Social media stories are the new “it” thing when it comes to social media marketing. According to Statista, there are 500 million daily active users that use Instagram stories in 2019. Some might ask themselves, “What are social media stories and why should I bother using them?” Believe it or not, these stories helped businesses increase their numbers and rates.
What are stories?
Originally made famous by social media platform, Snapchat, stories are content that someone can put on their profile for only 24 hours. It’s a fun and brief way to interact with your followers without having to commit that content into your profile. This feature has made its way to other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Each platform provides their own special features that users can utilize to make their stories fun and memorable. For example, Snapchat offers geofilters where users can swipe to put filters on their snapchats at a specific event or location. Businesses can utilize this to promote their event or increase awareness (over a certain radius and period) by customizing their own geofilter. As for Instagram, features such as polls, location stickers, livestreams, boomerang, Q&A stickers, and highlights are available for users to play around with. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, offers similar features as well.
As of 2018, Zuckerburg announced a change in their Facebook and Instagram newsfeed algorithm where posts will not be shown in chronological order. Instead, this new algorithm will show more content from users’ friends and families and less public content. This puts businesses and brands at a disadvantage. However, most have gotten their way around by using stories. By posting stories that last 24 hours, this creates a sense of urgency for your followers to look at your content (thanks, FOMO). Therefore, it helps maintain your content’s exposure.
There are about 1.66 billion Facebook users that flood their timeline and stories daily, as stated by the company’s Q4 2019 report. With that number, it can present businesses an opportunity to increase their brand awareness and engagement. Companies use the platform’s “Swipe-up” feature to lead their audience to the desired webpage by just swiping their finger upwards. This can increase your website’s traffic by providing them a clear call-to-action. Just be sure that your Instagram profile is switched to a business account, or the swipe-up feature won’t be available.
Increase your engagement –
There’s no doubt that Facebook and Instagram stories are a fun and dynamic way to interact with your audience. Stories can be a way to increase your business’s engagement. Features such as polls, livestream, and Q&A stickers all provide an opportunity to increase those numbers. It can provide a more genuine way to connect with your followers as well.
A way that you can use these features at your advantage is by hosting a fun poll with the poll sticker. You can ask your followers any question with two answers for them to choose from. A smart way to utilize this feature is by recording the results for any future reference. Maybe the answer with the most results might be featured on a future post or it might provide you with ideas for your product or packaging.
Another feature that businesses can utilize is livestream. This feature allows users to hold livestream sessions through their profile. In the feature, people can send in questions that the user can answer to and their followers can react in real-time using the preset emojis. Another neat tool is the view count, where both parties can see how many people are watching the livestream. Instagram and Facebook will notify a brand’s followers about livestreams, so they know when to tune in. After the session, users have the option to save it to their story for 24 hours, just in case anyone missed out on it.
The livestream feature lets businesses take advantage of real-time marketing. Whether it’s to advocate customer service, to provide behind the scenes look of the company, or to simply interact and increase your audience connection, this tool allows businesses to not just focus on the width of your audience reach, but also the depth.
Take note – When it comes to anything your business does, always make sure you’re recording data. This includes anything social media. Luckily, Facebook and Instagram already provide insights in the website and app. From this, businesses can see which posts had the most reach and engagement, as well as which time and day it’s best to post. Furthermore, your marketing department can conclude which posts followers engage with more and use that data to improve your Facebook and Instagram.
Connect and share –
Think of Facebook and Instagram stories as an opportunity to form a stronger connection to your audience or following. An instance where a brand or business uses stories to strengthen engagement is featuring people for takeovers. The brand essentially picks an employee or an influencer to take over their Facebook or Instagram for a certain time and post content. It’s like a curtain is peeled back from to the outside world to peek at the company life or product. This also presents a chance for the followers of the featured person to discover your profile. All you have to do is mention them using the “@” followed by their profile name. The favor is returned when that featured person mentions your profile on theirs, and when your followers go to their profile. Another feature that helps you connect with your followers is sharing another person’s Instagram story to yours. You can only do so when they mention you on their stories. When they do, you will be notified, and Instagram will give you the option to add it to your story. Once it’s added to yours, the user with the original content will get a notification that you shared their story. This gets your everyday followers a shoutout by featuring them on your profile.
Have fun! –
Utilizing Facebook and Instagram stories doesn’t have to be daunting. This gives your business and your marketing department a chance to be innovative and creative, as well as an opportunity to diversify content. You don’t only widen your social media reach, but also create depth and deepen your connections within your following. As a result, your followers will truly care about your content. If you have fun with your content, your audience will see the authenticity.
If you have any questions, our team would be more than happy to help. Call us today at (484) 893-4055.