Videos are perfect for social media because they are immersive and engaging. Uploading the right video creates the intimacy that can be gotten from a face to face interaction, so your audience can get all the information at the comfort of their sofa. With Facebook Stories, you utilize one of the ways to bring delight to your customers with videos.
Facebook introduced the stories feature after it attained huge success on Snapchat. It allows you to post pieces of engaging content that are available for 24 hours. If Snapchat had great success of viewership with stories, imagine what you can achieve using Facebook whose population is 2.23 billion monthly active users. How then can you take advantage of this new trend to boost your business?
About Facebook Stories
Facebook stories interphase will only look strange to you if you are not familiar with the stories feature on other social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, or messenger day. Just like the rest, stories on Facebook stay on for 24 hours and then disappear.
In the mobile version, the stories can be accessed from the top of the news feed and there are two parts: direct and stories. Direct is a new private messaging feature that is linked with stories and allows you to view any photos or video stories sent to you directly. It also allows you to see replies to your own stories. You can find it at the top left side of your news feed and tapping the paper airplane icon gives you access. Direct is different from messenger and here you can only start a chat with an image or video, not text.
Stories are located at the top of the news feed, occupying the area after the direct icon. Circles of stories posted by your friends will be seen and by tapping on any, you can view the story which will contain one or more videos and images.
You can respond to the story by typing a message in the text box at the bottom of the screen.
The response to a story will only be seen by the person who posted the story. Take note that you can only see a story once and the following message will pop up if you attempt to view it again:
Also, take note that the person who posted the story will know who viewed his or her story.
If you want to see all of someone’s story or jump to a specific one, tapping at the top will let you skin the content. Swipe across the screen to skip a friend’s story and move to the next or previous (depending on the direction of swipe).
How to Create Facebook Stories
Facebook stories are of purely visual content in a slideshow format. They are created on your smartphone camera and each lasts for 20 seconds before moving to the next. Their duration is also temporary as they are automatically deleted after 24 hours. However, there is a way to save your content into a private file for insights in the future.
You can add texts, filters, and stickers to your stories and by adding the right elements ranging from location-specific tags to unique images, you can boost engagement. The feature whereby you can see who has watched your stories is beneficial as it will help you in enhancing your targeting strategy. Steps to create a story are:
- From the Facebook app on your smartphone, click on ”create a story”
- Holding down the round button will allow you to create a video, and touching it once will create a slideshow
- Add location tags, filters and stickers by editing
- Share the created story by touching the + icon in the middle of the screen or share with specific friends on messenger
Published stories will be found on the “Stories Row” which is at the top of your news feed.
To edit the stories by adding camera effects, simply swipe up or tap the effects icon. Facebook lets you make use of any of their selection of filters, masks, and frames. Add targeted messages to your stories by selecting the text icon. If you want to make things more on the lighter note, click on the “doodle” icon to draw on your video.
For tech creators, Mac has an AR studio where you can create augmented reality experiences for your audience.
Why Do Brands Use Facebook Stories?
Facebook has a good record and has yielded good results when used as a marketing strategy. 96% of advertising experts say that Facebook produces far greater returns on investment than any other social media platform. In 2018, at a conference hosted by Facebook, they revealed that stories are one of their most popular services. So what makes stories important to marketing?
1. Prime Real Estate
Facebook stories appear at a strategic part of the Facebook app; the top. This makes it the first thing customers spot as they log onto their account, so they are a good way to get attention. On a desktop, the stories sections follow as you scroll through your news feed so it is hard to ignore.
If you have experience with SEO strategy, you will agree that having your content in front and at the center is vital for engagement.
2. Rising Stories Use
Stories have become popular even on other social media platforms too. This has caused more people to switch to the use of stories to connect to their audience in an organic way and immediately. 250 million people make use of stories on Instagram every day, so if you are not making use of videos to push your brand forward and engage your audience, you are missing out.
3. Better Connections
Generally, people are skeptical when it comes to dealing with companies. But when publicity and information are passed with the use of videos on stories, it takes are of cynicism from the audience.
Facebook stories give you the platform to connect with your customers as you demonstrate what makes you special and unique from other brands in an easy to consume way. You can show what goes on in your company and let your audience know the people involved in the company. The transparency helps you connect better with your customers and it builds trust.
