Social media as multi-modal story telling.

I was studying multi-modal story telling throughout my honours degree. So for me leaping into social media marketing from there makes total sense to me; but I’m sure this is not how most people approach their social media.

Multi-modal story telling is a really old concept, but one not many people know about.
Consider how in Alice in Wonderland you think just as quickly of the illustrations as you do the story, the prose, and the poetry. In Sin City the relationship between text can highlight either; with the word BLAM taking up an entire frame as part of the action.
With marketing we get this relationship as well.

I think of words and imagery when somebody mentions a brand to me. With social media marketing though we have additional tools beyond old marketing forms.
Most advertising from ye olde days for instance combines words within the poster or billboard. But on social media we keep those elements either combined, separated, or they can be stand-alone. Each part continues the story though.

A tweet with just words relates to an image I saw on Instagram, which reminds me of a poster I saw the other day.
Mixing in lettering with copy, a blog post with an ad for a product, or a photo with a scientific message is a powerful part of communication. Why aren’t we seeing more dynamic interactions then from what was being done when we were restricted to print?

Consider a carousel ad. These ads on Instagram and Facebook are a newer development for social media. Combining a series of images, the most common use is to promote different items, or contain distinct parts as multiple pieces of content. To my mind they look like a lot like a Peanuts comic strip though. Using this format to tell a sequential story is far more powerful than simply having four ideas on the one ad.

But you can go well beyond that simple device. Each image can be dynamic. On a Facebook post, most people create content that may include a product, text and logo. Beneath that is text with an engaging intro, some explanatory content, then a call to action. What if the call to action is in the image, what if the image consists of multiple images, what if the image is mostly text and the text is a comment on that text?

With all of the possibilities, don’t settle for just direct messaging that sells - because nobody gives a Hootsuite.

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are not clicked on numerous times a day because we want to purchase new items. We click to learn something, get advice, discover. Advertising has a home, but content is branding. It’s the long game not the next action.

HTML linking is the next level of this story telling.
This isn’t just dropping in URL codes though. Add in a hashtag every now and then, or share a story on Facebook. Tagging friends is about more than just showing that individual the photo - it’s connecting everyone in that image to the friends of everyone.
The stories that are created might be relationships when tagging a friend. It may mean discovering a new article, a new website, or a new product though.

Unsure what to do next?
When you’re an individual using social media consider;
The reason you can share dynamically is so you can better find, and better be targeted for advertising.

When you’re creating content consider;
Hunches come from experience.
Set aside time for unmediated exploration.
Freedom leads to progression and innovation.
Start acting as if you have an answer (just call it a test).
There isn’t going to ever be just one solution, so don’t adhere to what you’re used to dogmatically.