The everyday story is usually discounted, and it’s obvious why. There’s nothing quite like watching someone overcome a huge obstacle and make a big win in the end. Movies, books, podcasts… They all use this story for a reason: We want to root for the underdog and see them do something incredible.
Here’s the thing: Life isn’t always like that. Life is full of these mini wins that are remarkable in and of themselves. And when you are going through something hard? Seeing that big win may seem overwhelming. But a tiny win? That seems doable. It can inspire you to take that first step.
And that’s why I like to look for those small wins. That everyday story. That is what can make social media truly great.
The Everyday Story is Relatable
When you see that big obstacle overcome, your first reaction is likely, “Wow, I could never do that.” Or at least that’s mine. It just seems so big and not something normal people do.
But if you are living with depression and you see someone take their medication? You can relate to that. You know the struggle of thinking you’re better and you don’t need this medication anymore. You know taking that pill is a win, even if it may seem like just another ordinary to-do. And it’s something you will feel called to cheer. Suddenly the ordinary is extraordinary.
The Everyday Story is Downplayed by the Person Living It
It seems like a no-brainer then that you should fill your social media with these ordinary moments. Maybe you’re even getting the chills from the idea of it. But there is a catch: No one is going to tell you this story because it is too small to them.
Let’s keep with this depression example. This person just took their medication. Taking medication is something people do every day. In their mind, it’s nothing to get too excited about. All this person thinks is that they did something everyone else does and it wasn’t special or magical.
What they likely will say to you is that they don’t have a story to tell you or they will trot out some big story that may or may not be useful. Meanwhile, this tiny win will sit out there with no one hearing it. It feels like a rock landed in my stomach just typing those words.
The Everyday Story Needs Some Digging
This is perhaps my favorite thing to do: I dig through social media posts looking for those everyday stories. Sometimes I come up empty-handed. Sometimes I’m heavily rewarded. Most of the time it’s somewhere in-between. But it’s the best kind of treasure hunt.
The reaction from fans when I ask them if I could use the little nugget from their life is almost always great. “Really? I would be honored,” is typed often. Honored. I’ll never get over the fact that fans are most likely honored by our use of their stories. In reality, they’re honoring me and my client when they trust us with any part of their life.
In other words, yes, it takes a lot of work to get this, but the instant gratification of finding it is the most satisfying kind of high.
The Everyday Story is Sharable
Remember how I said people can relate to this story? Relatable equals sharable.
The first shares will come from the person who told their story. It will then filter to their friends and family. And as we all know, sharing is the most valuable of all social media engagements, because people are choosing to put something on their timeline.
And then there will be the comments. If you ever want to feel good about humanity, this is the time to read the comments. Fans will cheer others on. They will tell their own stories. And there will be all kinds of other feel-good things happening. One brave person will always inspire others.
The Everyday Story will Breed Other Everyday Stories
Did you see what I said in that last section? People will share their own stories.
What does that mean for you? Less digging for future stories. Yes, all that early prep work starts being less and less necessary. One brave person inspires the next by showing just how “ordinary” their story can be and how careful the organization using the story will be. It’s the best kind of snowball effect.
This is another example where hard work at the beginning will eventually set up a system that can work somewhat without your help. But I’m not going to lie: it will be hard work, especially in smaller communities.
Are you utilizing everyday stories in your social media plan? How are they working for you?