Social Media Storytelling: 7 Types of Video Storytelling for Social Media

Video storytelling in social media takes many forms. Video can be used to invite, feature, inspire, explain, announce, entertain, show… and the list goes on and on.

The following are 7 types of video storytelling techniques that can work well in social.

1. Social-style

At #CSUSocial, we call this style of video social-style because it’s essentially a video slideshow that can be viewed without sound, and the text overlay makes it easy for viewers to consume the content. It’s a popular technique within the industry. As Ashley Manweiler has noted, you don’t need much (or any) video footage for this style of video, however, a diverse variety of pictures/graphics is important to keep viewers interested. We use the service Animoto to create these types of videos. This style of video requires minimal effort to create and can have a big reward.

This spring, we spent about 30 minutes creating a social-style video using Animoto that featured photos of Amelia the lost dog. This video reached more than 430,000 people on CSU’s Facebook and more than ONE MILLION people on the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital Facebook page.

2. IRL (In Real Life)

One of my favorite aspects of working in social media is when you create real-life experiences and then share them with a social audience. At #CSUSocial, we’ve done this several times over the years with our mascot, CAM the Ram. For Valentine’s Day, we arranged for CAM the Ram to give out roses and valentines to students. Who can resist smiling when watching this?

3. Research and Discovery

Video can be instrumental for research and discovery storytelling. Over the summer, our video team produced a very cool piece about fireflies in Colorado.

This piece had all of the ingredients for a successful social video: Interesting/quirky subject matter, highly visual content, energetic “on-air talent” (in this case, the CSU entomologist) and this video was optimized for search queries for the phrase, “Are there fireflies in Colorado?” To date, this video has more than 1,500 views on YouTube.

4. Capture the Moment

This style of video is very similar to IRL videos but these have a quick turn. Typically, they are filmed, edited and published all in the same day or two. #CSUSocial leverages “capture the moment” videos for event coverage. For move-in this year, Chase Baker captured the sights and sounds that showcased a big day for our first-year Rams and their families.

Our team also captured the moment of the first day of classes when President McConnell served coffee at the student center coffee shop. Both of these videos stir up emotions and give viewers a chance to connect with a campus experience.


5. In the Studio

We don’t use a studio setting often for our videos but when we do, we make the most of it. The studio setting is ideal for creating consistent lighting, audio and backdrop. We broke out the confetti and silly string for our latest studio production.

6. Live

Live broadcast is a big way we incorporate video into our social strategy. Going live is essentially the combination of IRL and Capture the Moment videos. You bring your social audience right into the action. #CSUSocial capitalized on the momentum of the start of football season along with coverage of our annual rivalry game when we went live from the Rocky Mountain Showdown.

7. Full Production

On occasion, we’ll take on a big video project that requires weeks/months of planning and execution. For these types of videos, we’ll storyboard and spend quite a bit of time on production logistics in order to achieve our desired outcome. Ashley outlines the strategy behind the Women in Science video that was shot in this style.