Generally storytelling is one of the main methods to give our message to the audience. It can have different formats like text, video, photo. But mostly I consider the text format depending on the content of my stories. So making a clear picture of what I am doing exactly let's observe on which topic I am working on, and what's the main concept of storytelling in the frame of SMM.
First of all it's essential to have a clear picture what SMM is, that will allow us to get the main content of storytelling in this concept. Many people think that SMM and PR are the same things or, that SMM is like an advertisement. But I would say that SMM is the progress of our product in social media(FB,SMM). The purpose of SMM is to raise awareness of our product (goods, projects, activities)in our targets group, and to make a relevant and valuable content for our audience. So How it's going on.
We are working on topics like non-verbal communication, urbanism, art, music. And our organisation which is considered to be part of the field of non-formal education provides a space for young people, youth workers, educators to implement their ideas. And as a PR and SMM manager I have to make these opportunities accessible for our audience that they can get informed and can get an information about it. So how can I attract their attention to these topics. There are some methods that I use.
Ask a question
This is the way to capture the attention of audience. But besides asking a question you need to be sure that you have the answer of the question in your story. To be clear I will give an example.
During one of our youth exchanges that was about verbal and non-verbal communication, I got to know about different ways to communicate with people without using the voice or writing skills. So I started my text-story by asking a question: Can you express your emotion on a paper. At first it can seem to be a simple question, having different responses to it. But in any case our reader will think about it: at least she/he will remember about his/her skills on drawing by thinking: Ok I can express, but I am no master on it.
I kept the attention of my reader, and then I have to develop what I exactly mean by introducing the tools, characters and ways how to express emotions on a paper without having drawing skills. And in this way in my story I have a question that captures my reader, and have an answer that gives a clear picture to my reader what I exactly mean and what I suggest to avoid the intentions that they have by reading a question.
Use the facts
Neil Gaiman, who is one of the famous storyteller urges, that using the facts in the beginning of your story can spoil everything. Starting a story with facts can be too much information for readers. So by making your story informative you don't have to use facts at first. You need to find a way to give it audience. For example if I am speaking about urbanism, which is the topic that could deal with different and even controversial facts, I am trying to find an interesting way. So I read on the internet, that until 2030 people mostly will concentrate on cities and communities. It is a fact, that was announced by UN Habitat, who has a statistics on it. So how I need to give this information to my audience. In my story I will start to tell about SDG goals, by mentioning our youth exchange that include the SDG number 11( Sustainable cities and communities), I will mention,that until 2023 we are going to live mostly in cities, which leads to many problems with public spaces. So what do I have now. I have information, facts, and a goal. My goal is to make them informed about our youth exchange, that is about urbanism, and productively using public spaces. And I send my message by using the facts.
Give your example
If you would have a choice between reading the scientific report or personal experience story about some accidents that happened cause of the density of cars on paths, which one would you choose? You may think it depends on how interesting the article sounds but I would much rather read the personal experience of evidence with more interests than the scientific report. Moreover people mostly think emotionally, and then about the questions what,why,who, how. So tell the story with eyes of evidence.
And generally nowadays it's much easier to find information on whatever we would like, but quite often we can't get the information about the experience of somebody, that can give some skills.
Start with an interesting stories
So if in your story you are going to speak about dance or art, you can start it by telling the interesting stories about famous dancers. For example we have a youth exchange that calls "Time for performance ", and during this project participants are going to improvise themselves on a stage by expressing their emotions. So to inform our audience about this project I would start my story by telling the personal achievements example in these fields about famous dancers like Kaitlyn Hung who started her career by improvising dance and demonstrating the path unknown and unexpected. It may inspire young people to be interested in it.
Before starting to tell the story do some mental exercises:
1.Imagine that you tell the story to your grandmother.
Actually I get this example from the article on the website of Youthreporter. In the article another author suggests to have a short conversation with your grandmother before telling the story to the audience. And the point is that during this conversation you have to answer the 5W questions which are why, where, who, when, what. So by considering the fact that grandmothers are always asking questions like these you will make your stories interesting and easy to understand. So every time I keep this example in my mind, storytelling gets really funny, this is very helpful.
2. Imagine, that you are on the phone. Which information you would like to get keep your attention about these topics.
3. Just imagine that you are part of the audience. So I think it's the key point of making a stories accessible, interesting and readable.
Nowadays people are completely engaged in social media. And by considering this and to have a progress on our work we need to choose a relevant strategy to capture the audience and to keep their attention on our stories. And the key point of this strategy is to tell the story. As we know, stories and whatever we are talking about should have a right structure that has three main categories: introduction, where you introduce on what you are going to speak about, then there comes the development part where you are developing your ideas, that you offered in the introduction part and then the conclusion where you are summing up all of your messages. So just keep that in mind and do some exercise by comparing the structure of my story to what I just told you. I think it can be a good exercise: Don't you think?
Simon Sinek: Storytelling/Tips
Neil Gaiman: The art of the storytelling.