It’s no secret that stories are changing how we share and consume content on social media. Today, nearly a billion accounts across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp view and create stories daily. This relatively new format has grown 15 times faster than feed-based sharing and has become one of the most trending storytelling formats out there. Stories can drive a ton of engagement and value, which is why we urge everyone to hop on board.
If you don’t quite understand what stories are or how they work—now's the time to learn!
What are stories?
Stories are vertical, sequential slideshows of photo or video that disappear within 24 hours of posting. They're immersive, engaging, and create the intimacy of a face-to-face interaction through social media.
Not only are stories fun and creative, but they're great for building brand awareness, growing your engagement, creating personal connections, and even driving traffic to your website.
Let's touch on a few ways you can begin to make the most of this trend.
Like social media in general, what works for one business and their audience might not be the best for your own. Take the time to understand stories and experiment with different strategies to craft a plan fit for your own business.
Start by sharing content on different days and experiment with different times throughout those days to see when your posts see the most engagement. You can also determine what your audience finds most compelling by posting a variety of content. Behind the scenes photos, Q&A sessions, tutorials, product demos, and polls are a few different formats you can work with.
Understanding what piques your audience’s interest will keep you on track to share content more suited to your business and its goals.
Share time-sensitive content
Stories only exist for a total of 24 hours. The short-lived, in-the-moment nature of the posts are one of the reasons users find them so appealing.
Publish time-sensitive content like important updates, giveaways and competitions, or limited-time sales and discounts to keep users on their toes and checking back for more.
Show your audience that your business is more than its products, services, and promotions. People want to learn about the value you can provide them, but they also want to get to know the people behind the name.
Don’t be afraid to share what a typical day looks like or the real, human interactions that happen among your team. You can also create a personal connection with your audience by sharing content that appeals to them like birthdays, milestones, product previews, service demos, and new member announcements.
Invest in creative
If you have access to a creative team—use them! The skills used to excel with stories are often found in many team members. Join forces, exploit each unique skill, and create memorable content to share on your stories. You’ll find that sharing a combination of photo, video, and storytelling will keep your audience engaged and wanting more.
Use the highlight feature
In some cases, you’ll produce content that you can’t bear to part with after 24 hours.
Let's say you’re running a special campaign or you posted something that does a great job of capturing the essence of your brand. In such cases, you can use Highlights to display stories of your choice on your profile for as long as you want to boost the longevity of your content.
Hop on board
Many businesses have already incorporated stories into their social media marketing strategy. Have you? Stories are here to stay, so understanding and leveraging the feature will play an integral part in your brand’s future.
If you’re improving your social media strategy or you’re just getting started, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more.