According to a recent Wikipedia search I did, there are about 157 fast food restaurant chains in the great United States of America today. That’s a lot of burgers and fries. As both a consumer and a foodie, I’m constantly thinking about where I can go to get my next delicious meal. So how do I usually decide? I take out my iPhone and do what I like to call a little ‘social investigating’. I consult apps/sites like Yelp for reviews, I use Google to find restaurant websites and menus, and I look to see if the place I’m interested in has a presence on the social sites I use (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.).
In some cases when I’m trying to decide, the restaurants stack up pretty evenly. They both have positive reviews on Yelp, they both have websites and menus, and they both have an online social media presence. So what is it that really makes a brand—whether it’s a fast food restaurant or a clothing store—stand out when its competition looks almost identical at first glance?
It all comes down to storytelling.
Thanks to social media, it has never been easier for brands to tell their unique stories. And every brand and business has a unique story. Telling it just takes a little time, a little creativity, and faith that you’ll get a positive return for your efforts.
It’s easy for brands to join social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and simply use the same marketing/sales strategies they’re used to using in the traditional media outlets. They upload their 15 second TV commercial to YouTube, they take the last 10 seconds of a radio advertisement script and turn it into a tweet, and they upload their magazine advertisements to a Facebook photo album on their page. You know what most people think of that type of content when they see it on social media? A few words come to mind. Lazy. Ineffective. Promotional. Spammy.
The brands that are getting the most buzz on social media are the ones that are taking the time to creatively share their unique stories. They understand the importance of being genuine, and they legitimately care about the communities they’re sharing content with.
So why aren’t you sharing your story? Why are you being lazy and repurposing advertising pieces and promotional content that none of your followers really care to see?
To illustrate the power and effectiveness of storytelling on social media, I wanted to share two videos with you from two well-known fast food restaurants. Both videos were made to promote the same thing: french fries. The first video is from Wendy’s. The second video is from McDonald’s. I trust you’ll have no trouble at all figuring out which brand is using social media to tell their story.
Which fast food place do you think I chose after watching those videos? If you want to stand out on social media, if you want people talking about your brand over all your competitors, if you want to get anything back from your social media efforts at all, share your story. Sometimes it’s the only deciding factor between you and the other guy for consumers like me.
As a social media specialist, Rob thrives in situations that require constant creativity. On days when Rob isn’t working hard to create, maintain, and strengthen relationships online, you might find him spending time with family, browsing through his nearest bookstore, or sipping on a cup of coffee at his local Starbucks.