Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.
Today, we’re gonna talk about two of my favorite things at once, and that is StoryBrand and social media. Drum roll, please. This is one of the most common questions that I get asked by, especially by StoryBrand marketers, but also people who have experienced StoryBrand and know that they wanna be doing social media, but aren’t sure quite how. I am giving you the inner workings, inside scoop, of how we do this at Stratos and how I teach people how to do this and I’m just gonna put it all out there because I think everybody should know how to use this.
So quick recap, if you’re not familiar with StoryBrand, StoryBrand is a seven-part framework that tells a story in your marketing. It is the fact that you identify a character and what they want, the problem that is keeping them from getting what they want, and then you are positioning yourself as the guide, the guide who can help them get what they want and solve their problem. And thus, because you are the guide, you are going to give them a plan and call them to action so that they can experience success and avoid failure. So that’s kind of like a summation of it.
So a way to tell a story in your marketing, I will say this time and time again, and if you’ve been around, you have heard me say it before. If a marketer tells you that you need to be telling a story with your marketing, this is how. A lot of them don’t know how to do it and this is the framework.
So why I think StoryBrand is perfect for social media is because one, you already have that framework and so you can start using it as this formula. Dr. J.J. Peterson, who works at StoryBrand HQ, he talks about how each of those different pieces of the framework are kind of like music notes and you can rearrange them in your copy. We basically, you do that same thing in social media.
So, first of all, it means that you already have a formula for your content. Second of all, you are writing that content or formulating that content in a way that connects you with your customer, unlike how your competitors might be doing it. So I have a couple principles and then we’ll kind of talk about how to do this. The first thing is that a lot of people, when they understand StoryBrand, are tempted to spew out all seven in parts at once. Every time.
I’m gonna ask you, please don’t do that. If you want to use your BrandScript script, if you’re a StoryBrand insider, you know what that means. If you wanna use that BrandScript script as a caption, you can totally do that. Do not do it every time. The BrandScript script, for those of you who who don’t know and you’re like, why is she saying script twice? That’s the name of it, but basically it’s like a Madlibs that you plug all your seven pieces in and it comes out to be this nice, beautiful paragraph that tells the story. Only use that max once a month, maybe once every 30 posts, something like that.
And if you’re doing it once every 30 posts, you could honestly do the same caption twice. Secret: nobody reads that closely. I love using this formula for captions and for themes. So what we basically do is we combine the framework, the seven-part framework plus social concepts. So you don’t wanna just do like the captions alone. Obviously you still need graphics, photos, hashtags, et cetera. Don’t forget about the rest of your strategy, but we’re just talking about captions and themes.
So background on social media. There are what a lot of people will call the three E’s. Some people think they’re four. Everybody disagrees on which…if you Google it you guys, there is a lot of different E words that people use for this, but the ones that we generally use around Stratos is all social media should Educate, Entertain, or Engage your audience.
And so every post should have that sort of purpose: education, entertainment, engagement. So, what I love is that when we marry StoryBrand with social media concepts, that education looks like you being the guide and your authority. You can educate people with resources. You could also educate them with your lead generator, which is your transitional call-to-action.
For entertainment, this is a place where you can show up as the guide in empathy, in reliability. There’s ways to do that with entertainment. Make people laugh, create connections with them, personal connections. It’s also a really good way depending on your industry to talk about the problem and the failure and the success, whether you’re using funny memes or you’re creating a reel that might be entertaining to illustrate that failure, problem, or success. It’s a really good way to talk about maybe some of the heavier things that might be in your BrandScript without scaring people away. The third thing: engagement. Engage people with calls to action, whether it’s your transitional call-to-action or your direct call-to-action. That’s a way to engage people. Use social media call-to-actions: “Like this post!” or “Share this post.” All of those are call-to-actions as well and creates engagement.
Guys, I hate to interrupt this podcast, but I wanna share a quick message about a resource we have here at Stratos for you.
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Also in the engaging category is empathy. Engage people in an empathetic way. If there’s something going on in the world that you can talk about on social media that is gonna create a connection. Ask people what they think, ask for their feedback, their opinion. Another way is, especially some smaller businesses like mom and pop businesses, might include pictures of their family, knowing that when you support their business, you’re supporting their family.
This is a way to engage that audience. So it also fits under one of those E’s and it creates relatability. That is a piece of the guide. It’s not like an official piece, but a lot of us agree that relatability can also fall under empathy, where you are suddenly connecting yourself in a personal way.
