Unless you live under a rock you will know of social media stories. However, just in case, they are mobile, full-screen, vertical videos and images that appear outside of your regular feed and only last for 24 hours before they disappear. Some social networks such as Instagram allows users to create collections of stories that their followers can access through highlights and watch whenever they want.
When a few years ago Instagram released stories, most did not think much of them. They were too similar to Snapchat, so why bother to be on two different platforms for the same feature? Nowadays, stories are one of social media’s most popular features and being rolled out on other platforms such as Facebook, Youtube or Linkedin.
Social media stories are changing the digital landscape. As part of marketing strategies, they can have a significant impact on businesses revenue and online awareness. For example, the sacrosdaint “swipe up” feature is a goldmine for brands that are looking to increase website traffic and revenue. As a matter of fact, the temporary nature of social media stories creates a sense of scarcity that makes viewers want to stay in the loop.
6 platforms with a social media stories feature
Followers do not want to miss anything their favorite brands have to say. Thus, if you have a loyal audience that loves your content, social media stories will allow you to give them more of that in a format that is highly engaging. Stories are super popular because they are immersive and interactive but also because they offer a direct communication channel to a brand.
Social media are turning into a fantastic source of visibility for brands. Indeed, out of over 1 billion active monthly Instagram users, more than 500 millions use Stories daily. Brands can now add product stickers on stories, thus purchases have never been easier. This potential explains why other social networks are rolling out their own version of stories.
No need to explain much about Instagram stories. They are fairly popular and let you share all the moments of your day. Unlike photos on Instagram grids, stories are spontaneous, raw and more natural. The feature allows users to share multiple photos and videos. They will appear in a slideshow format. Stories disappear after 24 hours.
Instagram stories are so immersive and interactive because they allow for easy interactions and engagement from the content creator or brand to the followers. Stickers such as location, hashtags, products, quizzes, polls, gifs, emojis can be added to stories and significantly increase both engagement and discoverability. Stories are indeed great to establish a more genuine connection with your audience.
They are great for audience building and also a great tool for e-commerce businesses to sell products to their followers. About half of Instagram’s monthly users are using Stories. That’s 500 million people posting 1 billion Stories every day. Furthermore, about 62% of those people say they’ve become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in their Stories.
Instagram stories are great to increase followers engagement because they go around the algorithm. The latter may reduce the number of times you appear in your followers’ feeds, because your posts now only show to followers that Instagram deems will be most interested in them. When you post a new story, it lands on top of your feed and allows you to stay at the top of your followers’ mind.
Another type of social media stories whose usage has increased a lot lately are Facebook stories. They have the same format as Instagram stories and offer similar customization features: filters, camera effects, stickers, etc. Any user can upload stories onto their profile and share with all their friends, chosen individuals are direct message their contact. Facebook stories are also a feature to pages as well as Instagram profiles. Indeed, Instagram stories get automatically shared to Facebook stories if the setting is allowed.
Facebook Stories could be the best opportunity for brands to grow their engagement, build brand awareness, and strengthen their relationship with their Facebook audience. Facebook Stories are displayed right at the top of the Facebook app. So when one of your followers opens their profile, your stories will be the first thing they see!
Facebook stories have 150 million daily active users, according to data from Facebook. That’s a huge, active audience that your brand should be reaching out to and building a community around. Brands can even add a custom link to their Facebook stories, thus driving their audience to their website.
Even though numbers are growing, Facebook stories are not as popular as Instagram stories. Thus, they could help brands stand out. Over 1.7 billion people use Facebook’s mobile app each month after all. If you have a business page, you can also track your Facebook stories analytics to assess the performance of your stories.
Story pins are not like other social media stories. They in fact are a collection of images or words attached to one pin. They are not located at the top of a user’s feed but within the news feed, fully accessible to users on both mobile and desktop. For now, they are only available to business accounts.
