This week on #bufferchat, we explored the art of storytelling in our communication, marketing, and interaction with customers. The community discussed the components of a story, ideas for story-rich content, tips for infusing a brand’s voice into a story, and much more.

Read on to discover all of the awesome knowledge and insights that were shared during the chat!

Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, at TWO times every Wednesday for valuable industry insights and to meet hundreds of other smart marketers and social media enthusiasts. Same topic, same place, just at different times – feel free to join in to whichever chat time works best for you!

For our community in Asia and Australia (or anyone else!): 4 pm AEDT (Sydney time)

For our community in North/South America, Europe and Africa (or others!): 9 am PT (San Francisco time)

Bufferchat on February 8th, 2017 (Topic = The Art of Storytelling)

This week’s stats:
1st Bufferchat: 45 participants; 392 tweets; reach of 1,146,874
2nd Bufferchat: 220 participants; 1,627 tweets; reach of 1,755,255

Q1: In your opinion, what are the fundamentals of a great story?

From the community:

  • “Three virtues that every great story should have: Honesty, harmony, and heart. (Humor’s optional, but very much welcome!)” @AMBAcomms
  • “A character, a hook, and a ending. Short and sweet :)” @KodyAtk
  • “Stories have a beginning, a middle & an end. Same should go for digital storytelling.” @breepalm
  • “Stripping it down to the basics: being relevant, relatable and providing a moral/lesson. W/O those, story isn’t compelling.” @KristeenOnline
  • “Plot (what’s the point?), character development (who are they?), music (what’s the mood?).” @JamesSanny

See all the great answers to question 1 here!

Q2: Why infuse storytelling into marketing?

From the community:

  • “Because humans are “hard-wired” for story. It’s how we expand our experience, learn about the world, solve dilemmas.” @CarolBuchananMT
  • “People connect with stories. Storytelling helps you humanize your brand/product. It shows others your “why” & your mission.” @KymWrites
  • “People remember stories because they connect to how they feel.” @southbaysome
  • “Because a good story can be retold and that’s how your message spreads naturally.” @lavehmarketing
  • “Stories can create a much deeper & long-lasting connection, on human-centered level. It’s more than a campaign, tactic, sale.” @ZalkaB

See all the great answers to question 2 here!

Q3: What kind of content can you create to tell stories? What forms can stories take?

From the community:

  • “All content tells a story! Images tell a story on IG, blogs can have strong narrative, even Twitter tells a collective story.” @Meg_Prater
  • “I’ve always gravitated towards narratives where you can put yourself in the shoes of the protagonist.” @HoseyTaylor
  • “Each social media platform offers a plethora of options. Vids, gifs, tweet threads, picture threads, and more!” @SimTara
  • “Interactive storytelling is becoming ever more popular. Let the audience be a part of the story.” @TomVWeekes
  • “The beauty is there’s many kinds of content: text, video, audio and even gifs can tell a story.” @OmnipoTony

See all the great answers to question 3 here!

Q4: What are tips for making sure your brand voice is heard through your storytelling?

From the community:

  • “Be crystal clear on your brand personality & identity and make sure it is reflected in every aspect of the story.” @KimberleyClare4
  • “Aim to resonate by playing on those truths that define your audience, and be genuine in your approach.” @FelixSTL
  • “Many brands are still afraid to show how they struggled. People love to back the underdog, don’t hide your struggles!” @ideabloke
  • “Know the pain points of your story and how your brand solves them. Your brand voice is that solution.” @SheffieCochran
  • “Consistency. . . make share you know your voice and communicate that regardless of the medium.” @aliciasowah

See all the great answers to question 4 here!

Q5: How can you involve your audience/customers in your storytelling?

From the community:

  • “Tell the story from their perspective, what is their experience of your brand/business. Make your content relatable.” @TheMissNicolina
  • “Easiest way: ask them to contribute! We love being featured as faces of products we love!” @actinglikeseals
  • “Encourage them! Ask them to pitch in if they want, ask for ideas, opinions. Create communities.” @Vannasana
  • “Let them be the story teller. We ask questions, film & do the editing, but they supply the words & experiences.” @CMD_WSU
  • “Utilize a call to action, whether that’s asking a question or using a prompt that motivates the fan to do more.” @MyCorporation

See all the great answers to question 5 here!

Q6: Which companies or personal brands do a great job at telling stories, and how?

From the community:

  • “On Instagram, combines visuals and captions to tell great stories.” @Wilde_Agency
  • “Really enjoy ‘s approach to storytelling. The showcasing of customers is engaging, informative and inspirational.” @RivalIQ
  • does a great job with b/c they “show” customers using their platform to grow their own businesses.” @mr0ach
  • “As for personal brands, is the king of storytelling through content.” @Anne_E_Mercer
  • “Off the top of my head, . Commercials are always heart-warming in how their product can bring generations together.” @FatherFoodFun

See all the great answers to question 6 here!

Q7: What makes someone a great storyteller?

From the community:

  • “The ability to make someone feel the emotion you’re trying to convey through words or pictures.” @JessOB1kenobi
  • “The ability to completely captivate their audience simply through words and passion.” @MegAHakey
  • “1) Empathy  2) Sympathy  3) Imagination.” @andreatorti90
  • “Someone who can touch the right chords @ the right time! Brands should behave like humans & connect emotionally w/ consumers.” @ancitasatija
  • “Anyone can be a great storyteller. Telling stories is part of being human. Greatness just comes with practice.” @RivalIQ

See all the great answers to question 7 here!


Thank you so much to everyone who participated and helped each other in this chat!

Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

Image sources: UnSplash

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Written by Arielle Tannenbaum

Community Strategist at Buffer. In addition to her love of community building, Arielle also loves vegetables, cooking, practicing yoga, meditating, living mindfully, and exploring the connections between health and happiness!

  • Thanks for sharing this recap Arielle. Sounds like this chat was a lot of fun. Sucks that I missed it.

    I have a question: Apart from real life and books, which avenues can we tap into to find stories for our target audience?