Subtlety and Storytelling on Social Media

We say it time and time again: social media is at the core of everything we do. When you put a lot of content out there for people to see, you’ve got to do it in a subtle and respectful way so that they don’t get overwhelmed! Especially if you’re marketing things.

It all comes down to story. Framing things as stories is key. It’s not about trying to hide that you’re trying to sell and promote things: it’s about framing that practice in an interesting, insightful, or helpful way.

Here are some examples of how we introduce subtlety to our social media practices, with a strong focus on storytelling!

Go behind the scenes

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Don’t just show the thing you’re promoting: show how it came to be. For example, if you’re a chef like Rupert of Bubble&, show how you prepare your food. This offers an appetite-whetting insight into the ingredients Rupert uses, thus giving him the chance to showcase how they’re all locally-sourced and of the absolute best quality.

At Team Locals Media, we make films. But we also serve up behind-the-scenes glances at how we shoot them. We also tell the stories of how we make logos, or even how we meet clients.

Promoting a product is one-dimensional — build up a story around the product, and people will be far more engaged with the message you’re putting out there.

Let your customers speak for you

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When customers give good feedback, don’t just leave it sitting around — turn it into bright graphics and tell your audience how proud you are that people are appreciating your work and enjoying your products!

Some people think this seems haughty, but it’s quite the opposite — humbling, even — and it’s a nice way to remind followers that there are humans behind the brand. We all love getting praised for the hard work we put in around the clock.

It’s also an effective way of subtly promoting what you do. If a follower had yet to notice that Team Locals Media designs logos, sharing a graphic like this one brings that particular service to their attention, and immediately highlights our years of experience and how pleased our clients are.

Plus, Facebook has been found to push forward posts which are sprinkled with positive keywords like ‘happy’ and ‘pleased’. Facebook is in the business of retaining eyeballs on screens, and optimistic content keeps us scrolling. Endorphins, yo.

Give people cool stuff

Competitions! The bread and butter of many social media campaigns. There’s no better way than getting your products out to a larger audience than by giving away cool stuff!

Facebook is a touch strict with competition rules — try to use ‘giveaway’ instead of ‘competition’, and don’t ask followers to share posts as a way of entering. Ask them to tag their friends in the comments — that’s a direct way of getting more people to your page.

If it’s physical products you’re selling, slip a little flyer into each parcel you send letting customers know they can get a certain discount on their next order if they post a picture on their social media of what they ordered.

This is an incentive for them to order again, and you can also share their photo to your pages/streams showing the customer enjoying your stuff — this relates back to letting your customers speak for you!

If you need someone to design that flyer for your parcels, we’ve made them for plenty of local companies, so feel free to get in touch with us. Notice how we’re subtly promoting our services in this blog post about subtly promoting your services? So meta.

Tell multiple stories at once

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This Instagram post is an example of us telling two stories at once. We’re literally just sharing our lunch plans, but in doing so, we’re showcasing our film services and promoting the utterly perfect baguettes served up at André’s in Southsea. Two birds with one stone.

Make no mistake: this format of storytelling doesn’t always necessarily drive a higher level of engagement. You’ve got to work out what’s best for each product and situation. But what is key here is the bigger picture: posting the same kind of photo on repeat gets boring.

If we always posted the same pictures of food, followers would notice. And not in a good way. Be current, be situational and contextual, and keeps things fresh. This also ties back to the point about going behind the scenes!

If you want help with what you’re doing with your social media, give us a call us on 02392 823 477 or send an email our way, to

We love working with local businesses to make the most of their marketing budget and to deliver a meaningful difference to their brand.