The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling on Social Media in 2024

Ever caught yourself scrolling through your feed and wondering why you pause on some posts while others barely get a glance? I’m willing to bet that what you’re seeing is the magic of great storytelling doing its thing. And while I know that might sound cheesy (and I’m a little biased as a storytelling strategist), for us small business folks, getting a grip on storytelling on social media isn’t just nice—it’s downright CRUCIAL. After all, the algorithm competition is FIERCE if you want to stand out in the online crowd. Don’t worry though – I’m here to help. Today, I want to take some time to lay out the essential do’s and don’ts of storytelling on social media.


Importance of Effective Storytelling on Social Media

I’ve touched on this already but I want to drill this point home so you know how important it is. In the bustling world of social media, attention is like money in the bank. Good storytelling grabs that attention fast and keeps it, turning folks who just stumbled upon your page into die-hard fans, and those fans into customers. The goal here is always to give your brand a human touch, showcasing your wins and benefits, and putting your values front and center. Done right, storytelling on social media isn’t just about sharing content—it’s about building a community that sticks through the highs and the lows, sparking all those feels from joy to anticipation, and crafting a genuine sense of belonging. THAT’s the magic that can beat out any algorithm.

So let’s break down what implementing this actually looks like.



The Do’s of Storytelling on Social Media

1. Know Your Peeps

The secret sauce to nailing your storytelling? Really getting to know your audience. What bugs them? What do they daydream about? How do they like to chill out? I know this sounds vague but digging into demographic details, listening to what they have to say, and keeping an eye on those social media metrics will tell you all you need to know to whip up stories that hit right at the heart of what your audience cares about and needs. As we saw in the recent Bumble ad controversy, your audience WILL tell you if you’re missing the mark on what they value.


2. Keep It Real

This has always been true, but even moreso over the last couple of years. Your audience can spot a fake from a mile away. Keeping it real with your storytelling on social media means every post needs to reflect your brand’s true spirit and values. Don’t just celebrate your wins; get real about the bumps in the road too—honesty goes a long way. Authentic stories forge emotional bonds, and these connections are gold when it comes to building loyalty and turning your followers into champions for your brand.


3. Bring on the Eye Candy

Storytelling isn’t just about the words you tell either. Whether it’s stunning photos, lively videos, or slick graphics, top-notch visuals are often what can make or break a “scroll stopping” post. Plus, a great image or video speaks a thousand words in any language, breaking down barriers and opening up your content to a broader crowd.


4. Chat It Up

Social media is all about the give and take. Don’t just broadcast your message—make it a conversation. If you’ve been posting and ghosting and forgetting that social media is supposed to be social, then the results you are seeing are likely a clear indication that that needs to change. As you focus on creating content that pulls your ideal client is (whether you’re tossing out a question, nudging them with a call to action, or inviting them to share their own stories), engagement is key. This kind of back-and-forth not only boosts your visibility but also strengthens the bonds between your brand and your followers.


5. Ask Questions

Questions on social media are your conversation starters—they get the wheels turning and encourage replies. Use questions to dig deeper into what your audience thinks or to get them pondering how your products or services fit into their everyday life. And don’t be discouraged if it’s crickets at first, as you ask more questions and engage meaningfully, more and more of your audience will take the time to engage and reply.


6. Share the Mic

My last storytelling tip is to get your followers in on the action by encouraging them to share their own experiences with your brand. This does double duty: it gives you fresh content to showcase and makes your customers feel like they’re a crucial part of your community. Plus, when real people share their stories, it cranks up the authenticity and trust factor, showing that actual, live humans back and love your brand.


The Don’ts of Storytelling on Social Media

1. Sales Pitch Overload

Sure, we’re all here to make a sale eventually, but if every post screams “buy from me!”, you’re going to turn people off. Pain point marketing is effective, but it can’t be the only thing you’re doing.  The trick is balance. Aim to add value with your posts, whether you’re empowering them with some knowledge, making them laugh, or giving them a little relatability or inspiration. 


2. Ignoring the Numbers

It’s crucial to keep tabs on how your stories are doing out there. Social media platforms are goldmines of data, letting you see which tales and messages hit the mark and which ones missed. You should be regularly diving into that info to tweak and tune up your storytelling on social media. This way, you can keep serving up the content that really resonates with your audience.


3. All Quantity, No Quality

You might think that throwing more content at your followers will get better results (after all, didn’t Mosseri say something like that?). However, the truth is that bombarding your followers with a bunch of low-quality posts just waters down your message and can really annoy your audience. Instead, aim for quality over quantity. Put time into creating fewer, but finer, posts that genuinely capture their interest and make them happy to see your name pop up in their feed.


4. Posting and Ghosting

If you toss out a post and then disappear, it’s like you’re telling your audience you don’t really care what they think. Staying engaged is key to building a real community around your brand. Additionally, make sure you’re there to chat back when your followers take the time to comment. Being part of the conversation shows you value their input and helps strengthen those community vibes.



Wrapping It Up: Storytelling on Social Media

Alright, we’ve walked through the essential do’s and don’ts of storytelling on social media, showing you how smart, real-deal storytelling can really amp up your online presence. Moreover, keep in mind, the aim is to spin tales that do more than just tell or entertain—they should forge strong connections and get people excited to buy from you too.

If you’re ready to take your storytelling to the next level and really vibe with your audience, hit me up here. Wondering what makes your storytelling style unique? Take this quiz to uncover personalized strategies that’ll sharpen your skills, all from a seasoned storytelling pro, me! I’m so grateful to connect with you (and thanks for reading this until the end!).