Brand storytelling: How you can use Instagram or Snapchat stories to engage with more customers

Brand storytelling is something you shouldn’t ignore. And whatever the platform the techniques are the same and easy to learn.

If you read my article on Snapchat for older people and businesses earlier this year, were you a little skeptical?

Snapchat is for kids and teenagers isn’t it?

You can’t use Snapchat as a business? Can you?


I think you can and still do.

The “Story” function is a great way to engage with customers. Show them the real you. The face behind your business. The real human behind your brand. Give them a behind the scenes view of what makes your business tick.

But there’s a stigma about Snapchat. The “kids and teenagers” label might create a nagging doubt.

Instagram recently launched their own version of Snapchat stories. It’s almost a carbon copy. And it’s good news for businesses.

You’re probably using Instagram already. If not you’ll agree it doesn’t carry the same stigma as Snapchat. Now, as well as great photos, you can share your stories. A series of videos and photos merged into a stream.

The key for businesses is telling stories. Whether it’s your own personal brand or company name, telling stories is going to become more important.

Please have a listen to this podcast where I talk to entrepreneur Kelly Baader about brand storytelling on Instagram and Snapchat.

You’ll hear us chat about:

  • Tips for creating compelling stories: master the brevity of simplicity, create suspense, use behind-the-scenes, and engage with your audience with involvement
  • How Instagram and Snapchat “stories” can help you get personal with your potential customers, making it easier for them to engage with your business.
  • How Instagram’s wide reach of demographics combined with a facsimile of  Snapchat “stories” make it a perfect platform for businesses to showcase their products through storytelling.

You can listen to the episode by clicking here.

Or you can visit Kelly’s website by clicking here.

Now it’s your turn:

Please let me know what you thought of the show. If you want to have a chat about Brand storytelling and how you can use Instagram or Snapchat stories to engage with more customers, please get in touch.


Snapchat for Older People, Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Are you on Snapchat? Are you using it to create relationships and engage with potential customers?

What was that you thought in reply to my question?

Snapchat for older people

“Snapchat is for teenagers who want to send mucky pictures to one another safe on the knowledge that the photo disappears after 10 seconds? ”


“I’ve just got my head round Twitter and I’m not convinced about that yet. Snapchat is for kids and is irrelevant for older people, and especially for businesses and entrepreneurs.”

I have to admit up until two months ago I thought the same. Why would businesses be interested in a platform kids use to send pictures of their naked bodies? Why would anyone want to send content that disappears after only 10 seconds.

But as a marketer I feel it’s my duty to my customers to keep up with social media trends and platforms. To try them out. See if there are opportunities. I’ve looked at Periscope, Blab and the recent audio platform Anchor. All of those are worth a look but Snapchat is exciting.

Overcome Perceptions

You need to keep an open mind. That means rising above the perceptions that people have of social media. It’s often the perceptions that prevent people from given something the chance it deserves.

Yes kids might be posting dirty pictures on Snapchat. But some older people, businesses and entrepreneurs are finding it a great engagement platform.

So I tried Snapchat two months ago and do you know what?

I’ve been amazed by the engagement. And the interaction. And the networking.

I’ve had fun. Met new people from around the world. Arranged Skype meetings to follow-up with mutually beneficial discussions. And I’ve found some new paying customers too.

So my message to you is to give Snapchat a chance. Have a look at what entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuck, Chris Ducker and Dan Norris are up to on the platform. Make some connections. Engage people in conversations and offer your support and help.

One of the best things about Snapchat is that the marketers (and I include me in this criticism) haven’t ruined the platform yet.

No one is in your face, “sell sell sell”. You’ll see no adverts.

No interruptions. Just engagement.

Here are a few tips on how to start your Snapchat experience.

The Story

Use the “Story” function as the hub your Snapchat interactions.

Your story is an album of photos and videos (each of which can last for up to 10 seconds) which mesh together to tell a story. Think of it as a video picture blog.

People can watch your story as many times as they want. Each element only stays in your story timeline for 24 hours though. It’s short-lived and that encourages people to watch your story before it vanishes forever (but you can save it to your phone for prosperity or re-purposing).

Make your story engaging in three ways:

  • Create suspense: You could say, “In the next few snaps I’ll tell you a few business secrets.” Or, “Come back at 5pm for a huge piece of news.” When you think about it this is a technique used by film and TV producers and it works.
  • Take people behind the scenes: Use your story to show people behind the scenes of your business. Give them a look at your podcast equipment or your offices. Show them what you’re working on. Have fun. Show them the human side of your business as well.
  • Involve people in your story: Ask questions?  Invite opinions. If you’ve just snapped your latest camera invite people to “snap you back” with a picture or video of their own camera. Run a quiz. I do a “track of the day” each morning asking people to snap me back if they recognise the music.

Build these three techniques into your story and you can start to engage and interact and build relationships.

Engagement and Interaction.

You’ll need to follow some people.

Check out your Twitter or Instagram friends and look for anyone sporting a Snapchat “Yellow” snapcode picture and follow them.

Even check out those entrepreneurs I mentioned earlier and other influencers. Follow and interact with them. They are sure to reply to you. Snapchat is a friendly place.

If someone follows you, send them a message (it’s just like a text but inside the Snapchat app). Or even better send them a quick video to say hello. People love it when you acknowledge them in this way.

Start watching other people’s stories

Other Snapchatters are already using the Story function as their engagement hub.

Reply to their questions. Comment on what they’re up to. If you are following each other you’ll see a “chat” icon at the bottom of the screen. You can type them a message straight away. Or send them a quick video. Remember video is so engaging.

When you take a video or a picture you can add text to the snap. You can use this to share other people’s snapcode usernames. And if you see someone else giving a shout out in this way, follow their recommendation to build your network.

Build your network and relationships

One of the best things about Snapchat is there are no follower counts.

On Twitter and other social networks egos often rule and some people set store by how many followers they have. With Snapchat you don’t know. They could have 10 followers or a million.

It doesn’t matter. It means you can focus on building relationships. They could lead to friendships, business relationships or both.

Let people find you

Add your Yellow Snapcode to your other social networks so people can find and follow you. Unlike Twitter and Facebook you can’t do a general search for people on Snapchat. You have to know their Snapchat code before you can follow them.

Follow me on Snapchat

I’d love to help you get to know Snapchat and for you to start using it to create business relationships.

My Snapchat name is: RogerAEdwards. Or you can just scan my Yellow Snapcode below.

Snapchat for older people

You’re all set

I hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks for getting started on Snapchat. Give it a chance. Set aside those perceptions you may have that it’s just for kids.

Snapchat can work for older people, businesses and entrepreneurs. Like anything you have to put in some time and effort. It’s fun though and there’s a pioneering feeling about it.

Give it a shot. And I look forward to watching, engaging and interacting with your story.

Now it’s you turn:

Let me know what you think? Is Snapchat for older people, businesses and entrepreneurs?

Am I talking a load of rubbish here? Leave a comment below or share your thoughts on social. Ideally of course, send me a video reply on Snapchat.