https://backlinko.com/social-media-usersSocial media has become the modern city square where people can interact with friends, family, businesses, creators, and more. The number of global social media users has more than doubled from 2.07 billion in 2015 to 4.48 billion today. This unprecedented growth has created a whole new set of opportunities for businesses to engage with audiences across a variety of channels. With social media constantly changing, it's important to keep updating your social media strategy to grab your audience's attention, and one of the biggest social media strategies right now is stories.
What are Stories?
Stories are featured on nearly every platform, including Snapchat, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but they're huge on Instagram and Facebook. They allow you to post a set of photos or videos in sequence, similar to how a story is told in a book. You can combine text, videos, GIFs, and links to really make them unique and specific to your brand. Recently, Instagram updated their Stories feature to provide link sharing for all users, which helps drive traffic to dedicated pages. Each story disappears after 24 hours and can be viewed and commented on by followers.
How Can Stories Benefit My Business?
Stories benefit businesses in many ways. First, it offers a creative way to engage audiences with visual media. It's a great place to show a behind-the-scenes look at an event or new product launch and keep people coming back to see what's going on with your business. For today’s business owners, Stories offer a unique opportunity to connect with audiences by promoting digestible content that won’t be missed in algorithm-heavy applications. Relying on audiences to engage with your posts individually can be tricky as more aggregated content and ads are filling up people's feeds. Stories also provide an opportunity to prevent clogging of your post feed and can be used as a separate channel for engaging users without compromising your brand aesthetic and goals.
Who Should Use Stories?
In short, everyone. Well, for everyone who wants to experience growth, this is it. Stories are a great way to engage your audience, especially if you want to show behind-the-scenes action or promote exclusive content or offers. About 86.6% of Instagram users post stories every day, making them an important part of any brand’s Instagram strategy.
Stories can be used by people and businesses in many different ways, but they have at least one thing in common: driving engagement and expanding audiences. Let's take a look at five tips to help you develop your own story that will give you the best chance to grow your audience and increase engagement.
1. Get Your Tone of Voice Right
Before you do anything, you need to figure out what kind of story you want to tell and make sure it fits the brand and fits with your overall social media strategy. Think about it: what feeling do you want to express? Is this something people will get excited about? Or maybe they'll find it funny. Think about how you want your audience to feel, then use that knowledge to help guide what type of image or video clip you should choose for your story.
2. Feature a Countdown
Adding a countdown timer to the beginning of a story will immediately grab the audience's attention, letting them know that something interesting will be revealed in seconds, days, or months. Remember to post updated timers as often as needed to keep your event front and center and make sure your audience doesn't forget what's to come! Countdowns are a great feature when you're making a sale, making a company announcement, or building excitement for an upcoming virtual event.
3. Take Advantage of Custom Stickers and Text
When it comes to social media, people love other accounts to express their feelings and show what's going on in their lives. Also, your audience wants to know what's going on inside, or if any new news is coming. In short - make it personal. One way to achieve this is to use custom stickers or text. Create unique content that is particularly relevant to your brand, then use it to enhance your story. Make sure to review stickers and text with your marketing team to ensure brand consistency in case there are dedicated social assets dedicated to stories.
4. Add an Interactive Poll
Adding interactive polls is a great way to do this if you're looking for something that will get people involved with your story. You can use polls to ask people what they think about what just happened, or just ask them which of two things they like the most. Don't just ask questions, you can also use them to give your audience choices in the form of polls. If you're looking to measure customer sentiment or understand any pain points in your product or feature, this is a simple function you can apply to your data.
5. Post to Your Story on a Schedule
Staggering your posts throughout the day is a great way to keep your stories fresh and relevant at all times so you can continue to drive engagement. By posting regularly, your audience will know exactly when to come back for more information. Making fun of your next story event is also a great way to make sure people are always eager to see what happens next.
Stories are designed to give people insight into what's going on behind the scenes with your brand, so make sure to do that by taking advantage of all the features available to you. If you use them wisely, you'll be amazed at the difference it can make and how quickly it can grow your audience! You can include your LinkShorteners links in your stories to make them stand out and drive followers to your custom page or website. When you sign up for LinkShorteners's program, you can also gain more insight into the links you share to help improve your social profile.