How to: Digital Storytelling for Social Media Success

The talk that I attended facilitated by Christopher Wick of SMM International was a mixture of presentation and Q&A that discussed how we can all increase our digital storytelling methods for better social media success. However, from the talk, I felt that he was mostly talking about social media use to sell rather than attracting.

What are people currently doing on social media?
– taking lots of pictures and showing it off
– informing people of what they are doing

What do people currently think the purpose of social media is?
– connecting with an audience
– a medium to share information about their lives

Social Media as a whole is quick changing and sees a very rapid growth on a daily basis. Digital storytelling is using online media effectively to communicate a story by taking their audience on a journey rather than just informing them about the news. Something that is usually overlooked is how industries think too much of the process and content and not about the viewer/reader.
The digital storytelling process/guidelines based on the presentation:

1. Come up with an idea, write a proposal

  • What do you want your user to do?
  • Why do you want to do it? What is the purpose?
  • Who is your audience?
  • Eg: Nike women ad “Inner Thoughts” brings their audience (women) on a journey with their story, not once showed their shoes or clothes in focus, but with an action at the end of video (posting their online link). 

    2. Coming up with a great script

  • The story and journey should have a turning point, a “hero’s effect”
  • Simple, effective words because attention span of an average 7 seconds online.
  • Don’t mention so much as showing them things, showing them they want to offer
  • Don’t just make a statement

3. Put it all together

  • When creating, have the end goal in mind
  • What do you want to happen when people see your piece online?
  • Connecting with people their mission – call to action (but don’t just state DONATE NOW, give them a purpose to do so).

4. Feedback and Reflect

  • The great thing about social media is that we can EDIT even after posting (trial and error until it is good and ready) but don’t wait to perfected to post. Feedback is good to be better.
  • Testing and measuring through online analytics (eg: Facebook, Twitter, Buffer etc) which helps assist us as a company to see patterns, trends and demographics
  • Measuring brands and audience through clicks (bitly, urls, clicks)
  • Putting links at the end of your message can intrigue audience to go visit site. This helps see if showing the link actually does or doesn’t direct audience to website. (Eg: Nike ad -> visit us at -> analytics to see if people actually go after seeing ad)
  • Great way to create a meaningful community through facebook, twitter and instagram – don’t make it boring, don’t just inform, tell a story, make interesting content (eg: vs. <– specific to people’s interests


Contributions Report 6

  1. Continued to post in The ‘Nois for #EnjoyNois, constantly trying to find interesting and engaging stories for readers. Played around with memes, gifs and different emojis too.
  2. Sent out surveys to friends on the Illinois campus, both in the college of media and out.
  3. Assisted in writing the methodology for our Undergraduate Research Symposium poster.
  4. Read through Literature Review, gained a better understanding on what our research is and prepared with the team for our presentation at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  5. Presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on behalf of the class, explained our experiment to judges and other faculty and students interested in our study. Answered the questions and concerns they had in regards to the experiment or anything related to social media and our research.
  6. Spent the weekend getting people to answer our short surveys for class.

Contributions Report 5

  1. Continuously tweeted and wrote Facebook posts for The ‘Nois under the #EnjoyNois category.
  2. Went through buffer analytics, Facebook Insights and checked through Instagram posts to see which posts gained the most popularity and interests.
  3. Started preparing for the Undergraduate Research Symposium with Masic and RouXi. Discussed logistics and what we need to prepare for the symposium in terms of poster, data and required information needed for the poster.
  4. Met up with Team 2 to write demographic questions for The ‘Nois student survey.

    Q1: Gender.
    Answer: Male/Female

    Q2: Year in school
    Answer: Freshman/Sophomore/Junior/Senior

    Q3: What is your ethnicity
    Answer: Asian or Pacific Islander/White/Native American or American Indian/Black or African American/Hispanic or Latino/Other

    Q4: Where do you get your news from
    Answer: News websites/Twitter/Facebook/TV/Newspapers/ Other (please indicate)

  5. Reviewed with Team 2 on ways we can distribute the survey online to get data. This includes social media, word of mouth, in-class announcements.

