Posted: 23 Jan 2019 Contributor: Therese Palmere
How to Use Social Media Stories to Promote Your Business
Popularized on Snapchat, social stories became the way users could share what happened throughout their day through pictures and videos without actively engaging with any particular user. Stories are how users can share their thoughts of their days with their entire following instead of a subset of friends. The best part? Stories disappear after 24 hours, so content shared through this social medium isn’t as refined or as heavily edited as a social post.
Snapchat Stories became so popular that Instagram decided to outright
steal borrow the idea for their social platform, and thus the birth of Instagram Stories came about. Then came Facebook Stories, Messenger Stories, and suddenly what was once a medium for users to share their days became a way for brands to connect with users too.
For instance, with over 400 million daily active users on Instagram Stories and over 188 million daily active users on Snapchat, it’s no wonder that brands came to question how to use stories for business. In this blog post, we’ll be going over different social platforms and what some best practices are that you can use to promote your business.
Snapchat Stories for business are a great way to target young consumers, as 45% of users are between the ages of 17 and 24. Today, brands and influencers exist a screen to the right, with Snapchat Discover. If you’re interested in appealing to a younger generation of users, and want to focus on Snapchat Stories, one key thing to remember is to keep your snaps short and sweet! This is also apparently what more than half of users want to see on social media stories, according to Facebook.
Read More About: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Snapchat Campaign
Your cover page and initial snap has to capture the essence of what you’re trying to say visually, and has to be indicative of the content to follow. These tips are very similar to sharing content on any digital platform — you want to intrigue your users enough with that first headline and photo so they click.
Snapchat is a great match for some because Snap Discover Pages mainly focus on pushing out content. But what if content isn’t the primary focus for your business, but rather sales? Why use Instagram Stories for business if it’s similar to Snap Stories? Because brands looking to push their sales are finding Instagram to have a better sales model. Although Instagram Stories for business aren’t too different from Snap Discover Pages—considering they copied the idea—the way Instagram Stories are set up and how Instagram has integrated eCommerce into their social platform makes it the better option for brands.
Some of the best Instagram Stories examples come from the brands that are already highly established because they create full length productions for the story.
For example, big brands like Adidas regularly use Instagram Story to showcase how their famous footwear is created and the process that goes behind production. This is a great behind the scenes option your business can use to promote your goods. Contrastly, some of the best Instagram Stories also come from small mom and pop shops, with posts that aren’t as highly curated.
For example, Cakebitesbykaren is an Instagrammer who not only features products and packaging in their Instagram Story, but also shares the currently trending #10yearchallenge (one of the best hashtags for Instagram Stories right now) of a grape turning into a raisin. It’s relevant content that’s also in line with their industry.
When it comes to understanding how to use social media effectively for business, it’s important to remember that, while you want to publish high quality content, everything doesn’t always have to be dressed up in a suit and tie. You’re on social media, after all, and not everything needs to be so heavily edited and curated. In fact, 43% of users say they want to see stories that feel real and aren’t so formal. Matt Secrist of Social Media Examiner, for example, says:
One of the best things about sharing video with Instagram Stories is that you can do it quickly and spontaneously. While you can put a lot of planning into your videos, sometimes a simple snippet of daily life can be very effective in promoting your brand.
The key to Instagram Stories best practices is to know your audience and what kind of content they want to see/expect from your brand.
Although Facebook has hit several bumps this year, it is still one of the main social platforms—if not the main social platform—that brands use for advertising.
According to Facebook, 68% of people surveyed said they use stories on three or more apps at least once a week, which is why it’s important that your team learn how to use Facebook Stories for business. When it comes to using Facebook Stories for your business, you can largely use the same Snapchat and Instagram Story ideas for business. After all, Facebook is the parent company of Instagram.
Read More About: How to Use Facebook Live in a Digital Marketing Strategy
One way to help promote your Facebook posts without spending a ton on advertising and bidding is through Stories. You can interact and engage with users on Facebook in the same way that you would Instagram, but you don’t need to leave the platform. The lifetime of your stories will only last for 24 hours, so you can post something relevant for any single day and have it disappear afterwards. Another great reason why Facebook Stories are great for advertising, as noted by Rebekah Carter of SproutSocial, is that
[t]hey’re the first thing that your customers see when they log onto their profile. This means Stories are great for grabbing attention.
For example, let’s say that your business just released a new product and you want to do a little more promotion, but you don’t want to make another social post about it. Share the details on your story and guide users to look at your latest post. This way, you’re raising awareness about your new drop and drive traffic to your Facebook page at the same time. This is an easy way to let your followers know that you’ve got something new and they should go check it out.
Similar to stories, but not quite in the same region, are WhatsApp statuses. While it may seem weird to use a messaging platform for marketing, there are dozens of brands who have utilized WhatsApp’s less formal nature to promote their brand. Similar to how brands are using Instagram Stories to gain feedback from their users with their poll feature, brands can asks their audience to respond to something they’ve posted on social media with WhatsApp and the use of hashtags.
With a changing social landscape, it’s important that businesses keep up with the trends to stay relevant. Hopefully this blog post has helped you see how to use social media stories for business and has given you some social media story ideas. Let’s go over those tips one more time:
- Use intriguing visuals and copy to capture user attention
- But remember to keep everything short and sweet!
- Show behind the scenes snippets to your users and give them an inside peek
- Participate in current social media challenges
- Know what kind of content your users expect of your b
- Promote your social posts on your Instagram Story to increase awareness and drive traffic
- Use hashtags for your WhatsApp statuses to promote your marketing campaigns