“Why should our company invest time and resources into creating stories, if they don’t live on our page?”
The short answer is that Stories are booming right now, with over 500 million users a day, and ⅓ of the most viewed stories coming from businesses. Additionally, you can put that story to good use and make it last with a paid push, or by adding it to your Highlights section.
Stories allow your brand to do just that - tell your story.
So… What Are Stories?
If you’re in marketing or spend a lot of time on social media, you may be thinking “duh”, but you’d be surprised how often we get blank stares when we discuss stories. That’s okay, that’s why we’re here! (Skip ahead if you know the gist!)
Stories are photo, video, or slideshow collections that live at the top of your Instagram or Facebook feed. Stories are available for up to 24 hours- after which these disappear from public view. Paid Stories however, live on for the life of the campaign, showing up in the targeted audience’s story feed.
Stories are generally less formal, more “in the moment” pieces, than regular posts that live directly on the profile page. Many brands are using stories to share who they are with their community and prompt users to take action. So how can you make them work for you?
4 Quick Ways to Make Stories Work For You
1. Make an Impact Through Storytelling
National Geographic shared an effective story using just 3 photos, where their Swipe Up call to action drove users to a landing page to pledge to reduce plastic usage and share their pledge on social.
2. Create Eye-Catching, Interactive Pieces that Go Beyond a Basic Post
Vibrant visuals are always in style, but with stories you have the opportunity to take it to the next level with interactive elements like polls, quizzes, countdowns, or the new Donation button to get users involved with your story and your brand. These engagements give you more of an insight into what works for you, which leads to the next point...
3. View your Story Insights So you Know What You’re Working With
See how your stories compare to organic posts in the Insights. You can find great performance data right in the app, that can help you determine what is resonating with your followers.
(Note: you must have a business profile to do this)
4. Use Your Highlights Section to Get Creative
Taco Bell truly thinks outside of the box- they’re crushing the IG game and using their Highlights section to feature different brand experiences.
Highlights are stories you’ve added to the top of your profile page (like below), that live there permanently, rather than just the 24 hour span. They’re usually grouped into subcategories and organized by subject matter, or anything you’d like grouped together.
Taco Bell’s Highlights feature fun, interactive experiences, like original Wallpapers fans can screenshot and make their phone background, brand relevant Blog topics, and Events, and one of their coolest features, Feed the Beat Fridays, a music program that, “helps fans discover new bands and bands discover fans”.
There’s no limit to how creative you can get- if you try something that flops, evaluate your Insights data, consider your audience, and try something new!
Overall, stories aren’t just popular, they’re an effective platform that can benefit brands and marketers by engaging your audience in an organic way that makes them feel involved and invested in your story.
Let us know if you’ve seen success using stories for your brand or if you think you could benefit from a specific format or approach.
Written By: Lacey Hill, Social Media Director