social media story Let us tell you a story. A story of how you can use the Instagram and Facebook Stories feature for your business. But first – what are they?

Instagram Stories

This feature allows you to post photos and videos that disappear after twenty-four hours. So like Snapchat then? Well – yes and no. Instagram stories, like Snapchat stories, are ephemeral and will self-combust after twenty-four hours. Yet there’s a key difference:

All Snapchat content is short-lived. Whereas Instagram stories are an adjunct to your main Instagram feed. Thus, any content you share to Stories stays on Stories and doesn’t stray on to your main feed. Instead they appear at the top of your feed.

As this Buffer blog about Instagram stories explains: ‘ … all Instagram accounts will be able to share stories, from your best friends to your favourite popular accounts. When there’s something new to see, their profile photo will have a colourful ring around it.’

Facebook Stories

Facebook have, of course, got in on the act. In March 2017, CNet.com reported on Facebook making its biggest move in its war against Snapchat. Like Instagram, their feature is also called Stories.

In February 2017, WhatsApp (as Techcrunch explains) removed the feature that let users set an ‘Away’ message giving its name ‘Status’ to a Snapchat Stories clone. But in March 2017 Statuses reappeared. Meanwhile Facebook Stories has replaced Messenger Day and is available, across the globe, on its app.

So, what makes Facebook stories stand out from the crowd? Filters is what. Facebook Stories is all about the filters. You can add filters or masks – ‘lenses’ in Snapchat speak – to your videos or pictures. Thus, if the fancy takes you, you can give someone a moustache, monobrow, glitter beard or sunglasses. You can even filter a video to give it the style of a famous artist. Instagram lets you add stickers after you’ve taken a photo or video.

Overall, Facebook Stories offers a bigger choice of filters and skins than Snapchat. That said, what you can’t do is add emojis or stickers to Stories after you’ve created them. At that point you’re limited to text and scribbles.

Stacks of fun to be had with your children and even grandchildren then. But is there a point to it for business? If you’re a Doubting Thomas about the validity of Facebook and Instagram Stories for your business read on.

Harnessing Instagram and Facebook Stories for business 

  1. Instagram 

Later.com about Instagram stories for business points out: ‘Whether you want to share fun and light-hearted content, promote a marketing campaign, or even drive ecommerce sales, you can do it all with Instagram Stories for business.’

The blog gives detailed step-by-step instructions on how to create Stories. It also gives lots of pointers on using Instagram Stories for business.  If you’ve thought about it but haven’t done it now is the time.

Instagram stories are more than creative fun though. They can build engagement and brand awareness, drive traffic to your website and even make ecommerce sales.

  1. Facebook

In the autumn of last year, Social Media Today published their blog, ‘why your business should consider Facebook Stories for pages.’ The blog points out that Stories for Pages – i.e.  your brand pages – provides considerations and opportunities to consider. Here’s our summary of their five reasons why:

  1. Pole position: A Facebook Story is your chance to get to the top of user’s feeds. 
  1. Cross posting from Instagram; If you’re an Instagram user you can kill two Stories with one post as it were with the cross-posting facility. Facebook began rolling this feature out in October 2017.
  1. Use of Stories is on the rise: Facebook has faced criticism for putting Stories everywhere – WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and Instagram. Yet there’s a good reason for that: the use of Stories is rising fast.

‘On Instagram, 250 million people now use Stories every day. The same amount use the Stories function on WhatsApp. And 70 million people use the option on Messenger.’

  1. Fights falling reach: Organic reach on Facebook is falling, forcing brands to seek other ways of circumnavigating the algorithm. Step up Stories. See Point 1.
  1. Creativity: The features integral to Facebook stories give you fresh ways to tell your brand stories. And without the need for a big budget and dedicated tools.

Visually Explained is here to help you with your social media strategy to help you tell your brand story. Get in touch now for a no-obligation consultation.