Facebook was a little..shall we say "late" to the Stories party, but hey! After the integration with Instagram, the Facebook giant has racked up nearly 150 million daily active users and we're not exactly surprised.
Stories as a content type is highly sought after. They're bite-size nuggets of information in a fun video format. Which in and of itself is pretty exciting. Everyone loves video content. And more so when it's kind of spur-of-the-moment and casual in comparison to the types of content agencies put out for the feed.
Of course, that type of content has its own benefits, but Stories can be incredibly beneficial in that it gives your audience a glimpse of the "real" you. The behind the scenes, editing the footage you. The version of you that's ready and willing to give your whole online audience a glimpse of the life of your brand behind the lens.
And this is refreshing because your audience WANTS to see those things. They want to know how you make it work and what drives you to do it. They want to see your passions and your failures. A loyal customer base is made up of individuals who have their own strengths and their own failures. And connecting with that very real and very human side of your audience is what makes Facebook stories so effective.
So today, we're going to dive and learn all about Facebook Stories. And we're going to bring you along for the ride! Are you ready to get started? Let's jump in!
"What Exactly Are Facebook Stories?"
Much like the stories feature on Instagram, Facebook Stories have a 24 hour expiration date. You can post videos, pictures, gifs, polls, questions, music, text posts and more within Facebook Stories. The comments also work the exact same. .i.e, if someone comments on your Story, it'll go into Messenger where you can respond accordingly. No responses are public unless you or someone else decides to make them that way.
"Why Should I Utilize Facebook Stories for my Business?"
In the wake of the "meaningful interactions" update that was supposed to prioritize people and the things they care about on social, marketers like us were suddenly scrambling to find creative answers to get our engagement back up.
Paid advertising alone was never going to cut it, but that became even more evident to many business owners and marketers after January 2018. Hence why Facebook Stories was, in a lot of ways, a life saver.
Now marketers like us have a back door into the party, of sorts. We can share creative content front and center to our captivated audience and keep their attention through Stories and by embracing their needs, questions, joys and problems.
The big reasons why Facebook Stories can be so incredibly helpful to marketers?
Facebook Stories are front and center stage for your audience. Right at the top of their feed. They don't have to go digging and nothing gets lost. The opportunities are endless!
Facebook Stories, when executed properly, can feel a lot less like a sales pitch and more like a friendly offering of value for your audience. If your audience feels like you're actually trying to assist them and want to help their business grow or just help in some way with a problem area, they'll be significantly more likely to listen, click and convert.
Post once with double the benefits! By cross-posting on Facebook and Instagram stories, you'll reach into further depths of your target audience.
"How Can I Utilize Facebook Stories for My Business?"
When it comes down to utilizing Facebook Stories, its all about the strategy and keeping clear goals in mind.
But maybe you have NO IDEA where to even begin when it comes to a Facebook Stories strategy. And if this is the case, we can help you develop a strategy!
To help you remember the things that go into a fantastic strategy, I've developed the perfect acronym. It's CREATE and it stands for Clear, Relevant, Established, Actionable, Time-Specific Experimentation.
Let's dive into the meaning of each of these one by one.
CLEAR stands for setting clear, attainable goals that you know you can reach without a lot of difficulty. Don't set yourself up to fail and get discouraged by impossible to reach metrics. You'll get there. Just take baby steps in the beginning.
RELEVANT stands for relevant content for your particular industry. You can experiment, explore and create, but do it within your lane because you want your content to be relevant to your audience. This creates trust and a loyalty that can't be established otherwise. Your audience will know what to expect and will often come looking for it if they know your brand is going to be sharing information that is helpful to them.
ESTABLISHED stands for Established Goals for Attainable Deliverables. Yes, it's a mouthful, but it's important that you make sure you have the time, resources and help necessary to deliver what you promise on. Again, this is a backbone brand building necessity. If you can't deliver, keep your hand off the buzzer, including when it comes to promoting and using Facebook Stories.
ACTIONABLE stands for Actionable Steps. You want to create Stories that immediately send customers where they need to be to convert. Or, in other words, TELL THEM WHAT THEY NEED TO DO. This is usually done through CTAs like "click to follow us and learn more!" or "Shop NOW!" but use your imagination and creativity. People admire different and they love to see what companies come up with purely from imagination and creativity within the industry.
TIME-SPECIFIC stands for Time-Specific postings and campaigns. This is super important. You don't want to be posting things that aren't relevant for certain times, places and events. Be mindful of when, how and why you're posting and plan accordingly. Be sensitive to what is happening in the world around you and build your campaign and strategy around that.
EXPERIMENTATION stands for experimenting within the realm of your particular industry when it comes to Facebook stories. This is a given, but it's super, super important. Keep Relevancy in mind, but also be yourself. Go crazy and have fun!
So with these things in mind....
"What are the Options Available When it Comes to What I Can Post on Facebook Stories?"
There are more than you might think.
Text posting: This is just text. You can type whatever you want, whenever you want.
Boomerang: Like a gif, but more fun because it can literally be of anything of your choice!
Polls: Find out which puppy is cuter. ;) But seriously, this option is pretty awesome when it comes to quizzing your audience on things to find out what their favorite products, services or other relevant industry-related things are.
Questions: Similar to the other option, but giving your audience a chance to really voice their own opinions in a text box. :)
Music: If you’re ready to jam out with your audience, this is the perfect tool to get things hopping. Choose a song. Pick a setting. Pick your promotion and go crazy.
Post Straight From Your Gallery! OR, if you’re so inclined you can point and shoot that camera and post right there! Both options have their benefits.
Image and Video Filters: each filter can help you add a little spice and fun to your story. You have three particularly fun but also professional filter options, which include warm, glow and cold.
Stickers: for when you want to get creative and fun without too much work.
Freehand drawing: whether it’s circling a particular thing you want to draw attention to or painting the Mona Lisa, this tool is incredibly helpful.
You can capture your story or upload from the gallery by clicking the little box in the lower left hand corner. That is, unless you’re doing a text post. And that option is available in a list at the bottom of the screen.
Some of the other options, like face filters, while not often utilized by brands as a whole, can still be lots of fun. And hey, if you’re so inclined, filter away!
Just remember that it's similar to Instagram Stories in that the options are basically the same, your just shouting out to a different but a similarly relevant audience.
“How Can I Track What is Getting the Most Views, Clicks, etc?”
On your business page, there’s a tab that says “insights” and I can pretty much guarantee you that this tab will be your best friend when it comes to how your content is performing.
Don’t be Afraid to Experiment Though!
If something isn’t working or you’re not sure it will work, don’t keep pushing the same content. Explore. Even if you’re not particular certain it will work. Experimenting oftentimes pays off.
Get Insight From Your Competition
Do you ever hop over to your competitors page to see what's really helping them succeed? If not, we totally recommend you make it a thing.
Especially when it comes to Facebook Stories.
This doesn't mean be a copy cat. What we want you to do is keep your eyes and ears open, watch for successful campaigns and then make their work BETTER.
Find ways to improve on what they're already doing well and watch the benefits roll in.
Do you have any insight into awesome and creative stories? We want to hear YOUR take on the situation and what has worked well for YOU in your industry!