By now you know how important social media marketing is for your company or brand. But do you know how to use social media “Stories” to promote your business? Businesses need to understand how to properly use this feature to their advantage. As it gives you a new avenue to reach your audience directly.
These quick 10-20 second photo or video clips give people a slightly different look into a company and appear in a different place than people’s regular social media feed or timeline. This content doesn’t have to be nearly as polished as it does on your feed and can be viewed by anyone as many times as they want before it disappears after 24 hours.
What Are Social Media Stories?
We’ve previously shared the Easy Guide to Short Form Videos which explains Reels. The biggest difference with Stories is that they are temporary. On most platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter Fleets, Pinterest, Snapchat, and YouTube) Stories only last 24 hours. Although on some platforms there is the option to save your social media Stories for users to view again and again.
Why Use Stories?
Most customers instinctively dislike advertisements. Some are even willing to pay a premium to avoid them (Spotify and Hulu). Which is one of the reasons using social media Stories to market your business is a worthwhile investment.
Social media Stories are a conveyor belt of content that’s difficult to get off. It starts innocently enough with a click on an interesting photo. Before long you’ve attended a birthday party, gone on vacation, swiped up on a few links, and watched 3 ads in just 10 minutes of tapping through social media Stories.
The addictive design of Stories holds your customer’s attention longer than traditional marketing channels. It keeps them guessing about what’s coming next and gives them the option to click through to the next Story or exit. Stories also allow you to interact in a more personal way with your audience. They can be a direct way to promote events, introduce new products or services, give a behind-the-scenes look at your company and so much more.
How to Use Stories
From polls to collaborations and reshares there are many ways to use Stories to raise your brand’s profile, grow engagement and convert more customers. We’ve focused on the easiest and most rewarding ways to utilize social media Stories to promote your business.
Showcase Products and Services
Social media Stories are a great place to showcase products and services in action with photos and videos. This is also a great place to host a giveaway, promote an event, or do a daily/weekly sale.
One unique way to generate excitement about a new product or service is by creating a countdown to a product launch. In Instagram Stories you can use the countdown feature that allows your followers to click on it and follow along. They also receive a reminder on launch day.
Reshare Recent Social Posts
Get more traction on previous social media posts by resharing them in your Stories. If someone missed a recent and relevant in-feed post you can maximize reach by sharing them in two places.
Stories are a great way to update your customers in real-time. Share company announcements such as new products, new staff members, new product packaging, and event reminders. These moments are an opportunity for your audience to get an inside look at what you do in your business day-to-day. Customers love the feeling of being in the know and Stories is a less filtered look at you and your company.
Using polls in your Stories is a great way to drive engagement with your audience. Get customer feedback, do some market research, or just have some fun with your customers. Allowing them to vote on paint colors, new logos, or new menu items encourages real conversation and brand loyalty.
Social media Stories offer a great place for brands and influencers to collaborate. In Instagram Stories you can go Live with another business or brand. This is the perfect place to team up with a business you think your followers could benefit from getting to know or a customer who is also an influencer.
Q&A interviews and social media takeovers are great examples of collaborating with outside sources. Having an employee do a “day in the life” story is a great way to humanize your business and engage your followers differently.
Link External Content
Direct your audience to recent blog posts, landing pages, and more when you link external content in your Stories. Unlike Instagram where you need a minimum of 10,000 followers to access the swipe-up link, Pinterest allows all users to link out to external content.
Instagram Story Highlights
Instagram Story Highlights are a game-changer and are available on all accounts. As a business or brand, it’s important to utilize your Instagram highlights as an extension of your bio.
First, Create Instagram Stories that tell people who land on your page who you are, what you do, and why you do it, as well as showcase your product or service. Then save those Instagram Stories as Highlights with an eye-catching cover. This will transform your Instagram page into a breathing brochure.Grove Collaborative does an excellent job at utilizing Highlights in their Instagram marketing. They have attention-grabbing covers and titles and provide more content for users to look through, keeping customers on their page for longer.
Storytelling is what connects us. Sharing the stories behind the brand or business allows customers to relate and helps to build brand loyalty. As most major social networks continue to add a Story feature it becomes increasingly clear that social media Stories should be an integral part of your social media content strategy.
Still, wondering how to use social media Stories to promote your business? These case studies from 30 different businesses will give you a little more inspiration.