I read an article by Heidi Cohen for ClickZ that talked about 5 Ways to Integrate Stories Into Your Social Media Marketing. In much the same way a case study is composed, Cohen relates ways to draw readers into the story with the purpose of developing not only interest but also “dialogue, interaction and sharing,” which is what social media sites are all about.
The idea is to tell a story that is relevant and relatable to the reader. He must be able to identify not only with the elements of the story but directly with the protagonist. This makes the story very personal to the reader. Heidi tells the story of the JetBlue steward who had had enough of his job and let himself off of the plane by exiting on one of the inflatable slides. Garnering more than 200,000 fans on Facebook who could identify with how the steward felt, the man has acquired the kind of following most companies only dream about.
The point is that you must provide content that:
1) Is of current interest or relevance to your readers
2) Taps into their passions
3) Tells a story with a protagonist they can relate to
4) Is easy to share
5) And demonstrates your understanding of how they feel and what they need
For those of you who have composed case studies, you will remember how you related a story about a way in which you helped a client solve a particular problem. You wrote it so that your targeted readers could identify with the problem the company in your story was having. You filled it with emotional content through the use of customer quotes, taking your readers on both an emotional and educational journey. You helped them to feel a certain way about your company. Well, social media can be used in much the same way, only now your readers can interact with one another.