Telling Your Story Over Time on Twitter and Facebook

I’m teaching our “Writing for Facebook and Twitter” webinar on July 19, 2011. I’ll be sharing tons of tactical tips on writing better tweets, status updates, and other forms of microcontent. But I’ll also share some of the strategy that needs to go into those social media updates.

One issue to consider in your social media strategy is how many of your updates are timely one-offs or repetition during a short window of time, and how many are part of a much longer story line.

I’ve talked about communications arcs before, and how they work particularly well when you have more space, like in a blog or e-newsletter. But I think they can work in social media too, if you are careful about how you tie them together.

Roy Peter Clark at Poynter has written about how journalists use Twitter and Facebook to tell “mini serial narratives.” The most obvious format is when you are reporting live from an event or scene of some sort, whether it’s a disaster or a legislative committee room or a party.  Roy also talks about how he shared a series of 100 “love secrets” to a happy marriage on Facebook, and by labeling each one (Secret #1:, Secret #2:), he could keep the thread together while posting other items in between. You could use a hashtag on Twitter to accomplish the same thing.

We’ve also seen plenty of examples of “serialized micro-fiction” where writers share a story one line at a time on Twitter or Facebook. In a related vein, we also see TV characters tweeting to supplement the shows we watch. Closer to the nonprofit world, many of enjoyed the antics of the Bronx Zoo Cobra.

Are you following any good nonprofit stories over time on Facebook or Twitter? Have some ideas for how to make this work in the nonprofit world?

Share in the comments, and I hope to see you on the Writing for Facebook and Twitter webinar next week.

  • http://www.tripointfundraising.com Amy Eisenstein

    Sounds exciting. An important tool for nonprofits to use to reach new audiences.

  • http://www.event360.com/blog Event360

    Great post – stories are always compelling drivers, and
    these platforms make it easy to share someone’s experience bit by bit.