Brands know that it’s all about storytelling. Businesses use their websites to build a certain image around their product or service, to create an emotional anchor in every social media post they produce, and to use every piece of content to add to their story.
We, as customers, communicate with brands daily through social channels, and the need to be in the know and aware of the latest trends is somewhat of an omnipresent phenomenon, across various generations. Enter: social media stories.
Social media has evolved to embrace nuanced ways of communication and engagement among businesses and their audiences. These stories are merely another reflection of how we view life and how much we love being informed.
Their fleeting nature lets us feel like a relevant part of something that will soon disappear. Although Snapchat had initially introduced the concept, other networks including Instagram, Facebook, and Messenger have introduced them since.
They are now the norm by which brands harness more visibility and better engagement, and with the introduction of Stories ads, increased promotion.
However, even your “old-fashioned” stories can still serve as a promotional tool when used wisely. Let’s see how you can make sure that both of these story formats help sell your brand better and attract a bigger audience for your business.
Use the option of live stories
Social media in general is one of the best ways for brands to break barriers and get more personal with their audience. We have moved well beyond those superbly formal relationships between customers and brands, and we have entered the world of memes and gifs, funny videos, and using witty retorts on a daily basis to get closer to one another.
Video content has the potential to further narrow down the gap that naturally dwells between a business and its audience, but going live with your videos adds yet another layer of “personal” to it.
Going live with video broadcasts with your brand allows your followers to get in touch immediately through comments, which creates a feeling of belonging and unity. Luckily for brands, this live format has the ability to become very interactive, letting you foster the conversation for as long as the story unwinds.
The key here is to stay an active participant in the live stream in the comments so that you can bring your brand closer to the followers who are actually taking part in the exchange. Besides that, live streams and ephemeral content create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, so you can use FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to inspire your audience to interact with you even more.
Mentions that matter
Boosting interaction with your audience, other brands you collaborate with, as well as influencers in your industry can easily be achieved with the help of mentions. Stories allow you to add so-called mentions of other brands and individuals to get their attention, thank them for using and supporting your brand, or call them in for a contest you wish to set up on social networks.
In turn, you’ll notice that your brand will have a greater chance of earning those mentions later in the game, while the awareness of your business grows.
By using social mention monitoring to keep track of how successful these campaigns are and in what kinds of contexts your brand appears, you’ll also be able to fine-tune those campaigns as you move forward.
Mentions are meant to inspire interaction and engagement, so utilize them wisely to garner more visibility and nurture conversations.
Humanize your brand
Social media has changed the way brands communicate with their audience, allowing them to interact with them in a way that wasn’t possible 10 years ago.
As mentioned before, social media is the perfect place for your business to get a bit informal and show the human side of your brand.
Not all platforms are made for sharing light and entertaining content, but Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories are made for presenting the fun aspects of your business.
Your Instagram feed is a place where you want to present a uniform aesthetic and stay on theme, but you can get much more creative with your Instagram stories. Stories, not only on Instagram, but Facebook and Snapchat as well, are an excellent opportunity for you to offer sneak peeks of your products, show behind the scenes, and even use polls to ask your audience for opinion and encourage them to interact with you.
You can also use stories to share footage from team building activities and other company events, and give your audience a chance to get to know your entire team.
Always add a CTA
What do you do when you’re bored and have some time on your hands as you wait for the line to move? You scroll down your social media feed. Sometimes you stop for a moment to check out some piece of content that’s of particular interest, but you will most likely move on very fast.
This is exactly what your customers do as well. Their attention spans are short and their interest is fleeting. Stories make for a perfect medium to get their short-lasting interest, but they are also a great tool to inspire them to go beyond the mere scroll.
In order to do that, you need a powerful call to action embedded within every story you post. In fact, you have the potential to earn 380% more clicks with videos that have CTAs than those without them. Now that’s a massive increase if there ever was one, and you should at least maximize your potential to get more website visitors by using CTAs in your stories.
Failing to add those powerful words to your stories might get you a view or even a comment and a reaction, but you’ll quickly see them scrolling away from your post to the next one that catches their interest.
Stay in line with relevant trends
Captivating stories are not enough. This is one of those harsh truths that most new brands need to hear when they wish to make the most of their social media strategies, stories included. You also need to make sure you’re not sharing your opinion on a topic that’s passé, so to speak.
It would be as relevant as a fashion magazine devoting its key article to a collection and a fashion show dating several years back – it’s no longer in the spotlight of the audience, and it shouldn’t be in yours either.
Some trends are easy to spot, such as holiday-related themes and other seasonal topics that are repeated every year. However, every industry has its own trendsetters, and until you can earn that title, you should aim to take an active part in trends that develop within your niche.
That way, incorporating hashtags into your stories will let you promote your business with more success and stay relevant for your audience.