How to use storytelling to craft better Tweets

By Nick Reese
Best practices
person holding pile of books

When it comes to marketing, it’s not always the best product that wins. Often, it’s the best story.

As much as we like to think our buying decisions are rational, logical, and carefully considered, a purchase will frequently come down to whether or not we believe in a brand's story. The better you can tell your brand’s story, the clearer your customers will see how your brand fits into their own personal narratives.

Elements of a story

Whether you’re writing a novel or crafting a Tweet, all storytelling shares the same common elements:

  • Setting: From a dreary Sunday morning in downtown Chicago, to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, all stories take place at a specific time and location. Similarly, explain the setting for when and where your product is most needed and used.
  • Character: Every person in a story serves a purpose. Think about your product as a character, instead of just a tool or service, and then look at how your brand can be a supporting character in your customer’s story.
  • Plot: This is what characters get up to in the setting during the pursuit of a goal. For brands, the plot can start at the initial realization of a problem and last up until the customer uses your product to solve their problem.
  • Conflict: Conflicts are what make life difficult, but stories interesting. They're meant to keep people emotionally invested in the plot. Use conflict to show you understand the customer’s issues, and, more importantly, how you can help them overcome them.
  • Arc: Stories have a beginning, middle, and end. As a brand, it’s tempting to immediately show people happily enjoying your product. Take advantage of the narrative arc so your customers don't miss out on the dramatic tension that comes from the setup, rising tension, and the climax of your brand's story.

Using Twitter to tell your brand's story

Thanks to the flexibility of Twitter, there are several ways you can incorporate storytelling elements into your feed:

  • Use Twitter Moments to collect and curate multiple Tweets so you can tell a story around a topic or conversation that’s relevant to your followers.
  • Instead of using just one image in your Tweet, use multiple photos in a Tweet to create a narrative arc.
  • According to our analysis of 3.7 million accounts, Tweets with video attracted 10x more engagement than Tweets without video. That’s because video is the perfect medium for storytelling, allowing brands to quickly introduce the setting, characters, plot, and conflict for a narrative arc that can last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes.
  • By posting a Tweet thread, you can create a sequence of Tweets that will be read together as one. This allows you to break a larger brand story into digestible chunks, while also giving followers the ability to Retweet and comment on the specific parts of the story they find most engaging. Combine Tweets from a Tweet thread into a Twitter Moment to maximize your efforts.

Additional reading:

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