What is it about stories on Facebook and Instagram that makes them so popular? Everyone loves them–people like making them and people like watching them. It could be that they’re short and fun to look at. It could be that they seem more personal somehow. Maybe it’s because we’re conditioned to look at them since both Facebook and Instagram put them in prime real estate at the top of their sites.
Whatever it is, the marketing world has taken notice. And I can no longer deny that brands should be creating and posting stories on a daily basis. But just like any other type of social media post, the brands and businesses that utilize the story type post will reap more rewards if they work from a planned strategy that was built in response to their unique business goals.
But wait a minute. Let’s make sure we’re on the same page. (That’s important; I kind of have a thing about it.) So let’s start here: What is a story on Facebook and Instagram?
Both Facebook and Instagram offer a type of post they call a “story.” Stories allow you to share photos and short video content that can be viewed for up to 24 hours. Instagram actually describes them as allowing you to share “the moments of your day, not just ones you want to keep on your profile.” So many of you may be asking, “Why would a brand only want to share their content for 24 hours?” And if you are asking that, pat yourself on the back. That’s an excellent question.
One benefit is that stories create a sort of exclusive club for their content viewers. Think about it, if I’m a raving fan of your brand, and I don’t want to miss any of your exclusive content that has some fun sparkle to it, I’m going to keep coming back, day in and day out. It’s the FOMA effect (The Fear Of Missing Out). Since it will be gone tomorrow, you better check in today!
Best Practices for Adding Facebook and Instagram stories into Your Marketing Mix
- Have a Goal – Figure out what your goal is for your brand to do stories. Is it to drive brand awareness, provide exclusive offers, or offer a daily tip? Maybe you want to encourage people to work with you, provide a sneak peek of your new products, or take your viewers behind-the-scenes. The possibilities are endless, but figure out your story goal as it will align with your business goals.
- Make it Measurable – Like all successful marketing initiatives, you have to be able to measure the success of your efforts. Anything can sound fine and dandy, but that’s not enough. It needs to deliver. So if your goal is brand awareness, measure how many people are viewing your stories daily. Then see if they convert into Facebook Fans or Followers. If your goal is daily tips, measure how many comments ask follow-up questions. Then see if those same questions are showing up in your customer response system as “problems.”
- Make sure you can deliver – Facebook and Instagram stories take a lot of photo and/or video. Know what types of posts you want to make, how long it will take to make them, and your turnaround time to get them done. When you start the project, you need to be able to keep it going. Momentum is vital to storytelling.
- Keep it real – In both your goal setting and your measuring, make sure your efforts are something you can achieve. (Here’s an example… Let’s say you’re looking for more website clicks and you’re already getting 100 a month. Adding stories with links will not cause that number to jump to 1000, but it might take it to 150. You can always increase your goal later.)
- Try out campaigns – Very similar to what I advise for planning your traditional posts on your Facebook business page, you should set out your content so it matches your product or service launch calendar. By doing this, you create a cohesive message for your viewers–and for you, you know exactly what type of stories to create for which dates.
- Don’t be afraid of new things – If you have kids, I’m sure you give them this advice all the time… “Just try it; you may like it.” That is my advice to you too. In fact, the success of my business is dependent on me trying new things. I encourage you to do the same. Be thoughtful in your approach, yes, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of stories to see what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. You won’t know until you try.
If you’d like help incorporating Facebook or Instagram stories into your marketing plan – or if you’re saying, “Marketing plan??? I need one of those!” – no worries. I’m here. I can help. Together, we’ll give your story a happy ending. Schedule a FREE clarity call with me and in just 30 minutes you’ll have a takeaway plan for your next steps.