Over the past two years, social networking platforms began following in the footsteps of Snapchat to offer a Stories feature. Somehow, the ability to create content that automatically disappears after 24 hours compelled many users to engage and create more content. Even Facebook joined in and launched their own Stories feature in 2017. And in just over a year, Facebook Stories has 150 million users.
With this new feature being a success among individual users, Facebook started offering it to Pages as well. The platform has even started providing a Stories ads feature, which can inspire many people to take action. According to data from Facebook, more than 50% of people they surveyed are making more purchases after seeing Stories.
So whether you’re a large brand, a small business, or even an entrepreneur, Facebook Stories can be an effective channel to engage your audience and promote your brand. In this post, we’ll give you a comprehensive guide on using Facebook Stories.
Facebook Stories - The Complete Guide:
How to Create Facebook Stories
Before you can learn how to make the most of your Facebook Stories, you should first understand the basics. If you’re completely new to it, here’s how you start creating content for Facebook Stories:
- First, click on the “Create a Story” button under “Your Page’s Story” using your Facebook smartphone app.
- Take a photo by tapping on the camera button once or record a video by pressing and holding the button. You can also upload photos and videos from your camera roll, which you access by swiping up.
- You can then add filters, stickers, text, and tags as desired.
- Once you’re satisfied with the content, click on the “Next” button at the bottom of the screen. You’ll have the option to add it to your page’s Story and post it to your page’s feed. Select only your page’s Story, and then tap on the arrow button to finish posting your Story.
You can even change your Story settings to control who sees your Stories. You can also change the settings to block Story replies or control who can reply to your Stories. Additionally, it’ll be much easier if you cross-post the Stories you’re sharing on Instagram. So you don’t have to create fresh content just for Facebook. You’ll find the option to do this under your “Story Control” on Instagram.
How to Make the Most of Facebook Stories
Facebook Stories is a valuable channel that can help you engage your audience and inspire them to take action. But like every other channel, its actual impact greatly depends on how well you can utilise it. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your Facebook Stories to engage your audience and grow your brand:
#1: Create Time-Sensitive Content to Build Excitement
The fact that Stories are so short-lived makes them more compelling than regular content. So brands can take advantage of this factor to prompt a fear of missing out in their audience. Similarly, you can make the most of your Facebook Stories to create time-sensitive content that people will pay attention to.
You could make important announcements and share updates that your audience will be interested in. For instance, you can make announcements about upcoming events and takeovers. You could promote flash sales and discount codes that are valid only for a certain period. Or perhaps you can host contests and giveaways that are geared towards rewarding engaged customers.
Stories are also perfect for showcasing product launch teasers. Since the content disappears within a day, it can help build some mystery around your launch. In turn, this could effectively generate buzz. The fear of missing an update could also compel more people to tune into your Stories in the future.
#2: Create Opportunities for Involvement
While Facebook Stories should help promote your business, you need to learn how to do that in a way that won’t annoy your followers. Blatant self-promotion and one-sided communication can be detrimental to that purpose. Instead, you should find a way to keep your followers engaged and involved. One of the best ways to do that is by asking them questions relevant to your product or brand.
This could also be a great way to host a contest, where the first to answer correctly or a randomly-picked answer wins. But you don’t necessarily have to turn it into a contest every time. In most cases, your customers will still engage with you even if there’s no reward involved. It’s a great way to make them feel closer to your brand and ensure that you stay on the top of their minds.
The “Criminal Minds” TV show regularly asks fans questions through their Facebook Stories. For instance, the following screenshot shows a Story in which they asked fans to guess the real-life locations used in the episode that aired that night.
You could also ask questions that create opportunities for your audience to help you by giving you information that you need. This means you can tap into your community as a resource for information to accomplish certain tasks and goals. For instance, you could ask them about what content they’d like to see from you, what you can do to improve your service, etc.
For The Dodo, Facebook Stories have become an excellent channel to source for information that will help them in their content production efforts. The page is known for creating high-quality content focused on animal welfare. So it’s crucial for them to be able to continue producing similar quality content to keep their followers engaged. They took to Facebook Stories to source for information about animals in certain areas for their upcoming project.
#3: Tell Your Brand’s Story from Behind the Scenes
Facebook Stories is the perfect channel to tell your brand’s story by showcasing what’s going on behind the scenes. Since the content disappears quickly, you don’t necessarily have to spend hours on creating airbrushed and photoshopped images. You can simply share images and videos taken on the fly, which is perfect for telling a relatable and realistic story.
You could use Stories to showcase your employees working behind the scenes or how your products are made. You could give people a sneak peek into the progress of an upcoming product or event. At times, you could even tell a short personal story about the people behind your brand such as leaders and critical figures.
You could even share your experience at an event, like how Antelope Audio did for the InterBEE Exhibition in Japan. They posted a story featuring Kikko Sesselego, an influential sound engineer, who briefly talked about what was happening at the event. This kind of content allows your audience to follow your brand’s journey and could bring you closer to them.
#4: Experiment With Stories Ads
Facebook’s massive user base makes it a perfect platform for advertising and accurate audience targeting. And now that advertisers can start creating ads for Facebook Stories, there’s an excellent opportunity for you to take your marketing efforts to the next level. Instead of only creating organic Stories, start running Stories ads on the platform to reach an even bigger audience.
The fact that Stories ads run for only a few seconds prevents them from being annoying or boring. So you could easily intrigue and engage a highly relevant audience if you do it right. But since Stories ads are full screen, you have to be very careful in ensuring that you only run ads with the highest quality images and videos.
Facebook requires that the videos for your Stories ads are at least 500 pixels in both width and length. The minimum video ratio required is 9:16, and you can run video ads with a ratio of up to 1:91:1.
Facebook also recommends that you don’t add any text or logo in roughly 14% of the top and bottom parts of your video. This will ensure that these key elements do not get hidden by your profile logo or your CTA. You need to make sure that all the elements you want people to focus on can be visible on the screen.
When running a Facebook Stories ad, you shouldn’t forget to include a call-to-action. This can be easy to miss since you won’t be able to add a caption. Every vital element is within the Story itself, so you should plan ahead and include a clear CTA that tells people exactly what they need to do next.
In the following Facebook Stories ad from Kettle Brand, for instance, you can see that there’s a “Swipe to Shop” message at the bottom. This enables the audience to easily move on from the awareness and interest stages to the next step of the sales funnel.
These are some of the essential steps you need to take if you’re going to start using Facebook Stories for your business or brand. The rules aren’t that different from those of Instagram and Snapchat Stories, except for a few minor differences in the creation process. Using the guidelines given above, you should be able to take your Facebook marketing efforts to the next level.