By Jeff Jones
Social media stories…They were introduced into the social media space by Snapchat, Instagram jumped on board, and then other major social channels- Facebook, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger- followed suit. They enable social media users to share short, fun, and cool pictures and videos of them with their social media friends and followers, with the video disappearing automatically after 24 hours. This new trend bottom lines the importance of visual content on social media.
Statistics show that users on Facebook- which was predominantly a static content platform- are viewing Facebook Stories more than they are reading news feeds. Messenger Day, on the other hand, has been a huge sensation for Facebook Messenger users who can now chat on a more visualized way than before when all they had was video calls and text chats. It is also evident that mobile users have fast superseded desktop users on social media; stories impress mobile users and keeps them glued online for more content.
All these stats bring sense into the online study that estimated the number of users posting stories on Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger on a daily basis to be almost a billion. As a matter of fact, over 60% of all Instagram business accounts were posting Instagram Stories on a daily basis as early as October 2018 while 35% of WhatsApp interactions by mid-2018 were inspired by WhatsApp Stories. This trend is only picking momentum- It will be bigger and better in coming years. Seeing this huge potential that social media stories have, companies need to seriously consider the importance of social media. That is why, if you have a business and it depends strongly on social media, it is highly recommended that you hire an expert to help you do the job. In fact, Europe has grown to be the country offering the best social media expert services in the worlds. When asked about the professional expertise of European employees, Outsource2EU said that they have the most talented, professional and updated workforce who can take any task and turn it into a result.
Why Have Stories Become This Popular?
The motivation and inspiration behind the growth of social media stories isn’t the easiest thing to understand, particularly because each platform has its unique set of audiences. There, however, are a few common factors that make users across these platforms to trust stories with their online reputation. They include:
i) Social media stories enable users to share a lot of content throughout the day without irritating or boring their target audiences.
Previously, the only chance a user had of sharing visual content with his or her followers was by sending direct WhatsApp or Messenger videos/images. How many such videos can you share with one user in a day? More than 5 videos would probably be more than enough otherwise the recipient will start avoiding your messages. With stories, however, you have the freedom to post as many videos or images as you deem appropriate and then interested followers voluntarily click through them. If they are interesting enough to keep users glued to the last one, your intended message will be home and the users will definitely come back for more tomorrow.
ii) They allow you to reach audiences that you couldn’t be comfortable sending images or videos to.
Maybe you are a small business manager looking for investors online. Can you have the guts of reaching out to potential investors via WhatsApp messages? Would they even take you seriously? Probably not. With Instagram Stories, however, you can communicate with investors indirectly, share your brand’s message, and make them interested in whatever you are doing. Tables turn immediately and they start searching for you. Also, businesses can take a look at AMP stories and start investing in Google’s storires.
iii) They are free of charge and easy to create
Stories hand you limitless opportunities to get creative with your content, regardless of how amateur you could be. You don’t need a professional photographer to take your pictures or shoot videos for you. All you need is a smartphone with a camera, minimal photography skills, and a creative mind to tell the story behind the images in a fun, captivating way. Professional video production is more of an added advantage than a basic necessity.
How to Leverage Stories For Your Brand
Your brand will benefit most from this new trend if:
• Always make your stories attention-grabbing, but never compromise on their order of priority. The first story should inspire the second, the second the third, and so forth so that when all of them combine, they create a sensible, entertaining brand message.
• Make your news feed posts equally interesting. Users who get attached to your account through your stories should find an equally entertaining content on the feeds if they are to keep engaging with the account.
• Avoid being rigid with your stories. If your competitor is posting better stories and registering better results than yours, make the necessary improvements.
• Never shy away from sharing the same content across platforms, at least for as long as the audiences love it. You don’t have to create a unique story for each platform.
• Answer FAQs, offer solutions and inform your prospective clients about your brand through catchy stories.
• You have a reputation to protect, yes, but would you please try and be human with your stories? Humanizing your brand helps you to connect with audiences at a personalized level. To be human in this case means recognizing the prevailing trends in and out of the business world, sharing your behind the scene stories, and empathizing with your audience’s situation.
Outside of the social media, stories have found their way into search engine through AMP Stories. Google introduced this feature a couple of years back and have been using it to give its mobile searchers a quick, click-through way of viewing content online. If you haven’t incorporated AMP stories to your social strategy, then this would be the best time to do so by hiring the services of a reputable company that specializes in creating awesome stories for websites.
Jeff Jones is the Communication Manager of Ztorie, a video stories marketing studio. He has experience in the realm of digital marketing for almost 10 years and is very updated to the latest trends. When he is not working, you can find him socializing physically.