Chloé Gee

What’s your [social media] story?

If you’ve been on social media recently, you’ve probably seen the ‘Stories’ feature become popular across your favorite platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Have you been wondering where it came from, what it’s all about, and how you can leverage it in your digital marketing? Well it’s your lucky day, because this blog is for you!

Okay, who is responsible for the story madness?

One more time for the people in the back—Snapchat did it first y’all! Indeed, Snapchat was the pioneer of this shift starting back in 2013, but the game changed again in 2016 when Instagram brought their own version of Stories to the table.

Instagram Stories took a minute to get off the ground, but quickly skyrocketed past Snapchat’s active users. In fact, 47 percent of Snapchat story users who’ve created Instagram stories now prefer Instagram stories.

Now give me the details on what it’s all about!

The Stories experience offers users the option to expose a more detailed narrative of their life or brand. Across all platforms the premise is similar: users can thread together a collection of photos and/or videos that will live on their story—but just for 24 hours. The Stories row typically lives in the top bar of your interface, like on Facebook and Instagram. Stories will populate here based on who you like or follow on each respective platform. Content always plays in chronological order from oldest to newest.

These disappearing Stories can now be found in some form across a variety of platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook Messenger, and several other messaging apps. Over the past two years, the amount of social media stories have increased 842 percent—so much that they are becoming the new ‘post’ on many networks. As a whole, Snapchat, Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status represent more than 450 million daily active users.

Each story interface has different features. Some offer fun filters, frames, interactive options like polls, and much more, including geotags, stickers, and standard editing capabilities. The engagement options are different depending on the platform. For example, on Instagram you can respond to stories only through direct message (there is no like or comment feature), where on Facebook you can react or comment on the post.

Cool. So what’s in it for my biz?

Well, it’s just one more way you can connect with your audience to generate awareness and excitement about your brand or products! If you’re considering a platform to try out, Instagram is certainly leading the way in sustainable strategy from a business perspective. The social media giant offers more notable features and opportunities for brands to appropriately leverage stories. On Instagram you can actually save your stories or parts of your story to a larger, fixed story that lives on your profile. A profile can have multiple fixed stories, which can be named whatever you would like. This feature allows you to archive your good content in a forward-facing manner that can be grouped by categories you create depending on your business needs.

You can also add interactive hashtags, geolocations, and internet links to your stories. One of my favorite features on Instagram stories is the ability to create an interactive poll on your story. This type of content is very easy to create, and it’s also fun and engaging for your audience. Plus you may be able to collect useful data depending on your poll!

If you still need some good content ideas, here are a few almost any brand can utilize:

  1. Promote your latest blog or video
  2. Help people by posting tutorials
  3. Create visually appealing lists and countdowns
  4. Offer limited-time promotions
  5. Generate giveaway entries
  6. Share fun facts, quotes, announcements

As an added bonus, adding to your story kind of beats the new Facebook and Instagram algorithms by placing your story content at the top of the app.

So, what’s your story?

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