What is storify?
Storify is a social networking service that allows you to share user created stories from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks. It’s effectively a curation tool that allows you to pull different sources of information into one place.
Why is storify useful?
You can pull all the elements of a particular story together to create your storify. This might be around an event, a hashtag or a specific campaign. What’s more, updates aren’t limited to just yours, so you are able to share other people’s views and opinions but of course you have control over what you choose to share.
Storify allows you to make content visible to users that don’t use a specific platform and so might have missed something useful. For example Google+ users that don’t use Facebook or users that don’t have access to Instagram.
Visually, storify looks great and is incredibly easy to use. You can embed a storify on your website or blog and they can easily be shared on other social platforms. When you share a storify on Twitter it tags anyone you’ve mentioned in your Storify. This helps to further amplify your message if they share with their audiences too.
Why storify is useful for charities and how you can use it?
Capture key conversations
Conversations and comments on social networks can be fleeting. Capturing these conversations in a Storify can ensure you maintain their visibility and effect for longer either by embedding the storify on your blog or sharing via your social platform. This can help add weight to a specific campaign and show you have the backing of your supporters.
Mind used a storify to highlight issues around OCD by curating content about a TV programme that focused on the mental health problem.
What’s great about this example is that this wasn’t a debate generated by Mind; they simply curated content around the hashtag #OCDward. They did this extremely well by adding their own comments and focusing on their target audience.
Save Time and Resources
Many charities have limited time and resource which means having to write content such as blog posts from scratch for every event or campaign can be very time consuming. Often it might not even happen which can lead to missed opportunities. If an event isn’t covered, supporters won’t know about it and this could mean your charity is missing out on exposure or even lost donations. By using storify, a charity can quickly and easily curate the content around an event or campaign as well as adding their own thoughts or comments. This will take much less time but allows a charity to update their supporters quickly.
A good example of this can be seen with Marie Curie UK. They used storify to show support for the participants in the London Marathon who were helping to raise money for the charity.
Tell your charity’s story
Storify can also be used to help tell your charity’s story in an innovative way through the eyes of your supporter. The NSPCC have done this fantastically by using social media to really clarify what services they provide.
Summarise charity events
Charities can also use storify to summarise key events that some supporters might have missed out on or not been able to attend. A great example of this can be seen with the very popular not for profit event, NFPtweetup. Tickets for this event sell out in seconds, so for those that can’t attend Storify can help highlight the key topics and conversations had at the event.
Ask your supporters a question
Another good way charities can use storify is by curating answers to a question you ask your supporters. Diabetes UK used this strategy to help raise awareness of type 1 diabetes. They asked their supporters to tell them about their diagnosis.
By asking your supporters to engage with a question, a charity can highlight real experiences of the people they are trying to support.
Things to consider when using Storify
Will anyone bother to read it?
There is much debate that if all charities start using storify and sharing via social platforms that there will be oversaturation and no one will bother to read them. The key to avoiding this is to use storify sparingly and only for key campaigns and events. Storify is another tool in your social media toolbox and your charity needs to know how to use it wisely.
Reducing the impact of your blog
If charities step away from creating original unique content and simply fill their blogs with embedded storifies then this could reduce the impact a blog has. Content will all look very similar and this is likely to see a drop in engagement.
The biggest misuse of storify is just using it for the sake of using it. If your charity is going to use storify then it needs to avoid simply dumping a bunch of links into a storify without thinking about what the narrative is. If storify is done badly like this it’s just a waste of time and resource.
Only telling one side of a story
Having the power to curate content must be done with care. For example if a campaign had a lot of bad feedback but a charity chooses to create a storify and only curate the positive comments then this could lead to a further social media backlash.
Storify can be a really useful tool for charities. If done well it can help to amplify your messages and increase your exposure in an innovative and exciting way that is also quick and cost effective. The key to using storify for your charity is making sure it is used appropriately. This means your charity should consider how it plans to use storify as part of its social media strategy, whether that be curating content around events or specific campaigns or helping to tell your charity’s story in a different way.
Storify helps to showcase what your supporters are saying about your charity which not only adds weight to the messages you are communicating but makes all of your supporters feel a part of the work you are doing.
Has your charity used Storify? Have you found it successful? We’d love to see your examples!