Tell Your Story: Giving your followers a unique and engaging experience is becoming increasingly important for social media marketing. Social media sites are constantly developing new tools and features which are providing businesses across a wide range of sectors, the opportunity to engage with their customers as they have never been able to before.
One important social media feature often dismissed or overlooked by businesses is the Story feature on Facebook and Instagram. If your business isn’t yet using it to reach out to customers, this article covers why you should consider it.
What is the Story Feature?
The Story feature is a visual and immediate way to engage with people. Rather than the written content and static image you post to your business feed, Story is all about moving images and videos. Story videos need to be short at around 20 seconds and punchy. They also have a shelf life of about a day, after which they disappear, unless you select to retain them.
While you can add all sorts of filters and special effects to jazz up your content, creating a strategy for your short videos or image slideshows is vital if you want to have a positive impact. It’s all about building anticipation and delivering time-sensitive content that keeps customers engaged.
Why You Should Use Story for Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram give you access to literally millions of potential customers and the Story feature is becoming increasingly popular on both platforms. Stories give you the chance to set your brand apart from others in your sector and build strong connections with current and potential customers. You can also take a closer look at who is viewing your Stories and get feedback on how you are performing. The most important part of this feature, however, is that those connected to you will receive a notification about your Story, allowing you to be much more visible to your followers, unlike normal business page posts, whose views tend to be constrained and notifications are only sent to those who have selected to “see first” under the Follow tab on your page.
Taking Advantage of the Story Feature
While it’s a great tool, getting it right with the Story feature requires a good deal of thought before you dive straight into it. You should have a strong strategy and a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve. The need to provide regular Stories can quickly transcend into publishing content just for the sake of it. Here are some pointers to bear in mind:
- This is short-lived, time-sensitive content which means you can use it to create important updates, give a snapshot of life in your company, offer discounts, launch new products and services and spread the word about important news. Your content needs to have a purpose and be relevant to your audience.
- You need to be brand focused. That’s especially true if you’re taking advantage of the special effects that are available. You should be careful what you use and understand how it impacts your brand and credibility.
- We all know that customer experience is vital in today’s marketing world. Video is one of the most powerful tools for extending the reach of your brand beyond traditional social marketing. You may, for instance, want to send regular Story updates if you are highlighting a new product or attending an exhibition or event.
- You can also create ‘collaborative Stories’ where you hook up with other people in your social network and this can have a pretty powerful effect getting your brand message out to a wider customer base.
- You don’t necessarily need to hire a video production company, Smartphones record high-quality video and coupled with the easy to use editing and special effects available you will be able to produce good quality content with a little practice.
As with many aspects of social media, the story feature is about more than just promotion. You are forging extra connections with your audience, take the opportunity to build a strong rapport.
Ideally, you want followers to stay tuned to your regular updates with a sense of anticipation they are going to get something new, fun and/or useful. It can be difficult to bring together but with a good strategy and clear thinking, it can also deliver exceptional results.