Contributions Report 4

In-Person and Online Pitch

  • Continued to inform friends and classmate on The ‘Nois both Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Used personal Facebook and Twitter accounts to promote page for likes, shares and views.
  • Talked to several clubs, including Malaysian Club and AAF, as well as those in housing to get more likes and followers.
  • Retweet postings on Twitter done by other accounts like @Illinois_Alma @TheDailyIllini etc

Likert Scale Ideas

  • Hashtags help increase awareness, especially those who aren’t following The ‘Nois but go through tweets with #Illini or #Illinois
  • Tweeting and putting facebook posts on the spot for events currently happening: tweeting about the rain etc
  • Finding current events on campus and informing readers on it
  • Relevancy is important.
  • Posting fun stuff like a Buzzfeed poll to get students to go on site, and click through posts.
  • Post pictures of current students on campus on Instagram. Helps get the name out, and increase relevance for students as well.

Postings for The ‘Nois

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Best post of the week: 3 likes, and 82 reaches on Facebook.



Contributions Post 3

  1. Continued to go through news online to seek which content would be appropriate for The ‘Nois
  2. Experimented different ways to tweet news content including ‘question-like tweets’ as well as regular statement tweets.
  3. Continued to market The ‘Nois on personal social media platforms and through different peers. Current no. of likes on Facebook total is 71.

Contributions Report 2

  1. Picked up flyers from classroom and distributed around Greg Hall and the Undergraduate Library.
  2. Contacted several RSO’s on campus such as the Malaysian Student Association and the American Advertising Federation at Illinois to increase The ‘Nois site and brand awareness
  3. Invited peers to ‘like’ The ‘Nois facebook page.
  4. Skimmed through daily news to seek appropriate content for the #EnjoyNois category daily.

beatles kendrick

Contributions Report 1

  1. Created and set up The ‘Nois gmail account, Twitter and Facebook page.
  2. Added classmates into the page, assigned all as Editors so that they are able to make posts by themselves.
  3. Met up with “Enjoy” persona team and discussed the number of posts, set timings and organized who will post when.
  4. Posted news that fit the Enjoy persona on The ‘Nois’ Facebook and Twitter pages.
  5. Discussed with teammates in class on how and where to promote The ‘Nois.


Tweets for Thursday’s Headlines

@Now! (headlines, breaking news, crime)

  • In case you missed it: Scott Hall was on fire last night. Cause: Still unknown.

@Enjoy! (arts, entertainment, travel, fashion, leisure)

  • Winter weather prediction update: a hint of snow and a whole lot of sunshine

@Active! (fitness, sports, health, nutrition)

  • Illini wrestling will meet its final match this Friday against Minnesota. Who will come out on top?

@Connect! (careers, classes)

  • Even 14 year-old Nicolas Ramkumar can raise $10,000 to buy his school 360 laptops

@Believe! (faith, service)

  • Can’t get your ash at church? Drive-thru it then.
  • Get ash-ed in the comforts of your own car this Ash Wednesday.

@Diverse! (gender, minorities, ethnicities)

  • C-U’s Rape Advocacy center’s possible closure raises questions of how the lack of state budget may have just gone too far.
  • Music video for Mother Nature’s new single “Afro” features the celebration of diversity and self-identity

@Belong! (family, Illini legacy)

  • Intelligent ideas like UI alum’s IntelliWheels can get you places

@Discuss! (politics, issues)

  • A compromise among the state of party – will it make a better America?


i-Arts (fine arts)

  1. Frida Kahlo’s first sold painting has found a new home: The Musuem of Fine Arts, Boston
  2. C-U Symphony Orchestra turns to Hollywood, performs ‘House of Cards’ score in concert
  3. NYC’s broadway scene sees a lack of diversity, with 62% of the NYC arts work force being white
  4. Art League teams up with the Love library at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to demonstrate the participating student artists’ work to the student body
  5. National Medal of Arts recipient’s dance show to debut at #UIUC’s Krannert Center this weekend
  6. Mother Nature, a Champaign native hip-hop group brings a new dimension to spreading messages on social justice and women empowerment
  7. James Rondeau is the newly appointed director for the Arts Institute of Chicago
  8. Chicago artist Kerry James Marshall retrospective exhibition showcases the African American experience and history throughout the years
  9. Adele to Trump: You do not have my permission to use my music
  10. Who will take home the Oscars? The reviews are in for the contenders of the upcoming award night

i-Believe (faith)