4. Easily Manage Your Campaigns
Facebook is ideal when it comes to targeting and analytics. You can see exactly who views your stories and this makes targeting a lot easier. Once you know who is constantly viewing your stories, you can adapt to the audience and watch your results. You can also supplement your Facebook stories analytics with a tool like Sprout Social to get a better insight into your social media campaign.
How to Take Advantage of Facebook Stories
Facebook stories utilize to of the most essential modes of communication on social media: video and storytelling. Storytelling allows companies to build trust with their customers, while videos encourage engagement with easy to consume content. Companies and consumers upload more video content in a month than the major TV networks of the US could create in a span of 30 years. So how then do you get the most out of Facebook stories?
1 . Create Exciting And Time-Sensitive Content
The excitement that comes with the short life of Facebook stories is one of the things that makes it more compelling. As the stories only exist for 24 hours, companies can make use of this fear of missing out in their audience to their advantage.
Your audience uses social media to stay up to date with the things they care about. Creating exciting and time-sensitive content will make them anticipate and hang onto every story you share. Use your stories to:
- Get personal with your customers and let them know what goes on in the office behind the scenes
- Announce and share important news and updates for a limited time
- Host competitions and giveaways. This way you can reward engaging customers and spike the interest of others
- Show limited-time sales and give discount codes
2. Be Unique
Even though Facebook and Instagram stories are about the same, it doesn’t mean you should post the same content on both platforms. Each platform has its own considerations you need to adapt to. For instance, Instagram is more interactive than Facebook and so users would expect a fresh post on Instagram several times a day. But on Facebook, you don’t have to post that often.
Since it is possible that most of your audience will follow you on both platforms, it can be overwhelming and boring to have repeated content. When posting content, consider the demographics of your audiences and make each post tailored to suit them.
3. Be Brand Focused
Facebook provides different filters and effects you can use with your stories and they are available both when you are creating your stories and when you are editing your broadcast on Facebook.
Adding live filters is easy and you just have to tap on the effects icon on the bottom left-hand corner of your smartphone screen. You can change font style, add stickers, and make other adjustments too. Filters make your stories more engaging and interesting. You can also build your brand image using them by:
- Making use of filters that are relevant to your brand
- Make use of themes that are specific to the promotions you are running
- Use colors and text styles that are same with your brand image
4. Post Unforgettable Experiences
Customer experience is one of the most effective strategies in marketing today. The use of videos is a great way to enhance such experiences and Facebook stories allow you to build even further on your marketing strategy.
Facebook stories, for instance, are great for extending the reach of events. Create image slideshows and videos prior to an event to build interest-based on the customer experience that will be seen.
Facebook collaborative stories allow you to cover your stories from every angle. With the use of collaborative stories, you can connect videos with slideshows and clips from other people. It is good at enhancing the brand reach and improving video content.
5. Focus Not Only On Promotion
Just like every good social media strategy, it is always better to keep your audience delighted than bore them all the time with promotional posts and discount codes. People undoubtedly want product and service focused posts, but they also want to know the people around the business. Rather than concentrating only on sales, look for new ways to delight your audience through content they will look forward to. Example:
- Celebrate new business milestones and make announcements
- Give previews of upcoming products and projects
- Share video stories of events you attend to build your video content
- Share important tips and hacks about products or problems related to your niche
- Snap and post selfies of your team
6. Use Multiple Voices
Give more people within your brand their own voice with tools like Collaborative stories. Influencer marketing such as this is very popular to build trust and credibility for your company. Teaming up with people your customers already love and trust is a fast way to make them also trust your company. Ask influencers to share stories with you or add to your already existing strategy.
You can also give your team more social media presence. 71% of marketers use employee advocacy with tools like Bambu by Sprout Social. Use messages from your staff to give your business a more authentic tone.
7. Track Your Stories Performance
Monitor your stories and make sure you know where your stories have the greatest impact.
Knowing the kind of people that view your stories can let you know who is interested in your brand. See the users who are interested in your posts and build on your insights with a tool like Sprout Social.
Facebook recently announced an upcoming feature called Archive. It is similar to Instagram stories where companies can save clips privately when they expire and go back to them, check performance, and even re-share the content on your news feed.