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Facebook and Instagram Stories as the Main SMM Tool for 2018
2017 brought a few exciting developments to the SMM terrain, one of them definitely being stories that are now wide-spread on both Facebook and Instagram. Being accessible and easy-to-use, this tool has been gaining popularity not only among regular users, but among savvy business pages as well. Today, we explore how to use Facebook stories for marketing to advertise your business in Facebook and Instagram.
Why You Should Include Stories into Your Marketing Strategy
Stories let us create what is referred to as “ephemeral content” – photos and videos that are available only temporarily, and are deleted 1 day after being published. Research has shown that such content has many benefits comparing to the regular videos and photos that businesses use to attract more involvement into their content and ultimately increase conversion rates:
- users know that this content is temporary, so they don’t hesitate to check it out as soon as they can, and possibly even interact with it
- stories create the effect of spontaneity and involvement – it feels that the business is alive and operating, and wants to engage more with its customers
Thus, digital marketing companies started to actively incorporate stories as an instrument of attracting more customers to their respective businesses. The two biggest social media – Facebook and Instagram – give the possibility to use stories for smm in order to reach your customers instantly.
What Is the Difference Between Instagram and Facebook Stories?
Both social networks provide a variety of simple and intuitive editing tools for pictures and videos. They are easy to upload, edit and publish. However, experts recommend to take into account the following aspects of their use that can help you decide which network you want to use for your stories.
The main difference between Instagram and Facebook stories is the fact that Facebook does not support stories for business pages. This does limit your interaction with clients through stories on Facebook for now, even though Facebook is very likely to introduce this feature later on in 2018. For now, you could use the following ideas to engage users with your product with the help of stories on Facebook:
- engage micro-influencers (people who are famous and widely followed in their specific narrow areas) which matter for your business. Micro-influencers build up their following based on their personality, and thus are mainly active on Facebook through their personal pages. If you engage such people in creating stories featuring your product, it may become one of the most successful marketing strategies for 2018
- encourage users of Facebook to create their own stories that involve your product. It could be done in many different ways, depending on your personal preferences and the peculiarities of your business. A competition for the best Facebook story involving your product, a flash mob with the use of your hashtags in the stories and other similar ideas could get your social media campaign going. You can decide for yourself how to use facebook stories for marketing, as long as it benefits your brand.
The best way to promote any business is the “word of mouth”, or personal recommendations, so it is hard to underestimate the advantages that stories published by personal accounts could bring to your business.
Meanwhile, Instagram stories for marketing are available to business pages, and you can explore the variety of tools they give to expand the reach of your product. Below, you can find some of the best ideas for stories promotion in 2018.
Top Ideas for Stories on Facebook and Instagram to Promote Your Business
The general recommendation from any digital media agency for a story is creating easy-to-digest and engaging content. If it’s a video, it should not take up more than 30 to 60 seconds, and it should be good quality and colorful. Use storytelling techniques (set up, escalation, culmination) to make your video more engaging. If you publish photos into your story, make sure they look great visually, and minimize the text.
Some of the following ideas may also come in handy:
- Build personalized communication. Many social media companies advise the businesses to take the users “behind the scenes” and show them the process of manufacturing the product or running a shop, for example. This is a great idea, because this way users will see that the business is alive and running, and you are waiting for them. But there is more to it. For example, you can introduce some of the employees in the stories who can talk about why they love working for your company. You can ask users to actively respond to stories and engage in a conversation with them, for example:
- create polls and surveys in the stories that will take only a few seconds to answer and do not require much time. The users will feel heard and, thus, appreciated.
- ask users for their opinion on the content in the story, and make sure your SMM manager responds adequately to those opinions
- offer users to share their stories on using your products
All these options show that stories help create great Instagram marketing possibilities and provide instant communication opportunities for any brand.
- Go offline. Use your story to promote or support a local charity event, a flash mob or a non-profit project to involve more viewers. Many businesses operate in small areas, so stories can help engage with the local communities and find more target customers.
- Publish exclusive discounts. Since users tend to react more quickly to stories than the regular content, they are more likely to engage more with such stories. Make sure that the discounts are unique only for this social network – it is yet another way to get more followers on Instagram.
- Use links to other products and services in your stories. You can promote a new website or a new product, and increase the number of blog visits.
- Encourage users and your employees to post their own stories, if possible. Your employees and customers can give you additional traffic that you may not be able to reach with regular promotional efforts. You can encourage your employees to post stories for a benefit or a discount. Anything goes as long as you create viral stories that people will want to share.
All in all, stories are very much hands-on, and this makes it the main competitive instrument for marketers in 2018. As with any promotional activity, it is better to use it wisely and not overdo it with too many stories published every day. Stay at 1-2 stories per week, and don’t forget to google Instagram marketing success stories to see how brands like Nike and Ben&Jerry used stories to increase the number of their followers.