Partnering Brand Storytelling with Social Listening

A dynamic story captures the hearts and minds of readers and can add to the value inherent in products by enhancing how they are perceived. The art of the story is ingrained in the human condition and brands that weave engaging storylines around their products and services stand to win – big time. And there’s no better way to do that than by partnering brand storytelling with social listening.

To get your storyline juices flowing, we’ll take a look at a few examples of brands getting it right with a focus on:

  • Patagonia making meaningful connections through social listening and poignant story.
  • Airbnb turning up the volume to broadcast its community narrative.
  • Warby Parker engaging consumers and giving back.

And before we get started, here are a few relevant stats we uncovered that lend credence to the importance of storytelling.

how to make social media analysis work for you

Your Brand, Your Story

Patagonia is well known for making clothing and equipment meant to stand the rigors of time and the great outdoors. But they don’t just leave it at that and call it a day. They’ve tuned in to issues that resonate with their consumers and subsequently have become equally well known for environmental activism and sourcing materials for their products that minimize negative impacts on the planet.

But it can be argued that what’s continually driven Patagonia’s success is their mastery of storytelling. This is where brands can really leverage social listening into consumer intelligence to craft the stories that resonate with their consumers. And at this point Patagonia has capturing consumer love down to a science.


As a matter of fact, they have an entire section on their website that is solely dedicated to sharing the stories that touch the hearts of their audience. And it’s because they know that when it’s time for a potential customer to choose a product from a group of competitors, it’s the brand with the best story that’s most likely to win the sale.

To that end, brands can use social listening to find consumer stories they’d like to highlight in their campaigns; and also tell the brand stories that reflect the innovations your brand is making based on consumer intelligence.

There’s no shortage of stories to find either. Using Quid Social, we filtered the narrative for mentions of ‘environment’ which reveals a bar chart of top keywords that’s jam packed with potential user stories.


A brand analysis like this is chock full of people telling their stories around your brand, and you definitely shouldn’t let them go to waste.

how to make social media analysis work for you

Airbnb Amplifies Community to Connect

If your brand is just cutting its storytelling chops, or looking for inspiration then you should definitely keep an eye on what Airbnb is doing. A story can take many forms, but whatever the medium – a great story captures curiosity.

And since curiosity is at the heart of the travelers that make up Airbnb’s customer base, they figured out that changing the narrative around the brand from ‘tech company’ to one of consumer experience, or home, would be most impactful in reaching the heart of their users.

To that end, they rolled out their Airbnb experiences in 2016 wherein hosts could take guests on unique experiences that showed off, or told the stories of, the community. Guests loved it so much that when the lockdowns started during the pandemic, Airbnb tweaked these events into its online experiences which have been equally popular.


Community storytelling has been a huge part of Airbnb’s success, and like Patagonia they go above and beyond to translate consumer experiences into engaging stories on social media. And they also have a dedicated section on their website committed to storytelling.

It’s truly a form of social listening that keeps on giving. Here’s a glimpse of our social mood analysis in the NetBase product showing that ‘excitement’ is the highest returned emotion by far. Not bad at all for being eight months into the pandemic!


It’s a master class in amplifying community connections for sure.

Giving Back Matters Most

Eyeglass icon Warby Parker has made a name for itself not only for stylish frames, but for having given away over seven million pairs of glasses to those in need through its Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.

It’s a campaign that has endeared many of its consumers to the brand for not only meeting their own needs but providing for others in the process. It’s a feel-good story for sure but it’s not over yet.

Because of the pandemic they’ve suspended the program and instead put the money and effort that supported it into providing PPE to healthcare workers and communities in need. However, like Patagonia and Airbnb they’ve continued to develop story within their community of consumers. And it’s not only stories centered around the development of their brand that they share, but user-centric stories as well.


The thing about great stories is that they increase a brands favorability in the eyes of consumers because it makes them relatable. It shows a brand’s humanity. And people can get behind that.

Quid Social Captures Sentiment

Take a look at Warby Parker’s network map below in Quid Social. We colored it by sentiment combined score which shows them in an incredibly favorable light. It’s a good look when your brand is capturing all the love.


Using social listening to inform your consumer intelligence reveals insights that can inform numerous aspects of your business. Taking that same intel and using it to craft captivating brand storylines around your consumers will begin to pay nearly instant dividends in engagements – not to mention your bottom line.

As we get deeper into the holiday season, there’s no time like the present to put the power of next generation artificial intelligence (AI) to work for your brand in uncovering the brand stories that will capture people’s hearts and minds.

Is your brand telling its best story? Reach out for a demo and we’ll help you put your best foot forward on the road to great storycraft!

how to make social media analysis work for you

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