Ryerson MDM Social Media Storytelling

Social Media and Brand Storytelling- A Recipe for Online Awesomeness

In 4 months, I will be finished with my Master of Digital Media. I am currently working on my Major Research Paper. The topic for my research is “Analysis of Narrative-Driven Social Media Content Use Within Successful Social Media Campaigns Across Multiple Social Platforms to Develop a Campaign Strategy.” I am basically looking at how storytelling, in particular, transmedia storytelling, impacts the success of social media campaign in Non-Profit Organizations. My hypothesis in its simplest form is if you want to be successful on social media, ensure your content tells a story and reflects the overall narrative of your organization.

While doing my literature review, I came across some interesting research that I’d like to share with you. Some of these may or may not make it in my final paper. Nevertheless, they will shape my social media practice for the next few years. First, I wanted to see if executives being on social media will have any impact on their personal brand, which in turn could help impact their organization. I haven’t been able to draw a conclusion on that yet, even though experts like Gary Vaynerchuk says yes. However, I came across three reasons from Soumitra Dutta as to why executives and leaders today need to be on social media.

  • Social media is a low cost for them to build their personal brand- At the end of the day, the social media tools are free, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, they are all free to However, the hustle and execution are sold separately. Executives can certainly build their personal brand, but they must put in the work. There is no other way
  • Social Media allow them to interact with customers, employees and any stakeholders for that matter, especially the younger generation in the same direct and transparent way they expect from anyone in their lives
  • It allows them the opportunity to learn from instant and unvarnished feedback. They get feedback directly from the horse’s mouth about their organizations.

I also found that one of the key elements that may determine the success of a social media campaign and is especially relevant to non-profit organizations is how well the organization tells a story online, how much it appeals on an emotional level, and does it communicate how the values of the organization and the viewer overlap (Appleby, 2016). Well, I am a storyteller so I wanted to learn more about this and what I found was astounding.

First, let’s just say that all practical experts and research professionals are all in agreement that brand storytelling is one of the best-kept secrets in Marketing. But what really stood out to me and what I will be considering further is a study I came across on storytelling in Non-profit. This research came up with a framework for telling your story, the gist of if it that you first need to create a metanarrative for your non-profit organization, this mission-oriented metanarrative is the overall story of your organization, it includes, the founding story, you vision and mission, why you exist, what problem you are solving, how you are doing it, your vision for the future all tie into one overall narrative. You then create individual stories about the organization which all in some way tie back to the metanarrative and are directed to a target audience (if you have more that one) and have a call to action.

Ok, I will admit this is exciting for me and I will be doing some more research and will keep you up to date on my progress. Stay frosty

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