Telling Your Story on Social Media In Under 20 Seconds-Grabbing Their Attention

Photo by Max Saeling on Unsplash

When you go on any of your social media accounts, what do you see? What I see is people sharing their lives, being relatable and most of all, telling their stories. It doesn’t matter if they’re long, short or not even seeming to be a story at all, that’s what social media is. It is a medium to tell a story. But the problem with social media is that everything is quick, convenient and has to be attention grabbing. We don’t like to read things for too long, so bite size pieces are perfect, especially for people on the go.

So how do we tell a story on social media these days, knowing it basically needs to be under 20 seconds for people to keep reading it?

Simple. It has to get a reaction out of the audience reading/viewing it.

There are many great platforms to tell a story on these days. A few of my personal favourites include Facebook and Instagram. I find that these platforms are especially useful when telling any story because of the tools it uses. They both use video content, and photos to convey a message or share a story. Facebook is a good one for sharing with friends and family because you can share a story in just one photo and maybe a caption. Mainly these will be about changes in ones life; new baby, wedding, big move etc. But they all effectively share their story in under 5 seconds while you’re scrolling through your feed, with just an eye grabbing photo. This is quite the shift from even just 20-30 years ago, when we would call our friends and family, send long messages or write letters. In todays age, we have to make reading easy.

Tiktok is great platform because it also enables video content, but more recently, Reels has also entered the game because of the success. As the website here points out, it is a well known fact that social media makes our brains lazy. We have the world at our fingertips! There is so much information on the web, but because everything on digitalized, this makes it harder on your brain to grasp too much at one time. Our brains find it visually appealing when information is shown to us in a bite sized way. Think about it, you have a small screen in your hand. You’re likely to want to only read something that is the size of that screen, no more. So when Reels on instagram came out, we saw that it worked to grab peoples attention and more importantly, evoke a reaction. Personally, I love watching reels because they’re so quick to watch, usually 15 seconds, and they’re fun. Each Reel is instantly interesting, so it grabs my attention. Bonus points if it is funny, relatable or cute. And all the other platforms on the web saw this opportunity too and jumped on the bandwagon. It’s easy to see why Reels are so effective at grabbing your attention.

Another interesting aspect to consider is the use of these short videos in social media being used for Businesses as well. Because they’ve been so effective at targeting young people and their hobbies and interests, it’s also shown that it effective for marketing strategies. The use of short videos enables the audience to watch something visually appealing, short (10sec), eye catching and fun. This works especially well for businesses because it doesn’t require a lot of attention on the consumers end. All they have to do is watch whatever content said business puts out. Usually this will be something engaging like giving a behind the scenes look at their business, engaging in trends or reposts. All the business has to do is create these videos and this is usually free.

So how do you tell your story in a convenient way?

It’s easier than it seems. Keep it under 20 seconds if possible, make it visually appealing, add music or effects and most of all evoke a reaction!

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