All of us love stories. Ever since childhood, we have always heard tales passed on from a generation to generation, beginning with the stories on gods and goddesses, their epic battles, moving on to stories with life values and morals and ending with general put-to-bed sort of stuff, we’ve heard it all! In fact, our love for stories have never diminished but albeit has taken a new form!
So, social media is abuzz with the story feature being used to the maximum! It all started with Snapchat, the app allowed its users to take pictures and videos and add it to their profile, making it visible to a select audience that included people they wanted to share things with, and note: it stayed only for 24 hours. Eventually, the youth started shifting to Snapchat as Facebook was getting populated with the family bandwagon jumping in! As the story feature became more popular, other social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and even WhatsApp went forward to adapt it to their audience. Now, let’s see what exactly stories are and consider the reasons that possibly resulted in this feature becoming a hit!
So, what is ‘Story’?
• ‘Story’ of late, this the trendiest way of feeding content in the social media platform. Storytelling made crisp and concise through a collection of photos and videos that can be viewed and is available for 24 hours.
• The feature lets you add content throughout the day, keeping it together in one place, like a repository
• It allows engagements that are different from just liking, commenting or sharing a post. (polls, quiz, geotagging)
You can ask, how are they different from the regular posts that you share, well here’s how!
Stories don’t last forever on your profile unless you want to save them, but your posts are permanent until they are deleted from your feed. For example, if there is a flash event/sale occurring and you want to display it on your page but are unsure whether it will fit into the flow of your feed then stories are the perfect way to use them for engagement.
What are the reasons for stories stirring the storm?
It’s quite simple.
• Nowadays, people do not have the time to read lengthy posts or even shorter posts that are merely textual. On social media, images and videos are becoming increasingly powerful than before.
• Curiosity! The want to share our daily activities with the outer world is on the rise. As the usage of smartphones increases, this want finds its way through image and video sharing.
Did you know?
Sources say that about 970 million users utilize the story feature on social apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger. All these apps have the story feature, but Instagram takes a clear lead here, where 250 million people across the globe use Instagram. Before we consider how stories can help build your business, let us see some special features in Instagram stories.
Emoji Slider polls
This feature acts like a poll with the help of an emoji – to gauge the emotion. Here, the users can slide the emoji and show how much they like or dislike something. It can be used to get input from your customers on a product or sale.
This is similar to the Emoji poll. This feature allows you to ask your followers any question and see all their response privately, which can also be made public if you choose to.
Marketers: This can be a great way to start a conversation with your customers!
Music to stories
What’s life without a little music? Stories are effective because they are engaging and dynamic and now we can ramp it up by adding music to it. You can select the music of your choice from the thousands of tunes in the library and add it your stories
Mention Stickers and Location Suggestions
The mention sticker allows users to tag friends or businesses with a set of interactive stickers. Here you can also mention the location whereas the location that was closest to where your photo or video was taken will be suggested as well.
Apart from these, you also have a plethora of customized funky stickers to choose from. Not just that, you can use a relevant hashtag to match your mood! #TOTALLYGRINNING
Create your own sticker
Yes, you can do that! In the stickers panel, you shall find a camera icon using which you can capture anything you desire, and it’ll become a sticker! Try it out!
The new type mode was introduced to give users a way to add personality to their stories. You get to choose from a variety of fonts like Typewriter, Strong, Classic, Modern and Neon.
GIF’s are totally taking over the internet and Instagram doesn’t fall behind. It allows you to add GIF in your Ig stories by integrating a library of thousands of moving stickers. You can type your requirement and choose the best one!
Now that you know what each feature can do, let’s see how stories can benefit marketing.
As the need for content arises, brands need to switch to newer methods to make themselves closer to the consumer. What better way that indulging in social media marketing? ‘Stories’ are the find of the hour, a feature included in the most used social apps. There was a time when brands adopted formal tones of communication, now it has changed. Let’s see how stories help social media marketing!
• Brand awareness: Stories helps brands give bytes about their working style, their product processes, keep them informed about what’s new and what’s not in a very minimalistic and cool manner, creating suspense yet not revealing it.
• A lot of brands/ companies are taking to Instagram to keep the audience engaged and informed about things that happen in their field, which builds a strong connection with the consumer, a feeling of knowing their favourite brand better, thus influencing their decision making.
• Creates engagement: One of the best methods to win over consumers is by knowing their needs and what better way than asking the consumer directly? For eg: The recent feature of “Ask a question” on IG stories. Similarly, the polls, and normal methods of contest etc.
• Increased traffic: Have a new blog? Simply post a screenshot and hyperlink it to the blog page. Not just that, almost this feature can be used even to direct the user to your e-commerce site! Post a picture that’ll catch the attention and direct the potential buyer to your desired page. Cool isn’t it?
Now that you know the tricks, it is important to use them. These are the simplest ways that make your job a tad easier. The best way to start is by creating an effective content strategy specific to content media marketing, and distributing these aspects judiciously across various social media platforms. Use a lot of polls, share a lot of GIF’s and images, Geo-tag and direct the post to the desired TG in terms of native content. If you think there’s a must-read blog, link it. But don’t forget, whatever you do, make sure you track the analytics! Because no story is interesting without numbers!