girl sitting at a laptop deep in thought, social media stories

The benefits of Social Media Stories right now are near endless

Social Media Stories have taken the internet by storm, and for good reason. It all began with Snapchat, which introduced the concept in 2013. Since then, everything from Instagram and Facebook, to YouTube and even Skype have released something similar.

Stories appear above all other content in large rectangular icons. This makes them very easy to see, and that helps them stand out.

And this has never been more important at a time when both platforms are de-emphasizing brand content in home feeds. The Instagram feed for example is now predominantly made up of the content that users show an interest in.

Conversely, Stories are shown in chronological order, making it easy for you to stand out.

What is a social media story?

The big advantage of social media Stories is not for increasing followers, but for building stronger relationships with those that already exist.

A big benefit of Stories is the short duration. This means a couple of things. Firstly, it means that you don’t need to worry about creating a beautiful image that is going to live on your page forever. If you want to post something quick and dirty, then this is the perfect way. If you want to post something off topic, perhaps even a little off-brand, then this is the safest environment for that.

Another advantage of this is that it makes it more exciting for users. Users will typically act much quicker to view a Story because a) it tends to be more personal in nature, and B) they know they only have a limited time to see it. This leverages that powerful feeling we all know as FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out.

The best part about Stories though, is the way in which they allow you to engage with your audience. Stories allow you to post about your day, to show your personality, and to reveal a little bit behind the curtain. This is huge from the perspectives of the follower, as it allows them to feel that they know you, and understand you a little better. This drastically increases the likelihood that they might buy from you, which is of course precisely what we’re going for.

As with anything, the popularity Stories comes down to utility. Users enjoy Stories because they allow a quick insight into the minds of their favorite creators, brands, and businesses. Businesses enjoy Stories because they are popular with users and enjoy a lot of engagement.

Thus, the market forces are in place, and it’s no wonder that the concept grew! And for these same reasons, you really need to make sure that your business is taking part too.

The only problem? Social media stories are a little obtuse for some businesses and hard to grasp. Apart from anything else, many companies aren’t aware of just how many sites are offering the feature, or how it works on each platform. Here’s everything you need to know.

Using stories for marketing

How Every Site is Implementing Stories

Snapchat Stories

It’s only fair to start with Snapchat, seeing as this is the one that started it all. Snapchat is of course the social site/messaging app that initially became famous for its self-destructing messages. Stories takes this same concept and applies it to a more public form of publishing.

Snapchat isn’t as in-vogue as it once was, but it remains somewhere between the 5th and 6th biggest social platform on the web. Not only that, but it has built itself around the concept of Stories.

Stories on Snapchat benefit from the excellent ‘Lenses’ feature, which is basically a fancy term for very advanced filters that have a tendency to go viral. Snapchat Stories also have the huge advantage of allowing a link embedded right into them.

Facebook Stories

Facebook Stories offer a tempting alternative for business owners that have grown disheartened with the reduced prevalence of content from Pages. Stories allow you to appear right at the top of a user’s feed, and to interact in a very direct manner.

Facebook also has the advantage of being THE largest social media platform in the world, and giving you access to a truly massive number of people. Facebook also lets you include a call-to-action link, which has potential to be extremely useful.

Instagram Stories

Instagram doesn’t allow you to include a link until you have at least 10,000 followers, or you are a verified account. This is an annoying limitation on an otherwise feature-rich offering. Fortunately, such options as polls, questions boxes, and more will help to make up for this to some extent.
Then there’s the fact that Instagram lets you share your stories directly to Facebook, expanding your reach even further.

YouTube Reels

YouTube Reels are stories for YouTube. YouTube is a platform all about video, but in this case it is encouraging users to embrace the short-form. Like other forms of Story, YouTube Reels will only appear for 24 hours.

To try this one, you’ll need to use the Reels tab in the YouTube mobile app.

More options include:

  • Medium Series
  • Messenger Day
  • Skype Highlights
  • TikTok
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