So we’ve talked about the seven parts of StoryBrand. We’ve talked about the three principles of social media: educating, entertainment, and engagement. We’ve talked about how those combine. But practically, what does this look like? So you’re probably thinking, yes, Julie, I get it. StoryBrand, social media, they work well together, but how do I actually do this? I’ve got some formula ideas. Before I give you these formula ideas, caveat: I did not write full captions for these. So they’re not written well. I’m just reading what I have. So forgive me please. But if you want live examples, check out our social media, check out some of our clients. Come to one of our workshops and we’ll be talking about it. We talk about this all the time.
So here’s an example. Just like I mentioned, Dr. J.J. Peterson talks about how we need to use them as musical notes. I’ve also mentioned, we’re never gonna spew all seven at the same time. So what I do is I pick one, two, maybe three to tackle in one post. So for example, maybe in one post, you’re gonna use the guides empathy and the problem. You could use a prompt, “We know that you can feel like this, so that your problem can feel this way.” That’s your external problem and your internal problem. “We’ve been there. We get it.” That’s as simple as it gets you guys.
That statement is a really good empathetic statement. You can obviously elaborate and say, we know, we’ve been there, we get it. Maybe a coach might use this and say, “Hey, I’m a life coach or I’m a productivity coach.” And you say, “I know that it can feel really awful when you end your day and it feels like you haven’t done anything. I know it I’ve been there. I used to be that way. Now I have found this and this is how I can be more productive.” That even adds a little bit of success, side note, but that is one example for a formula.
Another formula that I love, guys, you can literally come up with these all the time. Just take your character, problem, guide, plan, call-to-action, success, failure, mix ’em up however you want and just write a caption out of it.
So here’s another one: success, plan, and guide. So what if we said, “Imagine if this success,” We insert what does this success look like. It’s not hard. That’s actually a statement of empathy, which is not part of this formula. “All you need to do is number one, two, and three. We’re here to help.”
So you see that first part, “Imagine if X” that would be your success. “All you need to do is 1, 2, 3,” that’s your plan. And then those statements “It’s not hard. And we’re here to help.” Is your guides version of. So maybe it’s like a marketing company and we’re talking to business owners. “Imagine if you had leads coming in every day. It’s really not that hard. All you need to do is number one, set up a consultation with our team. Number two, we’ll get you an analysis to kind of have an idea of whether we can get you leads off of social media. Three, watch the leads roll in. We’re here to help.” Guys. I just made that up on the spot. So be very proud of me.
A third formula: character, failure, and transitional call-to-action. So let’s try this one on for size. “So you want X,” so that’s like your character. What do they want? “But you’re afraid of X,” that’s your failure. “Use our lead gen and you won’t have to worry.”
So for example, here’s an idea for a leadership coach. “You want to have a team that is doing their best, but you’re afraid that you aren’t leading well or that you’re afraid that the people that you have are gonna leave. Use our…” this one is not as good. I’m gonna apologize right now. “Use our lead generator or use our stay surveys, which helps pull your employees to figure out why they’re staying and how you can help them. And you won’t have to worry about people leaving you ever again.” That’s a weird one. I admit I made that one up on the fly and I felt really positive after the second one that I made up on the fly. But you get the idea, we’ve got the character, this is what they want. We’ve got the failure. This is what they’re afraid of. And then we have like the lead generator and we’re talking about how they won’t have to worry.
So you can make up your own formulas, you guys. It’s not that hard. It’s super easy. This makes it so much easier. If you just kind of plug and play. What I recommend is don’t spew all the seven pieces. All the seven pieces should show up. And so it’s like your social media as a whole is telling a story rather than expecting every single post to tell a story. So when people read you, follow you, they’ll start seeing the story, seeing themselves and your posting, you as the guide, et cetera, seeing the success they could experience, but it’s not like you’re word vomiting on them every time.
They’re just seeing this throughline through the whole story. So hopefully this is helpful to you. I know that as we figure this out and master this, it was incredibly helpful for us in terms of content creation. If you guys have any questions, that’s what we’re here for and I’m happy to answer them.
Feel free to send us a message on Marketing in the Wild or email me at email@example.com. I’m happy to answer any questions. If you do try one of these formulas on for size, tag us, we would love to give your post some love. But we would really also love to hear what formulas worked for you, which formulas didn’t work for you? Because we’ll start compiling me so that we can share with everybody.
Have a great one. You guys, you will see you next time.
Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have, if you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you loved our podcast and want to give us a rating or a review, I promise we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us.
Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week and I hope you will be too.