Social Media Stories: What Are They and How Do I Use Them to Grow My Brand?

A social media story is a mobile-centric, full-screen photo or short video that appears outside of your regular feed on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat and disappears after just 24 hours.

In addition to being a great vehicle to promote the sale of your products and services, stories also offer a glimpse into who you are behind the brand, providing transparency and authenticity to your platforms and pages.

Viewers are able to comment directly via text or emojis, and you’re also able to add fun filters, stickers, designs, copy, and more to your posts through insider editing tools provided by the platform.

Stories are a super fun way to increase audience engagement, viewership, and brand visibility — and with their growing popularity, they’re turning into one of the latest, most lucrative tools you’ll absolutely want to consider adding to your digital-marketing belt.

How Social Media Stories Work to Grow Your Brand

Out of over 1 billion active Instagram users, 500 million use the story format every day (Omnicore). That’s a lot of opportunities to grow your brand that you might miss out on if you focus solely on regular posts!

While Facebook and Snapchat also offer story formats, Instagram is likely the most popular — and lucrative — platform for small businesses looking to increase engagement and promote the sale of their products and services.

This is because Instagram offers additions like lists, polls, surveys, and even a prompt where followers can submit their own questions — and all of those things will make your engagement skyrocket because you’ve added another level of interactivity to your posts. 

In fact, Instagram reported that users spend between 24 and 32 minutes a day watching stories (Mediakix). That’s about the same amount of time as an episode of your favorite TV show! 

In addition, 1 out of 3 daily users say they’ve become more interested in a product because they saw an Instagram story about it (Mediakix). So if you want to increase the sale of your products and services, then create a story outlining their benefits!

Especially if you’re looking to sell to younger generations, as one out of every four Millenials and Gen Z-ers look for stories of the products and services they’re interested in buying (99firms).

Another great thing about Instagram stories in particular is that they offer opportunities for you to link to other information — and 15 to 25 percent of users actually swipe up (re: follow) links shared on Instagram (Marketing Land). This is actually almost twice as much as people who interact with links in traditional Facebook posts!

So if you want to increase audience viewership and engagement, grow the scope of your brand, and sell your products and services quickly and easily, then consider telling a story yourself!

What Story Should I Tell?

Common things to post as stories are:

  • Company updates and announcements 
  • Promotions and sales
  • Information on new products and services
  • Upcoming events
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Links to web pages (like your latest blog or promotional landing page)
  • Engagement-driven pieces like questions, polls, etc.
  • And so much more!

The biggest thing is to post visually cohesive and compelling content that you know your viewers will be interested in viewing. To figure out what that looks like for you and your company, try posting a couple different topics and formats and take note of what garners the most engagement!

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for reading our blog! We know you might have more questions about social media stories and how to best grow your brand — and our team of skilled creatives here at OpticTour would love to lend our hands!

You can head to this link whenever you’re ready to schedule your free audit with us.

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Austin, Texas

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