Social Media: The Modern-Day Narrator

In support of my recent blog venture, I have delved into the world of multimodal storytelling to research new topics, engage with followers and keep up with the world of Journalism. Let me show you how I did it.

Image: Pixabay on Pexels

Multimodal Storytelling

First of all, what is multimodal storytelling? According to the Victoria State Government, ‘ Digital multimodal texts, such as film, animation, slide shows, e-posters, digital stories, and web pages, convey meaning through combinations of written and spoken language, visual (still and moving image), audio, gestural and spatial modes.’

Relying on text is now not enough to create an immersive reading experience for the modern-day reader. Accompanying your posts with multimodal features creates a more appealing, inviting and fun way to share stories online.

Different social platforms with-hold different features that let you share content creatively online. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of these platforms and how they can help you, as a writer, share your story. I will also be sharing my own journey with multimodal storytelling through Instagram and how it has helped me as a first-time blogger.

Instagram

As you may know, Instagram has been one of the main mediums I have used for my journalism blog assignment. Through using the platform, I have been able to connect with my followers, conduct polls for research and keep them updated of my latest posts. I have mostly done this through the use of Instagram stories.

‘New features implemented by this network, such as live streaming or Instagram Stories, have opened an array of pos- sibilities for the media, which are starting to experiment with different ways of storytelling. In fact, newspapers, such as The Cincinnati Enquirer, have added a Q&A feature to their stories as a way of establishing a direct conversation with their readers’ (Schmidt, 2018)

Screenshot taken from Instagram @emmasjourno_blog

Here is a classic example of the type of Instagram stories I share with my followers, updating them of my most recent blog posts. As you can see there is several features I include to unpack the story of my post in the most creative and eye catching way, have you spotted them yet?

  • Stickers- Stickers are a great way of animating your stories, they add a sense of personality and make a post more aesthetically pleasing
  • Images- Adding a relevant image onto a story is a great visual aid to compliment the text
  • Link- Due to the number of followers I have I am unable to place a swipe up link in my story. However, the next best thing is to remind your followers of the link in your bio. Many people may have not heard of Medium so it is essential to place your link on all platforms to create maximum engagement
  • Text- Only a small piece of text is needed on an Instagram story, remember it should be short and snappy to avoid losing the attention of the reader. Above I have given a small taster of what the article is about to intrigue the reader to click the link and read on

Remember- all the features used above work when used together. Using a single feature on its own can come across boring and unattractive, so keep it as eye catching as possible.

Screenshot taken from Instagram @emsausman

Another engaging way of using the platform is through Instagram Polls. I asked this question to my followers for my previous article ‘LEAVE WOMEN ALONE’. From this I received 56 answers. On top of this, I had people messaging me their extended thoughts and opinions about the subject, which made people feel included and engaged in the blog before it was even released. When it comes to storytelling, it gives a interactive opportunity to create substance for a future story.

As a result of this type of outreach, I received 60 reads on the article, my second most read article since I began my blog.

Twitter is Catching up

In terms of multimodal potential, Twitter just about falls behind Instagram in creativity. However, it is catching up. In 2020, it first introduced its own version of Instagram stories called ‘Fleets’, where accounts can post videos and images for 24 hours before they disappear. For journalists alike, this has huge potential.

I know personally, I use Twitter for my daily intake of news, it is easily digested and doesn't take much time out of my day. So, the use of Fleets makes this even easier to achieve.

Screenshot taken from Twitter @itvnews

A Fleet I regularly watch is ITV News ‘The Rundown’. By watching this I don’t even need to scroll through and read the news, it is there at the top of my screen being spoken to me.

It is a feature I am yet to dabble with; however it is something I will experiment with in the near future.

As I come to the end of my blog, I have taken away tips and tricks on multimodal storytelling that I will keep with me going into the future. It has taught me how to further engage with my followers and increase readers, as well as how to create a great looking Instagram story.

Let me know if you guys have any more features I could try in my next posts, I would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading, follow my Twitter, Facebook Page and Instagram to join the conversation.

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Emma Sausman

Just a University student trying to get through their final year👩‍🎓