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How Can Brands Make The Most of Social Media Stories?

In today’s social media climate, real-time content is what the audience wants. This shift directly translates into the rise and growth of Stories and, speculatively, the decline of news feeds. What are Stories? For the unenlightened, Stories enables users to create photo and video collections that can be viewed only a few times before disappearing after 24 hours.

While social media giants like Facebook have caught up with the rise of Stories and increased mobile visual content, digital marketers need to also take note of this kind of audience behaviour. It signals a huge change in the way people share and, for brands, how to make an impact and build products.

Let’s Look At The Stats

It is estimated that there are currently over 970 million accounts who post Stories daily on Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook. The latest platform to join the party and offer Stories is YouTube, currently in beta.

As of June 2018, Instagram had 400 million daily active Stories users worldwide - more than doubling Snapchat's recent number of 191 million in the first quarter. Instagram Stories is growing considerably faster than Snapchat, too. While it’s widely known how Instagram copied Snapchat by including the Stories feature in the app and making it even better, it’s also cited to be one of the best business decisions ever made. It can even be said that Stories literally saved Instagram.

Stories & Social Media Marketing

Social media stories have drastically altered rates of audience engagement, with users wanting to see more of a brand in this short, multiple video format. The possibilities that Stories gives a brand are endless and allow them to engage with their customers in new ways.

Stories are here to stay as an integral part of a brand’s social media strategy. So what do social media marketers have to keep in mind?

1. Create A Narrative

Stories don’t just have to be about offers or be fleeting in nature. Craft a compelling narrative through Stories to grab your audience’s attention. The very nature of Stories is experimental so it’s a good way to see what works for your brand’s audience.

2. Focus On What Works

No strategy should exclusively focus on one part of activity and the same holds true when including Stories in a social media strategy. Stories can be a valuable addition to your brand’s strategy but ensure that a balance is created between other parts of a campaign and Stories for optimal results.

3. Add Links To Social Media Stories

It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘fun’ of Stories but business has to go on. The easiest way to increase website traffic and boost conversion rates is by adding a link to a Story. Instagram and Snapchat allow users to embed links in Stories, offering the opportunity to promote merchandise, newsletters or other products.

4. Try Out Live Video

Adding another layer of ‘real’ to Stories is the Live Stories Feature. Live stories enable users to see, like, and comment in real time – overall increasing communication with an audience. This, in turn, creates a sense of community and helps your audience relate to the brand.

5. Include A Clear Call-To-Action

Motivate the audience to explore more about the brand by inserting a clear call-to-action (CTA). It’s been proven that CTAs within a video gets 380% more clicks than CTAs in ads placed on a website or on a sidebar.

As audiences and users continue to increase their mobile usage, it only makes sense that Stories will also continue to grow, highlight a brand’s message and help their content stand out from their competitors. If a brand utilizes all the latest updates and features of Stories, on any social media platform, it’s definitely a way to effectively reach marketing campaign goals.

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