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Social Media Storytelling Formulas: 11 Quick-Fire Ways to Create Your Stories

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Social Media Storytelling Formulas: 11 Quick-Fire Ways to Create Your Stories
Legendary marketer, Seth Godin, describes marketing as "the art of telling a story that resonates with your audience and then spreads." If you look at some of the biggest brands around, you might notice that they are often amazing storytellers.

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Three-Act storytelling structure

Three-Act storytelling structure

One of the oldest and most straightforward storytelling formulas:

  • Setup: Set the scene and introduce the character(s)
  • Confrontation or “Rising action” : Present a p...

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Five-Act storytelling structure

Five-Act storytelling structure

Also known as Freytag’s Pyramid:

  • Exposition: Introduce important background information
  • Rising action: Tell a series of events to build up to the climax

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Before – After – Bridge storytelling formula

  • Before: Describe the world with Problem A.
  • After: Imagine what it’d be like having Problem A solved.
  • Bridge: Here’s how to get there.

Set the s...

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Problem – Agitate – Solve storytelling formula

  • Problem: Present a problem
  • Agitate: Agitate the problem
  • Solve: Solve the problem

First, you present a problem. Second, instead of pr...

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Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle

  • Why: Why the company exists (Why are you in this business? What motivates you)
  • How: How the company fulfills its Why
  • What: What the company does to ...

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Dale Carnegie’s Magic Formula for storytelling

  • Incident: Share a relevant, personal experience, to grab your audience’s attention.
  • Action: Describe the specific action taken to solve or prevent a problem, s...

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Dave Lieber’s V storytelling formula

  • Introduce the character;
  • Bring the story to its lowest point;
  • Turn it around and finish with a happy ending.
Once you introduce the characte...

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Star – Chain – Hook storytelling formula

  • Star: An attention-getting, positive opening
  • Chain: A series of convincing facts, benefits, and reasons
  • Hook: A powerful call-to-action.

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The Story Spine: Pixar’s award-winning formula

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Un...

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The Hero’s Journey storytelling formula

  • Departure: A hero receives a call to go on an adventure, receives advice from a mentor, and heads out on her journey.
  • Initiation: The hero meets a series of challenges bu...

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Nancy Duarte’s secret structure of great talks

  • What is: The status quo
  • What could be: The future that could be possible

Go back and forth between the two and end off with a …

  • New bliss: T...

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Steve Jobs

“The most powerful person in the world is the story teller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda of ..."

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Storytelling Is Everything

Whether it's telling inspiring stories to customers or delivering a presentation to executives and the board of directors, being a good storyteller helps us make the leap from Good to Great.

Product managers and designers can benefit tremendously by great storytelling, and so can anyone who is working with product design.

Purpose

Instead of selling products, we need to focus on their purpose and what good it does for the end-user. Focus on the need of the customer and design the product around it.

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Storytelling is...

Storytelling is...
...the process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. Some stories are factual, and some are embellished or improvised in order to better explain the core message.

Why we tell stories

  • Stories solidify abstract concepts and simplify complex messages;
  • Stories bring people together: stories connect us through the way we feel and respond to them;
  • Stories inspire and motivate, by tapping into people’s emotions and baring both the good and bad.

Good stories are …

  • Entertaining. Good stories keep the reader engaged and interested in what’s coming next.
  • Educational. Good stories spark curiosity and add to the reader’s knowledge bank.
  • Universal. Good stories are relatable to all readers and tap into emotions and experiences that most people undergo.
  • Organized. Good stories follow a succinct organization that helps convey the core message and helps readers absorb it.
  • Memorable. Whether through inspiration, scandal, or humor, good stories stick in the reader’s mind.

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Pete Docter

“What you’re trying to do, when you tell a story, is to write about an event in your life that made you feel some ..."

Pete Docter

Pixar’s Plotting Techniques For Structure And Purpose

The Story Spine structure: Once upon a time there was [blank]. Every day, [blank]. One day [blank]. Because of that, [blank]. Until finally [bank].

A story’s purpose: find why you want to tell this story, what belief of yours fueled that story, what does it teach and its purpose. Stories with a purpose that you are passionate about have a bigger impact.

Jon Westenberg

Jon Westenberg

“Storytelling is the greatest technology that humans have ever created.” 

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