  1. Pope Francis expresses great admiration for China in bid to mend ties with each other
  2. “Religion can make you happier,” as seen by the figures given throughthe Office of National Statistics

i-Enjoy (entertainment)

  1. #GreaseLive on FOX survives its first live show, grabs 12.2 million viewers throughout showtime
  2. Krannert Center to bring back Swan Lake among other Russian classics at the Tyron Festival Theater
  3. Lady Gaga set to pay tribute to David Bowie at the #Grammys
  4. The film reviews are in. Here’s how we think ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ did in the box office
  5. A Gilmore Girls return series is in the works and its coming to Netflix
  6. Coldplay and Beyonce to team up in the Super Bowl 50 half time show this Sunday
  7. Bret Michaels is coming back to C-U for a concert a year and half after his surgery
  8. Leonardo DiCaprio win his first ever Screen Actors Guild for his role in ‘The Revenant’.
  9. Rockford’s AirFest 2016 gets cancelled by organizers after scheduling issues with the U.S. Department of Defense arised
  10. James Corden the guy behind the Carpool Karaoke and The Late Late Show will host the 2016 Tony Awards


  1. #GreaseLive on FOX tones down story for family viewers all around the States
  2. Free February makes its return at the Fied Museum in Chicago

i-Fit (sports, health, etc.)

  1. The #Illini hoops put up a tough fight last Sunday but falls to the Badgers 63-55
  2. @IlliniMGolf takes home the cake as they grab a win at the Tinervan Cup on Monday
  3. According to a study, eating at least one serving of seafood a week could help reduce your chances of Alzheimers
  4. Scientist 3-D prints a brain to further understand the reasons behind the fold
  5. Zika: WHO declares the virus as public health emergency
  6. Golden State Warriors fights back for peanut butter & jelly after it was eliminated from their team plane

i-Grind (studying, careers, etc.)

  1. Paul Rosa, a freshman in engineering wanted to help his grandmother. She became her inspiration in his invention of the eye-powered wheelchair he created today.
  2. The Business Career Fair can help students practice rather than get an actual job

i-Headlines (“if it bleeds it leads”)

  1. Two students of North Texas High School who were found dead over the weekend could be deemed as suicides, Texas police reports
  2. Chicago cop who fatally shot teen Quintonio LeGrier last Christmas files lawsuit against the family of teen for ‘causing pain and suffering’
  3. Loyola University shot at Rogers Park is recovering

i-Legacy (traditions, alumni, etc.)

  1. Phi Delta Theta fraternity seniors gets support from faculty and friends after their house burned down in the late night of Jan. 22nd
  2. #UIUC from the sky that was captured by a former UI students, and it is breathtaking

i-OfColor (racial and ethnic minorities)

  1. Opal Tometi, co-found of the national ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement to speak at #UIUC in February
  2. A rally was held after three black students from upstate Albany, NY were harrassed and attacked by three white men
  3. The Gun Violence exhibition titled ‘Unforgotten’ from Chicago makes its debut at the University of Illinois’ YMCA

i-Serve (service to the community)

  1. Looking to give back to the community this spring break? Illinois’ Alternative Spring Break options might just be what you’re looking for this year

i-Travel (international students, student travels)

  1. @flypdx jumps into the wagon, becoming the latest airport to provide a movie theater in the future
  2. History major from Georgia College becomes first student to study at Oxford University, England
  3. Scottish tourist was trampled and killed by an elephant in during a holiday in Thailand
  4. 100,000 of people in Guangzhou, China were trapped in a train station after over 22 trains were delayed due to snow
  5. Find out how studying abroad can make you a better leader
  6. William and Mary students contract Zika virus during their winter trip to Central America


  1. Everybody’s talking about Barbie’s new body shapes!
  2. It’s not just about the cookies – Girl Scouts are now learning how to lead
  3. Number of women and children seeking safety in Europe has overthrown men overall today
  4. Hindu women can now legally be the head of the family, according to Indian court rulesi-Wonks (politics)
  1. Hillary Clinton beats Bernie Sanders by a slim margin in Iowa Caucus