Ready to go viral? Ready to engage your users meaningfully? Here are our top 7 tips to incorporate stories digitally:
- Highlight individuals, not numbers! We absolutely understand that all of your funders want to know your outcomes and impact – how many individuals did you house, how many meals did you serve, how many homes did you build and what impact this led to in your community. But what moves people is the story of one or more individuals that they feel like they can empathize with. Tell the story of an individual(s) and explain why they were in such need and why your services filled that need so perfectly.
- Use photos and videos to bring the story to life. Find photos that convey strong emotions in the faces or show active acts of service. If your organization provides a service that is hard to photograph, a simple hug can often illustrate the connection, service, and compassion your nonprofit provides.
- Generously tag partners, volunteers, businesses, and other individuals that are part of the story. This is a great place to be inclusive and generous. It not only spreads the cycle of goodwill further, but also reinforces the message that your work is needed and makes a difference.
- Try to make your story evergreen so that you can repurpose and recycle. Is it necessary to use exact dates in your story? Do we need to reference social or larger community events that might date your story? Try to creatively incorporate details that don’t create a specific time limited frame for your story. This will allow you to potentially use the story again, or at least reference it later without it seeming dated.
- Now that you’ve told one story, continue telling that specific individual’s story over time. Your supporters likely became slightly invested in this individual – whether the story was a about a specific individual or a composite of a few individual’s stories that reflects your work. Try to give an update six months or a year later. Show that your organization’s work has ‘legs’, and its impact can be felt immediately and for months to come.
- Feature different elements of the story over your different platforms. Many supporters use only one platform to access your organization so if you’re only sharing the story via an enewsletter, you might be missing all the visitors who follow you on Twitter, for example. But don’t copy and paste the story, use different messages and provide different details on each platform. This will entice your supporters to follow you across all your platforms, which builds a meaningful, and active user base.
- Lastly, feature different perspectives on the same story, to show how your work can affect many individuals and how many individuals are involved. Perhaps you shared the story initially of a service recipient; what about now sharing the same story from the perspective of their case worker? Is there someone unexpected that interacted with the story, like an IT team member who fixed a computer and saved the day or even the marketing manager at your organization who stopped what he/she was doing to walk the service recipient to the correct office? Tell the story from their perspective and provide a fresh take on how the individual and the work of your nonprofit moved them.
As you think about sharing a story digitally, keep in mind these seven tips. Do you have other tips that work well for your organization? Share them with us at @StarfishMarta.
Sign up here to receive the highlights from the Starfish Impact blog in your inbox.