If you routinely use Instagram or Snapchat, you should certainly be familiar with the popular “Stories”. They first became known with the arrival of Snapchat, when they were still new, but since 2016, Facebook and Instagram have followed suit and integrated this feature.
These short-lived messages are now a staple on these platforms and companies have widely adopted this feature for their activities. One would think that stories are primarily aimed at individual users, yet they are an excellent means of communication. Not convinced? No worries. In this article, the My Little Big Web team explains why you should consider using Snapchat and Instagram stories in your marketing strategy.
What are Snapchat or Instagram stories?
To begin with, even though you probably know the principle, let’s recall what a story is. On Instagram and Facebook, like on Snapchat, stories are messages or photos that you share with your audience for a 24-hour period. After that time, your story is deleted and no one can access it anymore.
They usually appear on your followers’ home page and on your profile, so everyone can view them. You can share any content through a story, insert links, or simply share a picture of your everyday life.
What are the advantages of stories?
Stories offer many advantages and constitute a means of communication in their own right. You should therefore take them into consideration and include them in your strategy. Let us explain why.
Sharing alternative content
The first advantage of using stories is that you can deliver a new type of content with them. Stories are very versatile, and you can use them in many different ways, including sharing messages that don’t necessarily fall within your editorial guidelines.
For example, most stories, whether on Instagram or Facebook, are used to broadcast images of daily life and share the lives of a person or a company. A story is generally more informal than a traditional publication, so you have to play on this aspect to attract the attention of your audience.
This will help you build a relationship with your audience and get closer to them. You should be creative and diversify your messages, especially since the stories can be equipped with filters, links, GIFs, and many other elements.
For example, you can show the behind the scenes of your work, share activities organized within your company, or simply wish a nice day to your subscribers. It’s also not unheard of to offer surveys or ask questions through stories. As you can see, stories are made to build a relationship based on trust and sharing with users.
Boosting your visibility
Another very important point when using stories is how they help you increase your online awareness. On Instagram, a story is accessible to everyone, whether or not they are subscribers to your account.
Stories are visible both on the Instagram home page for those following you and in searches (for those who are not subscribed to your profile). This means that any user can find your story while searching for a certain content and potentially be interested in your business.
This is especially true if you use a hashtag or specific location on your story. These two elements will help increase the visibility of your content and give you even more exposure. You then greatly improve your chances of being seen through your stories.
As far as Facebook stories are concerned, it is worth using them since they are more likely to be seen than on Instagram. Even though the two platforms are linked, this feature is used much less on Facebook, which is an opportunity for you to stand out from your competitors. Given the very large number of stories published on Instagram, there is a greater chance that one of them will be overlooked and ignored by your followers, whereas if you couple it with a Facebook story, you can be pretty sure that your community will notice it. This is also a good way to increase your engagement rate.
Interacting with your audience
As you can see, stories provide a more spontaneous and informal approach with users, allowing you to genuinely interact with your subscribers. Stories are a great way to engage your audience and break down the barrier between a brand and their consumers.
Showing that your company stays connected to its followers, that you are human-oriented, makes it easier to build trust and strengthen your brand image. Customer relationships are very important, not only for the loyalty of your visitors, but also for your online reputation, which, as everyone knows, is crucial for your performance.
Engage your subscribers by asking them to choose between different proposals, answer questions, or ask you questions in a story. These methods are very popular and open the door to discussion.
Stories are a good way to highlight products or services.
If the interpersonal aspect of the stories seems clear, we should mention you can also use them to sell your products or services, despite their temporary nature. There is a feature that allows accounts with more than 10,000 followers to embed a link to a story that users can be automatically redirected to. This is an opportunity to insert a link to your website, a product page or your contact form.
Moreover, 83% of Instagram users report discovering new brands or products through the platform. Stories could therefore be likened to newsletters that some companies send to their consumers, except that here, a more selective offer is put forward. Similarly, if you are organizing an event or launching a temporary promotion, a story is an excellent way to highlight this.
Not only will you create a sense of urgency, which is often effective in generating more clicks, but the more sales-oriented aspect of your content will be more easily accepted by your audience because the story will be temporary. In fact, many companies prefer to share their services through a story rather than through a dedicated post.
Think about permanent stories too
Finally, another point you can consider in your strategy is the use of permanent stories. Instagram offers this feature, which pins a story to your profile, making it permanent. This avoids overloading your profile with commercial information, allows you to group them in dedicated stories and can be done for several categories of stories.
For example, if you regularly organize activities with your team, you can share those moments in a permanent story. Since they are displayed at the top of your account, it is usually the first thing users will see when they check your profile, so you should take advantage of this to get their attention.
All in all, stories have become an essential tool for most companies. They have many advantages, especially due to their temporary nature, which you won’t find in a classic post. However, you need to know how to use your stories to communicate effectively on your networks.
You should use the stories to humanize your company and reach out to your subscribers. Also think about using this feature to learn more about your audience, through polls for example. Finally, you can highlight your products and advertise your promotional offers through your stories. Beyond mere entertainment, stories can be used for commercial purposes, and are generally more memorable for consumers. So it’s up to you to be creative!
If you have any other questions on the subject or need help increasing your online visibility, we invite you to contact us!