Everything Pop Culture Taught Me About Social Media – A Millennial’s Perspective on Transmedia Storytelling

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From the founder of Facebook to the coining of influential demographic groups like Black Twitter, millennials are a prominent force in social media. As a part of Social Media Week in Chicago, Fetesha N. Downs, marketing and development associate of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, presented her perspective on how the buzzword generation’s understanding and use of transmedia storytelling can help brands grow and sustain active audiences.

Transmedia storytelling is the sharing of content across multiple media types with the hopes of generating audience engagement, participation, and interaction. A popular example is the launch of the blockbuster movie franchise The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games used a multimedia campaign including not only the book series, movies, and soundtracks, but a digital magazine focusing on the activities of the fictional capital city in the books and films, a website with a specialized domain for the capital city, and quizzes to help the audience determine which district within the post-apocalyptic nation they would live. While Downs pointed out that most brands do not have the budget for such an all-encompassing campaign, she mentioned several tips for using transmedia storytelling regardless of the size and finances of your brand. We’ve broken things down, true to listicle form, complete with GIFs:

1. Keep Your Story Simple

Understand your brand’s story so that you can clearly translate it to your audience.

2. Make social media platforms work for you, not by you

Use platforms that allow you to consolidate your social media work. Try incorporating live blogging and live tweeting as low-cost, audience engaging activities.

3. You are not the sole creator of your story

Your audience will share your story, so make it engaging to generate new followers. View your audience as your immediate brand advocates.

4. You don’t need a big name to make a big impact

While big name celebrities are amazing, anyone is able to make a splash. Just ask the ALS Association.

5. Don’t let low engagement deter your presence

Building brand engagement does not happen overnight. However, keeping content consistent and fresh will go a long way toward growing your audience.

6. You have to give more than just numbers

Giving your audience statistics and data does little to make them share your content. Use the numbers to create an experience or paint a visual.

Most importantly, thank and highlight your audience. They are the key to making your social media efforts thoughtful, engaging, and successful. Millennials and future generations are the ones driving social engagement, so taking cues from them is a solid way to ensure your brand stays relevant.

[Featured Image courtesy of humphreyking on Flickr.]

Tags : social media

About Niki Madison

Niki Madison writes daily updates and features for the Cision blog. She is a media researcher at Cision, specializing in print media with a focus on newspapers. She is a freelance graphic designer, enjoys dancing feverishly to live music, the fashion and pop culture of the 1980s and 1990s, and is a sucker for cat memes. Follow her on Twitter @nikimadison1.

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