Share Your Story: Here’s The Best Way

Share Your StoryYou don’t want to come across as cheesy, salesy or worse, self-promotional.

I get that.

Why Stories Fail

However, one of the biggest reasons stories fail is that they aren’t shared or promoted enough. I want you to share your stories more frequently and I’ll show you how it’s done so your reader actually values your stories more.

Sharing your story is 80% of good storytelling.

Why are you reading my story via…

Can you answer this question? Why is your audience accessing you through a specific communication touch point?

The thing about storytelling is that the context the story is being read/heard/seen really matters. Here’s what we mean:

  • If someone is reading your story via direct mail they have likely supported you or supported a similar cause in the recent past. You may have rented their name or they could be a major donor. Regardless, they most likely have an affinity to you or your mission.
  • If someone is reading your story via email, they’ve actually opted into at some point, so they are looking for value.
  • Blogs are the most likely place a story reader will go with the intention of reading a story, and are often the best place to start sharing a story to get feedback. Your readers engaging with you on your blog are usually high quality supporters, or could be high quality prospects.
  • No one is on Facebook to do business. We’re there to be entertained—which is great for storytelling. If someone is reading your story on Facebook, encourage them to share the story.
  • YouTube – Wildly popular as both a destination and embeddable storytelling tool. YouTube is a storytellers best friend. If you do one thing in 2014 it’s to get good at videos and use them frequently.
  • Twitter is the “content-snack” of the social media world. You have 140 characters to share breaking news, gossip, frustration, and humor. We love to use Twitter to monitor trending topics and keep a pulse on what people are thinking. Links perform well in Twitter, so if you can’t fit your story into 140 characters, you can write a great teaser and link to your story, image, or video.
  • Pinterest – highly visual, highly shareable. Use imagery with text overlay to get the most Pins. Offer a link to the “full story.”
  • Instagram – already one of the top ten mobile applications in 2013. Expected growth of Instagram makes it one to watch if you’re not already watching it. It’s especially important if your nonprofit is highly visual, such as wildlife, wilderness, water, etc. Downside is that Instagram, unlike Twitter, doesn’t allow you to embed outside links to drive traffic to your website or landing page. Your engagement is limited to Instagram. Captions with question marks do a better job of engaging users, but we’re biased toward using social media to drive traffic through your funnel.

We know there are a lot of other social media channels, SnapChat, Medium, Tumblr, and probably half a dozen more in early start-up phase. By now you get the gist of what we’re trying to say: honor the way your reader wants to hear your story.

Here’s a handy worksheet to complete for each story in your story bank. We list the communication channel and then have a space for you to complete your strategy per channel. Go get ’em and report back your success!


About this Storytelling Series

We’re running a series of coaching blogs to support your organizational storytelling. Here are links to the posts so far in the series. Stay tuned for tips on how to modify your story for each communication channel.