Story pins have their own tab on a user’s profile. Pinterest stories are clickable content and focused on sharing ideas. The current version now offers a native experience where all the content will live within the Story Pin itself instead of linking off-platform.
Each pin can have a maximum of 20 pages, with 5 pages being the minimum according to Pinterest. The idea is to allow creators to give step-by-step guides to their followers while never leaving Pinterest. However, brands could also really benefit from this new feature.
Story pins could become a way to showcase new collections, give outfit combination ideas or offer how-to tutorials. They can also help to increase website traffic since each story pin gets a unique link. They allow a much immersive storytelling and can also be repinned to other users’ boards.
Youtube stories are yet another type of social media stories. They are short, mobile-only videos that allow you to connect with your audience more casually, on the go. However, as opposed to other stories, Youtube stories expire after 7 days. The Stories feature is currently in beta testing and available to all eligible channels with over 10,000 subscribers.
In terms of discovery, Stories appear in the ‘Up Next’ list for non-subscribers and in the ‘Subscriptions’ tab for subscribers. Creators can add music, filters, and stickers to videos. Additionally, viewers can comment on Stories as well as ‘heart’, ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ other comments.
Youtube stories take followers through everyday life, connect people with similar interests and values, and motivate them. They are perfect for behind-the-scenes and allow companies to get in touch with their customers and potential fans and to introduce themselves in an emotionally-appealing way.
The main “raison d’etre” of Youtube stories is to build a strong community around a channel. Plus, it allows creators to interact with their followers. Brands can also use stories to strengthen their bond with their community. Furthermore, the 7 day lifespan of stories could turn out to have a strong business appeal. However, the feature is still in its beta version. Thus only future will tell whether this new feature will be successful.
LinkedIn Stories is a feature that enables members and organizations to share images and short videos of their everyday professional moments. Creating and posting Stories is an easy way to share your experiences and insights. It also helps build meaningful relationships with your professional community. LinkedIn shares Stories that you post for 24 hours.
Linkedin Stories is a feature still in the testing phase. During this time, it’s only available to members and select LinkedIn Pages located in Australia, Brazil, France, the Netherlands, and the UAE.
LinkedIn Stories display in a full-screen mode, similar to Instagram Stories — and will also include some form of messaging feature, which could make quick and casual conversations easier on the platform. Businesses can integrate stories in your marketing strategy.
LinkedIn stories are a great way to showcase in-house knowledge in a fun and engaging way as well as to share less polished, off-the-cuff content straight from a live event. Brands can also use them to host Q&As and share brand announcements and new products. They can also show more behind-the-scenes to prospective employees looking you up and thus attract more top talents.
Even if this new feature has received criticism as it seems unsuitable to a professional context, social media stories are a prime communication way for younger demographics that are now entering the job market. Linkedin stories thus do make sense and a logical way to go to maximize engagement and interaction.
Can you ever talk about social media stories without mentioning Snapchat? After all, the social network was the first of its kind. While Facebook, YouTube and Instagram are still seeing significantly more users than Snapchat each month, using Snapchat for business could still be an effective way for your brand to reach a new audience.
As of January 2020, 218 million users were active on Snapchat each day. That’s millions of Snaps created, sent, and seen every day. If your business wants to connect with people under the age of 35, Snapchat is the right place to be. That’s because 82% of all Snapchat users are 34 years old or younger. That audience spends on average30 minutes per day on Snapchat.
Snapchatters are 60% more likely to make an impulse purchase on this platform. Snapchat connects users with brands and content creators via the ‘Discover’ icon on the right-hand of the home screen. Users spend 35% more time in the Discover section every day.
Snapchat can be particularly beneficial to your business should you be targeting the demographics using it simply because most Snapchat users are not on any other platform.
Social media stories provide brands with the opportunity to share behind-the-scenes, engaging, raw and authentic content with their audience. This can help to strengthen the bond with their followers. The short lifespan create a sense of emergency and a desire to stay in the loop, which brands can use to their advantage.