in local newspapers we found people loved nostalgia features. Photos of old shops, how streets have changed, even pictures of people out in bars and nightclubs were popular. Why? Because they could spot people and places they knew. They had their own stories about them.
The pictures didn’t even need to be that old. A very popular feature was ‘you know you grew up in the 90s when…’.
What’s this got to do with your business? You work in constant change, from the projects you do to the technology you use. Take a look back at work you have done, designs you came up with, or products you developed. Share photos of how your office environment has changed. What was your go-to album to listen to in 2010? Did you get rid of an item of furniture or equipment that brings back memories and gives you a story to tell? Perhaps you have a team of people working with you now and 10 years ago it was you, alone in the back room.
Looking back isn’t just for new year
One of my favourite Instagram Stories over the past few days was by someone who shared highlights from their year. It was great to see what they had been up to and also their reaction to it. They talked about those pivotal moments and what they had meant to them.
You have an opportunity to mark anniversaries of significant moments in your company from your business birthday to when you did something remarkable.
You could tell a story about your first speaking gig, for instance. Or the moment you found out you had achieved a goal you had set yourself. If you are on Facebook and get the ‘On This Day’ notifications, you will be regularly reminded of past events. If they make you think back to a wonderful moment, take the opportunity to reminisce.
It could be something you did 12 months ago or 5 years ago. Use the date to retell stories and develop them. What have you learned since? What opportunities did that open up for you? Move the story on, make it relevant to your audience now.
Always remember whenever you are telling a story that it needs to catch your audience’s attention. They are following you because they are interested in you. If they weren’t, they would unsubscribe from your channel or email list, or wouldn’t be on your website. But you need to be thinking about your story from their point of view. Give them something which helps them get to know you better and they can have a conversation with you about. Use your stories to connect with your followers and customers.
What has this article made you think of? Share your story and tag me @RachelExtance.