“A great brand is a story that’s never completely told” said Scott Bedbury, the marketing executive responsible for Nike’s wildly successful “Just Do It” campaign.  Branding is about writing those first few chapters yourself, but leaving room for improvisations like a plot twist or a new character in later pages. And, what better platform exists than social media for an crafting an identity? Taking advantage of Twitter and Facebook, the Utah State Parks system has recently decentralized its social media so that each individual park could run its own social media pages.  As a result, each state park in Utah is in the process of telling its own story.

Social media storytelling in action

Take the Antelope Island State Park as an example. Its Facebook page has garnered over 1,100 likes and has positioned the park as dedicated to enjoying the (apparently chilly) outdoors, education, and the occasional road closure. But, importantly, it hasn’t set down its pen yet. Instead, the Antelope Island State Park has let visitors and Facebook users alike contribute to its story.  For instance, a visitor asked about the road conditions and received a direct response, while another visitor caught an unflattering photo of a porcupine mid-sneeze. Ultimately aiming to be both a resource and promotion, the Antelope Island State Park’s Facebook page appears to have successfully put pen to paper in creating an identity for the park.

The power of social media

So, as the Utah State Park system embraced social media, they also created many opportunities to give each individual park an identity. They recognized that an identity never should be so permanent so as to become stale, because as our tastes change over time, the identity of an organization should also evolve. And, social media provides a way for organizations like the Utah State Park system to tell an engaging story whose final line always reads: “To be continued…”