One of the latest social media marketing trends for businesses is to dive into stories on social channels. We love the idea of using this tool, but many brands jump in without really having a plan or strategy. It’s important that all aspects of your social media presence are consistent, so we’re going to give a few pointers on the best methods to tackle Snapchat marketing and Instagram & Facebook stories for businesses.
How to Utilize Stories for Your Business
Although this isn’t necessarily a brand new feature on social platforms, stories are a tool that not many businesses have taken a chance on yet. Sometimes it can be difficult for brands to determine whether it’s worth putting in the time and effort for something that will just disappear. Here are the top 3 reasons stories need to be a part of your social media marketing strategy:
- Exclusivity. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories all last 24 hours after they’re posted, so users have to check back each day to see the latest updates. That’s why it’s a great idea to post one-day offers for Instagram story marketing, so people know they have to come in right away for the special deal.
- Personalized Approach. Your followers that check your stories are probably going to be some of your most dedicated fans or customers, so it’s fine to personalize the information and get creative. Oftentimes, consumers like to see the fun side of your brand and the personal moments your coworkers share so they can feel like they know your business.
- Brand Awareness. Using Snapchat marketing or Facebook stories for business gives your brand more opportunities to engage customers and stay top of mind (literally - since your brand is at the top of the page). Additionally, you can increase your reach by using hashtags and geotags in your stories, which lets others discover your business even if they don’t follow you on social media.
Best Practices for Stories on Social Media
Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram stories for businesses are meant to be exactly what they say - a story! Too many organizations post random things or stories that don’t have a purpose behind them, but successful stories that are created to encourage action are a compilation of videos or images that have an engaging storyline. Including a fun narrative keeps people interested throughout the entire story and will decrease the chance of users dropping off. For the most effective way to create a captivating story for your social platforms, put together a storyboard ahead of time that lays out the strategy and what types of pictures or videos you’ll need. Even though it’s important to plan ahead and have an idea of what you want your Snapchat or Instagram stories for your business to look like, keep in mind these should be fun and creative - not too corporate or staged.
The biggest mistake that can be made on Facebook stories for businesses is forgetting to include a call-to-action at the end. Whether you’re looking for people to visit your website or download your app, make it clear to users what they’re supposed to do after seeing your brand, and you’ll see much better interactions and follow-throughs.
Try to keep your Instagram stories for businesses and Snapchat marketing efforts looking nice and not too cluttered. When businesses overuse emojis or stickers, it can look too much like a distracting advertisement and followers will sometimes unfollow brands that go overboard in these ways. It’s important to use stickers, emojis, hashtags and location tags when they relate to the subject of your story, but they should be used tastefully. Another important consideration when you’re posting videos on your story is to include captions; most people don’t have their volume turned up because they don’t want to disrupt the people around them, so they will have no idea what you’re saying without some extra guidance.
Advertising stories on these platforms will make your Instagram or Snapchat marketing more prominent among users you can target and will produce greater results. Facebook and Instagram story ads can be created the same way you would produce any advertisement through the Business Manager platform - just be sure you specify on which social media outlet you want your message to appear. Snapchat marketing has its own advertising space where businesses can specify which type of advertising is right for their goals.
Instagram Story Marketing
Instagram can be an intimidating platform for businesses - your creativity is usually challenged to come up with the perfect artsy post. Luckily, social users don’t hold the same expectations for the perfect angle or lighting in Instagram stories for businesses. As we mentioned before, they should still be planned out with engaging content, but overall they’re meant to be fun and a bit more spontaneous.
It's good to create Instagram stories for businesses on a whim sometimes, like our digital marketing team members who fabricated an Instagram story over lunch. Every month we have team lunches to honor birthdays and work anniversaries, and for the month of May, we decided to incorporate a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Every team member brought something to make our Mexican potluck possible, whether it was taco meat, tortilla shells, queso cheese or margaritas. The biggest debate at the lunch table though, was whether you like to dip your chips in guacamole or pico de gallo. Since our office had strong opinions on their preferences, we thought other people would too. Creating a simple and spontaneous Instagram story that lets you vote for your favorite option turned out to be a hit!
Facebook Stories for Businesses
Similar to the stories on other platforms, Facebook stories for businesses can still be less formal than the content that you plan out in advance for News Feeds. In fact, stories could be a great place to showcase your company culture. At Blue Compass, we take pride in our fun and creative culture, and sometimes we'll write up a social post about our fun activities, or we'll just generate a quick story for our followers to see. Some team members have been enjoying the nice weather we've had lately by taking a break to go on a walk around the block, which is great content for a story. If it's not worth writing a thought-out social post, but it's still something exciting that makes your office unique, it's probably a great opportunity to create a Facebook story.
According to Hootsuite, there are more than 173 million active users who watch 10 billion videos every day on Snapchat. With such a large audience, choosing Snapchat marketing options could be a great benefit for your business. Something to keep in mind when deciding if Snapchat stories are for your brand, however, is HubSpot says that 70% of consistent Snapchat users are female.
Snapchat offers three different types of advertising for businesses:
- Snap Ad. This is a 10-second, full-screen video that plays between a user’s friends’ stories. This Snapchat marketing tactic gives you the options to swipe up to read an article, install an app or visit a website.
- On-Demand or Sponsored Geofilters. A Snapchat geofilter partially covers your Snapchat photo with a fun graphic or company logo. These are most common for events or specific locations since on-demand filters are restricted by location. Blue Compass has the most experience with this type of advertising on Snapchat and have put together a step-by-step guide to creating your own Snapchat geofilter!
- Sponsored Lens. The lens option is similar to the geofilter but is more interactive with customers and uses facial recognition to transform the users’ face. On average, Snapchatters will play with a lens for about 20 seconds.
Contact Blue Compass for Social Media Marketing Expertise
If your business wants to try Snapchat marketing, Instagram or Facebook stories for businesses or other social media marketing tactics, contact the digital marketing professionals at Blue Compass! Our team is ready to take on any digital challenge your brand is interested in.