As if a calendar full of social media posts isn't enough, you have probably asked yourself, “Do I really need to post social media stories?” Whether it be on Instagram, Facebook, now LinkedIn, or on the beta version on Twitter’s Stories, the surplus of content that is required to keep social media stories fresh, relevant, and relatable can seem, well…daunting.
Alas, each of us as marketers has overcome other seemingly daunting social media updates in the past, and we will do so again! The truth is... integrating stories into your social media strategy is crucial, and we are here to give you the 411.
5 Reasons Why Social Media Stories Are Good for Business
Social media stories can increase visibility with your followers.
Initially rolled out for Instagram only, Facebook quickly adapted social media stories, and was later followed by LinkedIn, Pinterest, and now Twitter. Now, story usage has overtaken posts in regular newsfeeds. Yes, you read that correctly. Stories are now the KEY social media posting and engagement option for both creators and users.
Stories have taken up major digital real estate in large part because of the algorithms. Your newsfeeds prioritize the accounts you check the most often, those you engage with consistently, and those you have tagged content with. Because of this, it's difficult for new accounts to receive organic exposure on their follower's feeds—they're starting from the ground up! That being said, sharing your feed posts to your stories can increase the visibility for ALL your followers because social media stories fall within a separate, less "friends-and-family-only" centered structure.
Now that stories are expected nearly everywhere your audience takes up digital space, it is important to keep your content in front of their eyes so that they aren’t distracted or swayed by your competitors.
When correctly optimized, social media stories spike conversion rates.
Link clicks are the main objectives set by brands. Why? Because link clicks quickly give users access to brands' websites. Long gone are the days where “Link in bio!” was broadly accepted. The only downside to this feature is that in order to post swipe-up link options, your account must have 10k+ followers. Womp womp.
Impressions skyrocket when posting social media Stories vs. feed posts.
In January 2019, more than 500 million users were active on Instagram Stories. When users are tapping through stories, it is important to keep your brand in that rotation of visibility. Not only will posting social media stories improve impressions, but it will also increase your reach because stories can be shared among users.
social media Stories make time-sensitive content (like limited-time sales) easy to communicate.
Since social media stories are only live for 24 hours, they are the perfect space in which to communicate timely, relevant information to your audience.
This is particularly important on Instagram. Because Instagram’s feed algorithm can now rotate posts through a user’s feed days after posting, the Instagram newsfeed is no longer a great space in which to communicate time-sensitive information, whether that be limited-time sales, unplanned closures, or other need-to-know messaging.
Social media stories can help you differentiate what type of content is preferred by your AudiencE.
I like to label story content as “lean back” content—e.g., imagery, quick information, or offers that do not require full attention from users but can still motivate them to take action. Anything that requires someone to drop what they’re doing and maintain focus is what I like to call “lean in” content—e.g., long captions, videos, or important information that require users’ full attention and inspires them to keep that content in mind for longer than a few moments.
If you find your audience watching through your stories more than double tapping your posts, it is likely that your audience prefers quick, easily digestible content with minimal commitment. If you find that your audience is engaging with your long-captioned feed posts and swiping out of your stories, it is likely that your audience craves a connection with your brand and is willing to give maximum commitment to your content.
Knowing the difference not only helps you understand your audience better, but also gives you valuable insight into how you can maintain a higher ROI in terms of time spent on content creation.
Okay, I could go on and on about this. At THAT Agency, we love content—so sue us! If we haven’t convinced you to see the benefits of social media stories being integrated into your brand's digital marketing strategy, then let us add one final thought:
If your brand’s entire audience was standing in an auditorium, and you had the freedom to speak into a microphone to hold their attention for as long as you would like, would you leave the mic and head offstage to speak with a smaller audience within earshot... or would you grab the mic and stay onstage to speak with your entire audience?
Just food for thought. 😉