What's Your Story: How Collecting Stories Can Be a Gamechanger for SkateXS's Brand

To put it shortly, SkateXS creates skateboards for kids — carrying quality parts for those just starting out to those that are pro level.

For this company, I’m going to talk about a specific, long-term strategy they could use to help build brand engagement, increase their following, and boost sales. 

What is this strategy?
Story curation.

You’ve most likely seen this story curation format before, from Humans of New York, or HoNY, on Instagram and Facebook.

I’ve talked about this before in previous articles, and I want to touch on it again drilling in the benefits SkateXS will reap from. 

Everyone Loves a Good Narrative

Did you read her story?
From the image above…

Did you?

I can’t fault you if you did. 
In fact, I wouldn’t blame you for leaving this article after reading her story, to go to HoNY’s Instagram page to read some more posts. 

Everyone loves a good story. 

“Storytelling enables [people] to develop a deeper connection with the audience. Storytelling is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger, deeper connections”. -Kimberly Whitler, Forbes

To hear the fears, the growing pains, the wins, the thought process you usually keep to yourself on “how you’re going to get out of this one”.

That’s what piques our interest.
And that’s what keeps us coming back for more.

Take a look at this photo.

 image from SkateXS  Instagram

image from SkateXS Instagram

It’s a dope photo.
But now I’m curious. 

How long did it take for him to nail this move?
Was he scared the first time? 
How did it go?
Does he remember the first time he landed it perfectly?

And this photo.

Screen Shot 2018-09-22 at 1.54.43 PM.png

Freakin’ precious.
If this is dad helping his daughter skate, I would want to know his perspective. 

How long has it been that your daughter wanted to learn to skate?
Has she crashed yet?
What your first thought when she fell for the first time vs. your daughter’s reaction?
What changes have you seen in the skate culture over the decades?
What changes has he seen in his daughter as she learns to skate?

And last photo.

Girls who shred in a skirt.
Badass. 

The questions I would have for her:

Are you intimidated by the boys?
Do the boys try to harass you or support you?
You’re a fashionable skateboarder. Did you pick this outfit out yourself?

And in other photo instances, sometimes a short and sweet caption will do.

This was almost done perfectly with this image. 
I just made a small rewrite.

Screen Shot 2018-09-22 at 5.13.13 PM.png

CONCLUSION

I could go into detail about the Facebook and Instagram Ads I would pair with this campaign, but I’d rather stay focused on the benefits of storytelling on social media platforms.

We see it everyday, and we’re all guilty of it. 
Going for the quick snappy quips on a post. 

But, if you look at those profiles where the owner takes the time to give context — to tell an honest and personal story, no matter how long or short— you’ll be surprised by how many comments come into the feed. 

 image from  SkateXS Instagram

And not the half-hearted — “This is cool” or “Nice!!!” — comments where you wonder if it’s from a person or a bot. 

But 1–2+ lines of juicy interaction from strangers who’ve taken the time to read your story.

When I googled, “Why is Humans of NY so popular?”, this answer on Quora came up and I think it sums up many peoples (and their 8 million followers) sentiments nicely. 

I’ve been following Humans of New York for almost a year now and I still never get bored of the photos and the captivating captions. I definitely pondered at this question before, especially considering many other cities have similar ideas but none seem to gravitate as much attention as HONY nor do they seem to be quite as personal. 

I think HONY is popular not because of the photos photographer Brandon Stanton takes (because in all honestly, the photos aren’t particularly amazing or anything) but because of the stories. Brandon seems to have an exquisite way of getting mere strangers to open up to him. Every photo he takes allows strangers to share some sort of quirky and/or emotional story to millions of followers. There’s just something so compelling about his stories. -Merisa Lee

As always, whether the owners of this store take my strategies or not, I wish them the BEST of luck!

From what it looks like they have an amazing fanbase and some quality products. 

And personally, I dig the designs of the boards. 

My prediction, just like all the articles in this series, if SkateXS were to embrace this strategy AND pair it with running Instagram & Facebook ads, they would quickly see an uptick in the engagement they receive, they’ll have the opportunity to become a HoNY of the kids skateboard community, and other opportunities and collaborations will sprout from the work put in.

Tell a story.
Make new friends.


Welcome to my personal #7in30 challenge.

During this challenge I’ll be looking over (1) Instagram account and/or Shopify store every few days for 30 days , to analyze what they’re doing that’s great, and what they could improve on to increase brand awareness and/or their bottomline.

This series is designed to give ecommerce business owners, and anyone who is looking to build their brand, a springboard for your online & social media strategy — no matter what industry you’re in.

This series is suited for the beginner, or a seasoned business that’s finally taking their social media strategy seriously.

SkateXS is #7 of 15.