Social media is the platform by excellence to share storytelling efforts, with its broad reach, possibilities for engagement, and sharing features. However, if the audience doesn’t believe in the authenticity of the message, your brand can become a joke. This risk is especially true in moments like the one we are living right now with coronavirus when a lack of authenticity can be perceived as opportunism.
Celebrities are using their fame and personal brand to create a positive storytelling movement during coronavirus. Actor John Krasinski has launched a YouTube channel called “Some Good News,” in which he comments positive news happening around the world. Krasinski interviewed his fellow The Office actor Steve Carrel in episode 1, and he has the whole cast of Hamilton singing in a zoom session to a 9-year-old girl who is a superfan of the play in episode 2. In one week, the channel already has almost 1.5 million subscribers.
Literal storytelling is the goal of SavewithStories, an Instagram account created by Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams that shows celebrities reading children’s books. The purpose of the account is to help parents homeschooling their children and also to collect donations for the organizations Save the Children and No Kid Hungry. From Ellen DeGeneres to Chris Pratt, the account has more than 100 posts with stories.
The new coronavirus reality has also created a legion of impromptu cooks. Samin Nosrat, the chef who became a celebrity with the Netflix series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, has launched a podcast called Home Cooking to give tips about cooking during quarantine and answer questions that the listeners might have. In 2 weeks, the podcast already has 426 ratings, and five stars in Apple’s Podcast platform.
These celebrities are showing how social media can be used to empower storytelling when the idea is genuine and authentic — and also to provide a good deal of hope.