We asked marketing maven Meg Rulli to give the straight dope on how social good organizations can make their pictures do the talking in social media.
Visual storytelling is important for any type of company on social media, but it’s especially powerful for social good organizations. As opposed to just sharing industry news, articles, and status updates, visual storytelling grabs the immediate attention of your audience and entices them to want to learn more and get involved.
1. Create a narrative framework
As with most successful initiatives, you need a framework to get started. Before sharing your organization’s work through visual imagery, you first need to have an actual story. What is your organization’s mission statement? What are your short-term and long term goals? What makes you passionate about the work that you do? Identify these building blocks to craft your organization’s unique story. Create momentum around possibility and positivity, as Move This World does in all its communications.
When your story is crafted, share it front and center on your website: on your homepage, on your about page, and on your blog. That way, when people come visit your website via social media, they will immediately be moved and will want to get involved with the work that you do.
2. Describe the setting
Show people the uncut version of your company. Share pictures and videos online of your office, company meetings, events, and community outreach initiatives with your fans. If possible, tag employees and volunteers in these photos and videos across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which will help introduce your organization to the personal networks of those who work with you.
United Way of King County does an outstanding job at showcasing their employees during the holiday season. Not only is this Facebook status update down to earth and personal, but United Way also asks a question back to its community members to spark engagement on their Facebook page.
3. Portray your protagonist(s)
Share testimonials from those benefiting from your product/services, share inspirational quotes related to your company, and share with your community the impact your organization has had on the lives of others around the globe. We admire how DoSomething.org shared a moving photo of a soldier receiving personalized cards on Veteran’s Day.
4. Develop your supporting characters
Show supporters the love on social media by giving visual shout-outs to your customers, donors, board members, etc. This tactic can be especially powerful during fundraising initiatives. If you show people that you appreciate their involvement with your organization, they will be more inclined to get involved with you in the future — as will others! A great example of this is from the organization Move This World. We love how they give their donors direct shout-outs via fun images of their team celebrating on Facebook.
5. Vary the form and format of your storytelling images
Entice your audience to rally behind your organization with collages, graphic quotes, and photos loaded with attention-grabbing text. Use headlines, moving quotes, fundraising progress, engaging statistics, and hashtags specific to your company.
A great example of this is Kiva’s beautiful photo of their work, accompanied by a famous quote from Helen Keller that relates to the mission of Kiva, a non-profit that allows people to lend money to low-income entrepreneurs.
6. Use videos to further tell your story
Photos are essential when it comes to sharing your work online. But also consider using Vine and YouTube as part of your social media strategy. These are great video-based platforms that will help you further connect with your audience. Just ensure that you have a blend of professional videos and real-life video content to share across social media channels. This will allow you to connect on a more personal level with fans.
Your turn: What tips do you have for connecting with your audience through visual storytelling?
Meg is the Co-Founder of ModMark Group , a marketing and PR agency working with social good companies to grow their communities and expand their global impact. For even more marketing tips, download this free Facebook chapter from her book, Get Social — The Ultimate Online Marketing Guide For Social Good.