Lately, I’ve been encountering conversations on whether or not to use Stories on Facebook and Instagram. Here’s what I’ve heard. “No, I don’t use stories because they only last 24 hours.” “Yes, I only use stories because that’s what’s hot right now.” Neither of those is correct, and here’s why.
First, what are stories? They are the content that’s in the circles at the top of your Facebook and Instagram accounts. You’ll find a static image or video clips of up to 15-seconds each. You can add stickers (like emojis or fun statements), gifs, music, and text. There are lots more engagement features, like asking a question.
Why do people use stories?
- They’re fun! It’s one of the best ways to keep the ‘social’ in social media and get your audience engaged.
- They have top placement. They don’t get lost in the newsfeed.
- To get your posts to reach as many people as possible, it’s important to mix up the format of the content and the features you’re using.
- You can pull people into a story.
- It’s perfect for the authentic, everyday content that may not fit with some of the color-coordinated, curated accounts.
- You can humanize the accounts and add personality.
- Focus eyes on a particular element of your business.
More than 500 million daily users watch Instagram Stories. That means you are missing out on a lot of views from followers if you aren’t using stories.
According to an Ipsos survey:
- 1 in 2 people surveyed by Ipsos from 12 countries is making more online purchases from using stories.
- 68% of people said they use stories on three or more apps at least once per week.
- 62% of people said they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in stories.
- Convinced yet?? Ok, I’m not done. 😊
When you post to stories on your Facebook public page (the one with the “Like” button), you show up in the Stories on the personal pages of your followers. Currently, you’re probably NOT showing up in your followers’ newsfeeds unless you’re spending money by boosting your post or running an ad. Guess what? That’s one of the ways you can extend your business/brand page’s reach on Facebook. Jump on this hack right now before it changes.
When to Use Stories
- Use them to reinforce what’s on your timeline. Give your followers a heads up about what you posted with a call-to-action to check out your timeline.
- Some of the fun, quirky things that happen at your events.
- Behind-the-scenes footage from filming on set, setting up for an event, staging a home…you get the idea.
- Before and after pics and videos.
- Special deals, new products, brand updates.
- A bride and/or groom getting ready to walk down the aisle.
- You have so many options.
Definitely, use stories!! You are missing the mark and prime opportunities to reach your audience if you skip Stories. People are watching AND taking action. However, be sure your timeline has enough representation of who you are and what you are offering your audience so that you are branded well. Stories do not replace your timeline activity. This is why you shouldn’t worry about stories lasting only 24 hours. Remember, build a brand that converts and helps to achieve your business goals.
Note: the Ipsos Survey is cited from Facebook’s website.
Suzzette Turnbull is a social media speaker and trainer. Also, author of The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started with Social Media.
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