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Storytelling in social networks -
Top 10 rules

Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015 she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod,, after which she created a course called "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" based on it. Over 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by education, she quickly masters new areas. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in movies/serials, and writes about it in her project's blog.
We all tell stories. With the advent of social media, publicly. For the last few years, commercially. We use storytelling in posts and stories to engage audiences. And we use storytelling techniques to help audiences make the decisions we want them to make.

In this article, I'll talk about how to do storytelling on Instagram. What storytelling rules you need to apply to your strategy to get you read with interest and for years to come.
Storytelling is the art of storytelling. It is a way of presenting information, which we are all used to since childhood, and which our brain perceives as easily as possible.

Also, storytelling is a powerful tool to influence the human brain, because thanks to its techniques you can put any idea in your head.
15 rules of storytelling in social networks:

1.Conflict is a necessary part of the narrative

No one is interested in watching you just feed the cats and water the flowers. There must be some conflict in your life, some discrepancy that you want to resolve with all your strength.
2. Your reader needs to be in your context.

He needs to understand what was with you before you met, and what you want to be in the future. What you're striving for, what you've already had in your life, what stages you've gone through. I really like doing these long stories on different topics with pictures of different years and a straightforward, coherent narrative. It's like you're just writing a short story about some event, but only in a storybook and with the meanings you want.

3. Visuals matter.

Since any social network is, after all, visual, the quality of photos and videos matters here. Maybe in 2015 you could promote yourself with photos taken with a slipper, but now the competition is too high. Try to make any photo as artistic as possible. You can do that by taking a course on mobile photography. For example, mine.

4. Format alternation

Notice how the filmmakers tell the story. The frame changes every three seconds, or even more often - it's a close-up, then it's a close-up, then it's a detail. That way they hold our attention, and the viewer does not get tired while watching.

Here we are in the storytelling need to do something like the same. Only we also have other tools, like a picture, a collage, a scheme, and so on. Ideally, each next storiz should be a new format. Just write out all the possible ones and take them one at a time. At first you can do it this way, and then it will become a habit and you'll get it intuitively.

5. The sequence of the narrative

All of your storizas should read like a connected story. Preferably, the posts should flow out of one another, too. That way a new (or even an older) reader will get the feeling that he or she is reading a book about your life with your thoughts and values.

6. Disclosure of the topic in several slides

We often think that everything is clear. Especially in a subject we know well (e.g., our lives). But the thing is, everyone else doesn't understand a thing. So the more detailed you are in explaining your every move, your every decision, your every emotion, the better. Especially when you tell something about the past.

7. Cosy elements.

Arrows, diagrams, maps, girl-form style storis, use of artistic elements such as travelling (holding a camera) or detailing, like glued stickers-digits and so on - all these are cool and cozy elements that add to the mood of your story.

8. How do you feel?

It's not just what you do that matters to your readers. But also how you feel about it. That's how all your actions begin to resonate with him, and he feels empathy for you. It's as if he's experiencing these feelings with you.

And because it's scientifically proven that we react equally to what we've experienced and to what we've heard a good story about, it's as if your reader is going through it with you. A very valuable bonding experience.

9. References to World Culture and History

We don't exist in a cultural vacuum. All of your subscribers have read/watched something, been interested in something before you. And if they see something in your content that they've seen before, they will automatically associate your values with the values broadcast by that cultural phenomenon. And some of the reputation of your reference will spill over to you as well. Plus, your subscribers will realize that you share the same values, which will certainly bring you closer together.
10. Your super-mission
No one is interested in following a man who just works and makes money. And it's probably not interesting to live that way, either. It's much better when both you and your subscribers understand your mission, what you live in this world for and get up every day. So sometimes you need to remind them of that. And to yourself as well.

11. Means of artistic expression

Metaphors, epiphors, comparisons, and polysyndetons-all means of artistic expression that work in texts-work well in stories. After all, it's often text on a picture or video. You can learn more about all of these tools in my course "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story".

12. Brand attributes

Your personal brand has certain attributes. Or "chips," as I call them. That tea you like to drink, that coat you wear all the time, your e-book, Moleskine, your glasses - these are all brand attributes. Things that are associated with you and make your image unique.

Write them down for yourself and add them to your story periodically. That way it's easier for people to remember you when you're not around.
13. The people and places in your story

We don't live in a vacuum - take 2. When you write a story about your life, there are bound to be other actors and locations. It's the same on social media, especially since the service itself provides great ways to tag other people and places. It's as if they are already written into the story by Instagram itself-you just need to use them correctly.

14. Other people talking about you.

Every story needs social validation. When you repost other people's stories, whether it's customer reviews or videos from a party with friends, it's like you're showing your followers, "Yeah, I'm really telling the truth. Look, they have me in their stories the same/the same way. I'm not a made-up hero, I'm a real live person."

Of course, it also matters who posts about you - whether or not that person has social weight. But agree that existing alone is a bit of an odd story, isn't it?

15. Audience reaction

And, of course, you really need feedback! So always use different ways to engage your audience - questions, surveys, sliders. Encourage reactions and talk to you. Because that's the only way you'll know exactly what your audience is interested in.

And you'll be sure they're hearing your story.