General Electric isn't exactly a hip, sexy brand.
Most of us associate the company with things like appliances and light bulbs.
It's not the kind of brand you would think would get much traction on Instagram.
But surprisingly, GE is killing it on Instagram these days.
This venerable company has had a lot of success using Instagram Stories as a medium for what you might call “visual storytelling.”
Breathtaking vistas from a volcano create an Instagram Story that takes readers on a journey into the heart of active volcanoes, where GE was conducting scientific research.
For GE, this approach works, and it might also be something you can weave into your own marketing strategies.
The key factor is storytelling.
Even though Instagram is a visual medium, the Stories feature lets you arrange imagery in a way that has narrative structure.
Stories are psychologically powerful tools, and if you can tell a great story, you can build an audience for brands in a surprisingly broad range of industries.
In a recent post, Hootsuite details how GE uses visual storytelling on Instagram to keep their 300,000 followers engaged.
General Electric—great visual storytelling
Who knew images of airplanes and turbines could garner such a large following?
While you may not expect a 120-year-old company to be at the cutting edge of social media—they are. General Electric has become a master at using everything Instagram Stories has to offer.
As one of the earliest adopters of the feature, GE’s Stories content initially mirrored much of the content on its Snapchat channel. For example, one of their first Stories touted a Snapchat series on volcanoes they’d recently published.
The Instagram Story encourages viewers to check out the original post on Snapchat, but also followed up with behind-the-scenes footage revealing how they created these breathtaking images.
Since those early days, GE’s strategy has slightly shifted. Now, the company uses visual storytelling to draw in viewers and engage its almost-300,000 followers.
How to make this work for your brand
No matter what your brand does or sells, storytelling is key.
As research and multiple experiments have shown, telling tales can help brands sell more products. Stories drums up personal interest in your brand and products.
And when customers feel like they know the story or person behind a brand, your product can have a higher perceived worth.
With that in mind, examine each piece of content through a storytelling lens. Make sure it has a beginning, middle, and end; that it communicates a coherent message; and, of course, that it makes sense for your brand.
Create quality content that tells a compelling story and viewers are more likely to engage and keep coming back for more.
You can find more social media success stories over at Hootsuite.