Stories have changed the face of social media platforms.
Due to the rapid rise of stories, news feed has suddenly became outdated and seemed to appear less interesting to the viewers. Snapchat was the first one to launch the format of stories back in 2013. It was a trendy move, but it wasn’t until Instagram and Facebook adopted the method that made it relevant and successful. Based on reports, Facebook stories have now reached 500 million daily active users (DAU) and 3 million advertisers.
This is a testament that stories on social media platforms are one of the fastest growing mechanisms of online communication and engagement amongst users. This is also a proof that businesses have also relied heavily on using stories to reach more customers across different platforms to introduce their brands.
But what makes these stories so effective? Why people are attracted to it, as if there’s a need for us to see what’s beneath those circles?
According to studies, humans are naturally hungry for stories. We need and use stories to learn as well as educate our children. We’ve been incorporating stories since the era of cavemen, and it has become one of the most fundamental ways for communication up to this day.
Stories have the power to draw emotional reactions from people; inform and persuade them to respond according to what we hope for, that’s why marketers are very keen to use these types of strategies as part of their marketing plans.
In this article, we will discuss the advantages as well as several ways in which we can use social media stories to further enhance our strategies in marketing efforts, sales, and customer relations.
One of the most positive things that small business owners want to hear is when they can advertise their brands with minimal costs and still be creative in doing so. Of course, they could always opt to pay for promotions so they could have more frequent exposure on the platform, but brands are also active on their own.
With the help of the free editing tools as part of the platform’s offer to its users, it’s up to you on how you can utilize these features to your advantage and make it interesting enough for viewers to click on it.
Using stories to promote your brand makes it a lot easier for viewers to consume the idea behind your posts compared to the traditional news feed posts. For example, you could make a story about your up and coming products as teasers, or make a story per item for those products that you will put up for sale.
And since stories were built to last for only a few seconds per view, and are only valid for 24 hours, this will create a sense of urgency, as well as familiarity among your audience to check out your brand before the notification expires out.
Posting through news feed in a successive manner could be a setback for a brand, as this could be viewed as somewhat a nuisance for others, especially if some of your followers are a bit impatient when it comes to getting into the point of your post.
By posting numerous photos or videos continuously through stories, you can arrange your thoughts in a chronological manner and your followers don’t have to be interrupted just to scroll through a mixture of posts from your page, unless they are willing to do so. It could save both your time and your followers’ too.
Using stories to share brief behind-the-scenes regarding your brand’s work culture will delight you viewers. They will feel valued because you - as the owner of the brand – allowed them to take a glimpse of what it’s like to be a part of your company.
Since you trusted your audience enough to reveal some of your company’s internal experiences, you can expect your consumer to extend the same courtesy of trust and respect. This could also spark a massive volume of customer engagement, in which you could turn into user-generated contents as part of your marketing efforts.
As mentioned, stories are ephemeral, meaning they only last for a short period of time. That’s why most of the brands announce their special promotions and sales via stories because it influences the customers’ decisions and prompts immediate action on the matter.
People don’t want to miss on huge sales and discounts. This will spark an instant participation among your followers and they would want to check out what’s happening behind your stories, so get ready to expect some reactions and inquiries on your inbox.
Now that we’ve learn some of the benefits of social media stories, it is also imperative that we utilize them the right way to implement its maximum effect. Here are some guidelines on how to use stories to your advantage.
Whether it’s a meme, a photo of your products, or a short tour of your workplace, try as much as possible to experiment with different contents on your stories and see which of those have the most interaction with your audience.
This will help you plan your next posts to deliver fun and engaging contents for your followers. With the use of hashtags, you are also gathering new sets of audience that are not familiar with your brand yet, so make sure to incorporate a catchy and relevant hashtags every chance you get.
As established, people are more inclined to engage and find out more if your stories are precise and convey a message instead of just posting random photos that are not interconnected with one another.
Showcasing photos of your products is not enough. Every post you create, always make sure that there’s a way for your viewers to learn more information about your brand in general. Instagram’s Swipe-Up feature is a great example of redirecting your viewers to your brand’s website.
Since people are neither on social media nor awake for 24 hours, it’s best to study your followers’ demographics first. Do you have the same time zone as with most of them? If so, identify the time when they are most active and coincide your uploading time so that your stories would appear on their page even though their notifications are turned off.
This is helpful especially to encourage the audience within your local area to check your brand or wherever your products are available currently.
Stories can give new and exciting ways for your potential customers to discover your brand, so it is best to capitalize on what these new features from social media platforms can offer to you as a business owner.
Always be knowledgeable and updated about new trends and plan your story posts ahead to maximize its advantages and effects on your brand and your consumers.